Sunday, May 12, 2013 9:27:00 AM
As of the 10th May 2013, Dave became half a century old! Some may be surprised by this, I thought he had reached this milestone some time ago.....
I'm sure you will all echo our congratulations and best wishes to Dave and we look forward to the next 50!
Monday, May 06, 2013 9:41:00 AM
As I am sure you have all noticed, the sun has finally arrived, which contributed to a lovely bank holiday weekend. We have been making the most of it, getting the barbeque out, mowing the lawn (definitely needed!) and just generally laying around in the sun.
Hopefully we are past the cold, old days of winter and this should be the norm for at least a couple of weeks!
Sunday, April 07, 2013 4:10:00 PM
Meet Rory, our latest, and cutest, member of staff. He is working closely with John Burrows on all aspects of financial advice, particularly eating sticks and biting feet. He is yet to pass his Diploma but spends most evenings studying towards this.
Monday, April 01, 2013 9:32:00 AM
The UK is set to avoid falling back into recession, according to the British Chamber of Commerce (BCC). They believes a strong performance by Britain's service industries during the first three months of the year has kept the economy growing. The weakness of the pound has also given exports a boost, it said.
The BCC's survey of more than 7,000 firms also showed improvements in the manufacturing sector, although employment had weakened.
David Kern, BCC chief economist, said the results suggested the economy had continued to grow in the first three months of 2013. He said this was contrary to the picture of the economy being painted by official figures.ading the main story "These results provide a glimpse of the as-yet-distant sunlit uplands of recovery. The survey reinforces our assessment that recent [official] gross domestic product figures have exaggerated the weakness of the UK economy and the volatility in output," he said.
"If an announcement of negative growth in the first quarter is misleadingly described as a triple-dip recession, confidence will again be damaged unnecessarily."
Sunday, March 24, 2013 4:00:00 PM
The government of Cyprus has defended a 10bn-euro bailout deal to save its banks from collapse, amid warnings the island faces deep recession. Laiki (Popular) Bank, the country's second largest, will be wound up, but small savers will be protected. Depositors with more than 100,000 euros ($130,000; £85,000), many of whom are Russian, face big losses.
Cypriot finance minister Michael Sarris said his country had avoided a "disastrous exit from the eurozone". But correspondents say Cyprus' economy will shrink sharply as offshore banking - its main industry - is effectively shut down.
President Nicos Anastasiades - who negotiated the deal with the "troika" of the EU, the European Central Bank and the IMF in Brussels - is to address the nation in the coming hours.
It is not clear when Cypriot banks will reopen, or when temporary restrictions on the movement of capital will be lifted.
Sunday, March 17, 2013 4:10:00 PM
People in Cyprus have reacted with shock to news of a one-off levy of up to 10% on savings as part of a 10bn-euro (£8.7bn; $13bn) bailout agreed in Brussels. The controversial plan, negotiated with the European Union and International Monetary Fund, marks a radical departure from previous eurozone bailouts.
People with under 100,000 euros in their accounts would face a one-off levy of 6.75%, while anything above would get a one-time tax of 9.9%. Depositors would be compensated with the equivalent amount in shares in their banks. If it goes ahead, the levy would affect many non-Cypriots with bank accounts, including UK expatriates. However, depositors in Cypriot banks' operations outside the country would not face a levy.
If you have any concerns about this or would like to discuss it further please get in touch.
Monday, March 11, 2013 3:28:00 PM
UK house sales hit their highest level in more than two-and-a-half years in February, but the figures do not signal a housing boom, surveyors say. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) said nearly 17 homes were sold per surveyor in the three months to February.
The rise in sales was set to continue, Rics said, even though inquiries from potential buyers had failed to pick up since January's cold snap. Prices were also relatively unchanged.
The number of homes being sold at present in the UK is about half the total seen in 2007 before the financial crisis hit, according to figures from HM Revenue and Customs. The housing market has had little momentum in recent years, although a number of government schemes have assisted the market for new homes.
However, many borrowers have found it tough to raise the deposit required by lenders to secure a home loan.
Sunday, March 03, 2013 11:14:00 AM
The number of loans being offered by banks has continued to fall in spite of the Funding for Lending Scheme (FLS). The scheme, which began in August last year, was designed to encourage banks to lend more money, both to individuals and businesses.
However, the Bank of England has announced that net lending fell by more than £2.4bn in the final quarter of last year. Lloyds was amongst the banks that lent less, while Barclays lent more.
In total, £80bn is being made available to banks at reduced interest rates, but only if they guarantee to lend that money on to Britain's small and medium-sized businesses, as well as individuals.
Tuesday, February 26, 2013 11:27:00 AM
The UK has lost its triple-A credit rating for the first time since the 1970s. Moody's, one of the three biggest credit rating agencies in the world, has downgraded its assessment of the outlook for the UK economy.
Moody's now expects that economic growth will be "sluggish" into the second half of the decade. This means it will take longer for the government to reduce its budget deficit - the amount it has to borrow every year because it is spending more than it receives in tax revenue.
The lack of growth makes cutting the deficit more difficult because when an economy is not growing, less tax is coming in from companies and individuals, while the government has to spend more on welfare payments, such as unemployment benefit. And as the UK's debt problem will take longer to get under control, there will be a deterioration of the country's "shock-absorption capacity".
In other words, it will make it harder for us to cope with any external problems, such as a worsening of the crisis in the eurozone, our main trading partner.
Wednesday, February 20, 2013 10:20:00 AM
The UK is the worst country in the world at saving for retirement, data from a new report into global savings shows. In the HSBC report, “The Future of Retirement: A New Reality”, the average Briton is found to spend 19 years in retirement but with savings that will run out after just seven. It means the average Briton’s savings only covers 37 per cent of their retirement income with the rest being covered by other income such as the state or employment.
On average globally people are storing up enough to pay for 56 per cent of their retirement which is an average of 18 years, leaving an eight year shortfall.
In the report, HSBC group head of wealth management Simon Williams says: “There are, of course, many obstacles to saving, including the lack of a regular savings habit and the financial impact of unexpected life events.
“Unfortunately, the impact of saving too little or too late will only become clear in later years, when people find they are retiring without the necessary income to support an active and fulfilling retirement.”