In October, NatWest's lending practices came under scrutiny after it refused a remortgage to a landlord renting to a tenant in receipt of housing benefit. The Work and Pensions Committee has written to several mortgage lenders about potential DSS discrimination clauses in their lending policies. In October, NatWest's lending practices came under scrutiny over the case of a landlord who was refused a remortgage and threatened with revocation of the existing mortgage on the property because she was renting to a tenant in receipt of housing benefit. NatWest’s review of its own policy is expected to report at the end of February.
Since 2012, 10 million eligible workers have been automatically signed up to workplace pensions. From April, their contribution will rise from 3% of their salary to 5%.
Monetary Policy Committee member, Gertjan Vlieghe, predicts that the Committee would choose to ease monetary policy in the event of a no-deal Brexit. In a speech made today, Vlieghe said his opinion about the future path of Bank Rate has changed from last year, when he thought one to two quarter point hikes per year in Bank Rate "was the most likely central case". Since then, he said the economic outlook had changed; global growth has slowed more than expected, and sooner than expected, and domestic growth has also slowed more than expected.
CPI inflation fell to 1.8% in January, down from 2.1% in December 2018, according to the latest ONS data. December's figure is the lowest inflation rate seen since January 2017, when it was also 1.8%, and is the first time in two years that CPI inflation has been below the Bank of England's 2% target.CPIH inflation, which is now used as its headline measure and which includes owner occupiers’ housing costs, was also 1.8% in January, down from 2.0% in December.
Last week the Bank of England cut its growth forecasts to 1.2% this year and put the odds of the UK slipping into recession by the summer at one in four. GDP growth slowed to 1.4% between 2017 and 2018, the weakest it has been since 2009, according to the latest ONS statistics.