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Mortgage lending falls dramatically in April

New mortgage lending by building societies fell by almost half last month to £1.78bn from £3.39bn in March.

The figures released by the Building Societies Association fuel speculation that the housing market in the UK may have peaked.

The Council of Mortgage Lenders confirms this downturn, reporting that total UK mortgage industry loans dipped to £6.6bn from £7.1bn. The British Bankers Association says mortgage loans in their sector dropped 14 per cent in April to £2.01bn from 2.35bn..

BSA director general Adrian Coles says: “After the strong start to the house-buying season in March the market has levelled off.”


Standard Life gives Woollard platform

Standard Life has offered carpetbagger Fred Woollard a 500 word platform to make his case for demutualisation.The company plans to write to its 2.3m policyholders next month to make its case for retaining its mutual status. Woollard had requested access to Standard Life&#39s list of policyholders but, the company had refused on the grounds that […]

Move over Darling

Alistair Darling, the dour Secretary of State for Social Security, and now Champion for Older People, caused a mild ripple of controversy at a private dinner recently.In a neat interpretation of a Labour mantra, he revealed that stakeholder pensions are intended for the few, not the many. Or more exactly, that they “have always been […]

Audit report will warn public not to bet on free LTC

An independent report from the Audit Commission will highlight the needfor IFAs to warn clients not to gamble on the state providing freelong-term care.The report, published this week, shows that individuals can end up payingthe same for state care as they would for private care.Long-term care insurers say the report is a classic example of […]

Clerical joins commission fray with revamp of GPP

Clerical Medical is the latest pension provider to enter the pre-stakeholder commission war following a revamp of its Staff Link group pension plan.The move sees the life office flexing the financial muscle of owner the Halifax, to offer IFAs commission of up to 60 per cent of Lautro rates on a stakeholder-style charging structure.It follows […]

Choose life…

Sarah Scott  – Marketing Consultant, Royal London  This month sees the return of Renton, Sickboy, Begbie and Spud in the sequel to the film Trainspotting. Just over 20 years later, we return to see exactly how life treated the characters whose lifestyle was less than ideal back in 1996. Did they choose a job, choose […]


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