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The majority of our applications are successful (compared to the industry average). The reason for this is that we keep our clients informed of current market conditions. Below you will find information, which will help you decide not only which company provides best value for money, but also more importantly will they consider your application.
This section of the web site is dedicated to providing news and statistics relating to the UK employment market. Where ever we can we have tried to obtain only those articles that have a direct relevance to the current situation in the UK.
13th August 2007
E.surv has confirmed that it has seen a significant rise in repossession valuations in the last 12 months, with requests for post possession valuations from lenders up by 62% in July 2007 compared to July 2006.
Richard Sexton, director of business development at e.surv, says: "This is a large rise, albeit from relatively low numbers.
"At present, we do not believe this will be a return to the early 90's and indeed with arrears beginning to fall, we may already have hit a peak.
"Lenders will do all they can to support borrowers in remaining with a property rather than repossess and better arrears management in the industry will also be a factor."
Sexton adds that one area of concern is new build properties.
He says: "We are seeing a disproportionate number of new build flats in particular that were originally bought as investments but which have either never been occupied or which have failed to make the right return.
"Lenders are concerned about this area and in some city centre locations; we could see a significant impact on price if new build developments suffer from repossessions."
23 July 2007
The Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) and Mortgage Payment Protection Insurance (MPPI) sectors have both come under severe criticism from the Financial Services Authority (FSA) and the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) in recent months but despite reservations over the markets MPPI and Accident Sickness and Unemployment (ASU) cover both have a vital place in the market. Despite the OFTs insistence that the Competition Commission involves MPPI as part of its market study, a number of organisations, including the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) and the Association of Mortgage Intermediaries (AMI) both expressed their disappointment at the inclusion of MPPI.
Following a review of the market the FSA admitted failings in a number of areas of the selling practices. In its study the OFT indicated that advisers' failed to give customers clear information during the sales conversation, with the study also suggesting that customers were still not being made fully aware that there may be parts of the policy under which they could not claim.
However, sold correctly, and complying with the FSA's 'Treating Customers Fairly' (TCF) initiative MPPI has the ability to aid borrowers in a time of need. Essentially when they have experienced financial difficulties, or have had to take time off work, for reasons of sickness, or otherwise.
MPPI and ASU cover is an ideal insurance policy for borrowers taking out a mortgage. Due to the uncertainty over their futures, being prudent and taking out MPPI and ASU cover is now becoming a necessity rather than a luxury.
According to a report by financial analysts, Standards & Poors, the number of borrowers classified as non-conforming and in arrears rose from 17 per cent to 23 per cent during 2006. The sector also saw repossessions treble. With job security less secure than a decade ago, and ever-increasing life expectancy predictions, illness is a far more pressing concern than ten, or even five years ago. As a result MPPI and ASU, when sold correctly, have a pivotal role to play and can help borrowers obtain a sure footing when it seems everything is crashing down around them.
MPPI and ASU both provide cover if the borrower has trouble paying bills, such as their mortgage, as a result of a change in their circumstances. ASU will cover borrowers if they fall ill, endure a period of time when they are out of work, or have an accident that forces them out of employment, be it temporary, or permanent.
Despite the level of largely unfounded criticism of the MPPI market its importance is growing. ASU cover has a huge role to play in the market, especially looking at mortgage protection. The government gives very little assistance to those with difficulties paying their mortgage for whatever reason, so protection is invaluable. Most policies available now have a back to work assistance element, whether it be helping someone who has had an accident and needs rehabilitation, or helping people find a new job which is another good addition to the proposition that this type of policy offers.
18 July 2007
The trends in the employment and unemployment rates are both falling slightly. There has been a further fall in the number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance benefit. The trend in the inactivity rate is increasing. The number of job vacancies has increased. Growth in average earnings, both excluding and including bonuses, has fallen.
The employment rate for people of working age was 74.5 per cent for the three months ending in May 2007, up 0.1 from the previous quarter but down 0.1 over the year.
The number of people in employment for the three months ending in May 2007 was 29.08 million. This is up 93,000 over the quarter and up 180,000 over the year. Total hours worked per week were 930.2 million, up 2.2 million over the quarter and up 6.5 million over the year. These figures for the number of people in employment and total hours worked are the highest since comparable records began in 1971.
The unemployment rate was 5.4 per cent, down 0.1 from the previous quarter but unchanged over the year. The number of unemployed people fell by 35,000 over the quarter but increased by 2,000 over the year, to reach 1.66 million.
The claimant count was 864,100 in June 2007, down 13,800 over the previous month and down 91,100 over the year. The claimant count has now fallen for eleven out of the last twelve months.
