The FCA is proposing "significant reform" of the general insurance market to enhance competition, ensure consumers will receive fair value, and increase trust in the market. The FCA is proposing that when a customer renews their home or motor insurance policy, they pay no more than they would if they were new to their provider through the same sales channel. For example, if the customer bought the policy online, they would be charged the same price as a new customer buying online.
The Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee has voted unanimously to maintain Bank Rate at 0.1%. At its latest meeting, the MPC said it "does not intend to tighten monetary policy until there is clear evidence that significant progress is being made in eliminating spare capacity and achieving the 2% inflation target sustainably". The Committee noted that the outlook for the economy remains "unusually uncertain", noting that health concerns are continuing to drag on activity and the unemployment rate is projected to rise markedly. Twelve-month CPI inflation fell from 1.0% in July to 0.2% in August and is expected to remain below 1% until early 2021.
The FCA has confirmed the support mortgage borrowers will receive if they continue to face payment difficulties due to coronavirus. The guidance covers those who still face financial difficulties, as well as those whose financial situation may be newly affected by coronavirus after the current guidance ends.
Monthly GDP grew by 6.6% in July 2020 as lockdown measures continued to ease, according to the latest ONS statistics. The increase follows a record fall of 20.0% in April, before growth of 2.4% in May and 8.7% in June. July's GDP is now 18.6% higher than its April 2020 low. Despite this, the level of output did not fully recover from the record falls seen across March and April and was still 11.7% below the levels seen in February, before the full impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. GDP fell by 7.6% in the three months to July, with declines across all main sectors of the economy.
Difficulty accessing mortgages are preventing prospective homebuyers from taking advantage of the stamp duty holiday, according to new research. It found that 52% of current homeowners want to take advantage of the stamp duty holiday, but are concerned about their ability to get a mortgage. Following the introduction of the holiday on 8th July 2020, 32% of prospective homebuyers said they have been denied a mortgage and further 43% have been gazumped.