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Mortgage approvals continue to drop

Mortgage lending dropped once again in October, with approvals down almost three-quarters.

The Bank of England found that October mortgage approvals dropped by 74 per cent since October 2007 – 32,000 mortgages were approved, 1,000 fewer than in the previous month.

Total net lending to individuals in October reached £1.3 billion, which was lower than September’s £1.8bn and also lower than the previous six-month averages.

Mortgage lending was down to £0.5bn, again lower than the September increase of £1.5bn and the previous six-month averages of £2.7bn.

Remortgaging unsurprisingly rose in October to 72,000, 1,000 more than September’s remortgage figures.

RICS chief economist Simon Rubinsohn says: “The continuing lack of activity in the housing market is clearly demonstrated by the latest mortgage approvals data from the Bank of England which remain at historically low levels.

“First time buyers and homeowners alike are still struggling to buy a property as banks are still requesting sizable deposits, further stagnating the property market, this will continue unless banks begin to loosen up on lending conditions. The lack of transactions in the property market is now taking its toll on the high street with spending on a wide range of consumer durable goods plummeting.

“This has been reflected not just in the collapse in MFI but poor trading news from most other retailers. The Bank of England will need to cut rates further this week for any chance of getting the mortgage market moving.”


IFAs face cash call from old PI policies

Professional indemnity mutual insurer Gauntlet Risk Management has issued a cash call to a number of advisers, claiming that surplus liabilities are owed on policies that in some cases expired years ago.

ABI’s 30-day transfer target misses the point

The Association of British Insurers’ 30-day target for transferring pension fund has been criticised by advisers.
The Retirement Adviser director of retirement planning Nick Flynn said it was ridiculous that while some firms would guarantee a quote for an annuity for two or three weeks, the failure of other firms to transfer funds on time left those quotes redundant. “On one hand, you are offering 30 days to move the money and on the other, most insurers are promising people two or three week guarantees. You are promising the client something they cannot have because the rates are going to move,” he said.

2009 Forecast to be the year of income

BNY Mellon Asset Management head of distribution Paul Feeney believes the UK fund industry may contract by 20 per cent in the credit crunch and that 2009 will be the year of income.

Linda Will

Every Monday, Stroud & Swindon sales and marketing director Linda Will gets up at 5am, drives 200 miles from her Yorkshire home to Stroud in Gloucestershire and stays there for three nights before making the commute back on Thursday night and working from home on Friday. “You have to have some commitment to the role to do that commute every week,” she says.


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