The credit referencing agency, Experian, has released data that they suggest clearly shows a consistent rise in the cases of fraudulent applications made for mortgages and insurance products during 2012. The figures show that for every 10,000 cases submitted, 38 of these included falsified information, a figure that has increased from 35 in 2011. Perhaps most notably, the number of fraudulent cases has doubled in comparison to that of 2007 when, prior to the credit crunch, there were 18 fraudulent cases recorded per 10,000.
The Bank of England has again held the base rate of interest at 0.5%, maintaining the lowest rate in the history of the base rate for over 3 years. This announcement follows an interesting piece of news coming out of the Bank this week around predictions over what may happen with mortgage rates in the coming three months.
Companies currently marketing themselves as PPI claims experts are reporting that they will aim their sights on the mortgage market, and particularly brokers, whom they believe have sold interest only and sub-prime loans when their clients would have benefited from alternative options. With the interest only method consistently in the public eye at present, due to pressures from the FSA to restrict lenders offering the option on a wider basis, the companies believe that many people will be keen to find out whether they have a valid claim.
Bold steps to relax the regulatory process, allowing new banking institutions to enter the UK market have been introduced this week by the FSA and Bank of England. The aim is to make the process to apply for a banking license far easier than is presently the case. The regulators jointly claim that the proposed alterations to regulatory legislation will help to diminish any existing pressures that new banks may face when applying.
George Osborne was always going to be on a hiding to nothing with this one, especially from the contractor community. He started by boldly announcing that “this is a budget for those who aspire to work hard and get on”. Inspiring words indeed, but undone a little in the detail that he subsequently presented. The headlines promised much for hard-working contractors, particularly around paying less tax, but the detail was a little disappointing.
26th March 2013
Help to Buy Scheme & Clydesdale Bank give Contractors low mortgage rates
In his budget last week, the Chancellor announced the most revolutionary boost to the UK housing market since Thatcher’s Right to Buy in the 1980s. The Government has launched an initiative that commits £130 billion worth of mortgage lending to the housing market.
An in-depth report commissioned by the ratings agency Moody’s claims that as many as three quarters of all mortgage borrowers over the age of 60 are utilising the interest only method to repay their debt. In a year which has seen the vast majority of lenders restricting or even retracting the method completely as a viable plan of repayment, the news will bring the inherent issues of interest only usage back into the spotlight.
This week a motion presented to the House of Commons by Labour MP’s, to introduce a mansion tax on high value UK properties, was defeated after voting concluded. The mooted plan to introduce a new levy on properties worth more than £2m was brought to the Commons by Shadow Treasury minister Chris Leslie, but the final count stated 304 votes against, to 241 in favour of the move.
The Bank of England have again maintained the base rate at 0.5%, now making it 4 years of record low rates in the UK.
HM Revenue and Customs are to begin enforcing heavy tax fines on current and historically undeclared profits from the sales of second homes and buy to let properties. As part of the proposed penalties, HMRC will offer leniency through “preferential terms” by charging lower penalties for a short period. However, if guilty parties do not heed warnings and come forward, the taxation penalties will be far greater.