The inactivity rate for people of working age was 21.2 per cent for the three months ending in May 2007, unchanged on the quarter but up 0.1 over the year. The number of economically inactive people of working age fell by 1,000 over the quarter but increased by 85,000 over the year to reach 7.93 million.
The annual rate of growth in average earnings (the AEI) excluding bonuses was 3.5 per cent in May 2007, down 0.1 percentage point from the previous month. Including bonuses it was also 3.5 per cent, down 0.6 from the previous month.
There were 641,900 job vacancies for the three months to June 2007, up 5,100 over the previous quarter and up 52,500 over the year.
The redundancy rate for the three months to May 2007 was 4.9 per 1,000 employees. This is the lowest figure since comparable records began in 1995 and is down 0.9 both over the quarter and over the year. Source: Office for National Statistics Notes: People in employment, unemployed and economically inactive make up the total household population aged 16 and over, measured through the Labour Force Survey on a consistent basis since 1971. Working age is defined as 16-64 for men and 16-59 for women.
12 April 2007
The Competition Commission publishes an issues statement as part of its investigation into the market for the sale of loan payment protection insurance and credit card payment protection insurance. It will be used as the basis for collecting evidence from payment protection insurance providers between May and July 2007. The deadline for implementation of remedial measures is set for February 2009. Consumers are encouraged to claim compensation for being mis-sold single premium payment protection insurance policies. Media speculation reports that claims could exceed £10 billion.
29 March 2007
The FSA and the payment protection insurance industry agree on a series of measures to improve fairness and transparency of refunds for customers who have bought single premium loan payment protection insurance policies. The agreement, secured in collaboration with a number of trade associations means that on single premium loan payment protection insurance policies, firms should not include nil refund terms in contracts with new customers nor apply nil refund terms in contracts with existing customers.
14 March 2007
Stuart King, Head of Retail Intelligence and Regulatory Themes for the Financial Services Authority, publishes a speech on The Way Forward for MPPI and PPI. He said that the FSA's work in the payment protection insurance market has demonstrated that it has not been sold correctly and remains a top priority for the FSA.
26 February 2007
Cathedral Motors, a chain of car dealerships in the Midlands, receives a public censure from the Financial Services Authority for failing to treat customers fairly when selling loan payment protection insurance.
19 February 2007
The unemployment rate stood at 5.5% in the quarter ending December, down from 5.6% in the previous quarter. The number of unemployed people fell by 23,000 over the quarter but increased by 133,000 over the year, to reach 1.69 million. Average earnings growth, however, slowed by 3.7% in the year to December.
15 February 2007
The Financial Services Authority fines Capital One Bank (Europe) Plc (Capital One) £175,000 for failing to have adequate systems and controls for selling payment protection insurance and for failing to treat its customers fairly.
07 February 2007
The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) refers the market for the supply of loan payment protection insurance, credit card payment protection insurance and mortgage payment protection insurance in the UK to the Competition Commission.
07 February 2007
The Council of Mortgage Lenders is disappointed by the Office of Fair Trading's decision to include mortgage payment protection insurance in its referral of the payment protection insurance market to the Competition Commission. The OFT recognises that mortgage payment protection insurance differs from the wider payment protection insurance industry market, and acknowledges that there is less concern about it.
30 January 2007
The Financial Services Authority fines GE Capital Bank Ltd (GECB) £610,000 for failing to have adequate systems and controls for selling insurance which includes store card and credit card payment protection insurance and for failing to treat its customers fairly.
25 January 2007
Financial consumer websites and media commentators back the move for people to claim back their payment protection insurance premiums if they have been mis-sold loan payment protection insurance or credit card payment protection insurance policies.
11 January 2007
The Financial Services Authority announces details of a new phase of its work designed to improve sales standards in the loan payment protection insurance market, one of the largest programmes of thematic work the FSA has undertaken. An extensive programme of mystery shops and follow-up visit to firms identified as deficient is due for completion by the end of June 2007.
18 July 2007
20 December 2006
Home shopping group Redcats is fined £270,000 for breaching FSA principles when selling loan payment protection insurance.
30 November 2006
The Council of Mortgage Lenders submits its response to the Office of Fair Trading's consultation on its proposal to refer the payment protection insurance market to the Competition Commission. The CML argues that mortgage payment protection insurance should be excluded from the referral.
21 November 2006
Capital Mortgage Connections is fined £17,500 by the FSA for cold calling potential customers and mis-selling payment protection insurance.
26 September 2006
Loans.co.uk Limited is fined £455,000 by the FSA for failing to treat its customers fairly when selling loan payment protection insurance.
18 July 2007
19 September 2006
The Results of Office of Fair Trading's follow up to its thematic work on the mis-selling of payment protection insurance is published. It finds that some firms selling payment protection insurance are still failing to treat their customers fairly. The OFT proposes to refer the loan payment protection insurance, credit card payment protection insurance and mortgage payment protection insurance markets to the Competition Commission.
19 September 2006
The Council of Mortgage Lenders expresses surprise at the OFT decision to include mortgage payment protection insurance in the Competition Commission referral. The second phase of the OFT's investigation did not include prime mortgage payment protection insurance, as the FSA uncovered few compliance failures in this sector during the first phase of its investigation.
15 September 2006
The number of people out of work rose by 93,000 to 1.7 million, taking the rate of unemployment to a six-year high of 5.5% in the three months to July, up from the previous quarter's 5.3%. However, the ONS revealed that a rise in bonuses pushed average earnings up by 4.4% in the year to July, from 4.3% in June.
17 July 2006
The Financial Services Authority scores an early victory in its battle against insurers that refuse to hand consumers a refund when they cancel a payment protection insurance policy. The FSA secures undertakings from three insurers, including Norwich Union, that they will remove 'nil refund' clauses from their policies.
03 April 2006
The Office of Fair Trading launches a market study to look in depth at the payment protection insurance sector following a super-complaint from Citizens Advice made in September 2005.
04 November 2005
Supervision and mystery shopping highlight poor behaviour FSA calls on industry to improve sales practices urgently A number of firms to be investigated The Financial Services Authority has today called on firms to take urgent action to ensure that their selling practices for PPI are in line with regulatory requirements, following a programme of visits and mystery shopping that uncovered poor selling practices and a lack of proper compliance controls among a sample of firms.
The firms that sell PPI and the insurers who provide the policies will be receiving detailed feedback on the FSA's findings and will need to address any problems raised. Some more serious cases will be referred for further investigation with a view to possible enforcement action.
Having put the industry on notice to improve its sales practices, the FSA plans to undertake a second round of thematic work early next financial year to check that compliance levels have improved. It will also be meeting with the relevant trade associations to seek their commitment to changing and improving the market. Clive Briault, FSA Managing Director for Retail Markets, said:
"When properly structured, explained and sold, payment protection insurance can provide worthwhile cover for consumers against unexpected changes in their personal circumstances. We were therefore pleased to see that sales of regular premium PPI sold with prime mortgages are generally compliant.
"However, compliance standards in other areas of the market, notably single premium PPI business, are generally weak. Those firms where these problems exist must take urgent action to address them.
"This poses a serious risk to consumers because of the poor disclosure of product and price details; the possibility that consumers may not be eligible to claim against their policies; and the fact that consumers may not be aware that they may receive little money back if they cancel these policies early."
The FSA identified the sale of PPI with credit arrangements as a priority ahead of taking on responsibility for general insurance regulation in January this year. After allowing some time for firms to become familiar with its rules, this summer it carried out a series of supervisory visits to firms and mystery shopping to assess compliance.
Of the 45 firms examined, 30 were selling PPI with revolving credit (credit and store cards and catalogues), unsecured loans and sub-prime mortgages and secured loans. Among these 30 firms, the FSA found that:
There was a risk of inappropriate sales: around half of the firms failed to take reasonable steps to ensure that customers did not buy policies on which they could not claim or which provided only very limited cover; There were inadequate controls in place for non-advised sales: about half of the firms selling on a non-advised basis did not have adequate systems to stop their staff giving advice or were providing information that amounted to giving advice; Advice on PPI was often likely to be poor: most firms did not have systems in place to assess suitability adequately; There was an over-reliance on product documentation given to the customer at the expense of explaining the policy to the customer orally: most firms selling by telephone did not give sufficient information on exclusions; The quality and timeliness of product and price disclosure by some firms selling single premium policies was poor; The level and structure of inducements and targets for sales staff could encourage mis-selling in some firms; and Training and competence of sales staff was not adequate in around half of firms; Compliance monitoring was variable and in some cases very poor. The results of the mystery shopping exercise were broadly consistent with these findings.
We strongly recommend that you contact us.
In the majority of cases we can obtain cover although terms and conditions may apply.
The range of policies that we offer can be used to provide cover for your mortgage, rent or loan payments against unemployment or redundancy. However, it is not necessary to have a mortgage to apply for this type of income protection cover.
Sometimes it pays to take advice if you want to know more about the benefits of each individual plan.
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