News Headlines: Friday 21st December 2012

Personal Finance

Female drivers feel the pinch as insurance premiums rise today. Young women drivers will see noticeable rises in the amount they pay for car insurance from today after a new EU ruling came into action. The new rules have been referred to as an early Christmas git for men while women will unfortunately have a much tougher path ahead with premiums set to rise by up to 25%. Those that will be the effected the worst are women aged 17 -25 as premiums may double for them. The ruling is expected to have unpredictable effects across the country and may affect some retirement products as insurers won’t take longer life expectancies for women into account. But there is hope for women who can prove that they are safe frivers by certain methods such as fitting a GPS-enabled black box insurance system. (Daily Telegraph, City AM)


Britain’s property market has a ‘stark North-South divide’ with house prices rising in London and the South but falling across the rest of the country according to property website While the cost of houses in London has rocketed by an average of £28,500 over the past 12 months, prices have been falling in 7 out of 11 regions. Ever since December 2011 price shave climbed in London, South West, South East and the East and has been a year of strength. Arguably many homeowners can sell their property more easily than a vast majority in other parts of the county that have major barriers in their face when searching for a buyer. Prices are falling in Scotland, the West Midlands Yorkshire and Wales, to name but a few, as adverse funding conditions are taking a real toll on the mortgage market, prevent many first time buyers from getting a foot on the property ladder while others are unable to sell their homes and often they are forced to drop the asking price for their home and often face negative equity.


In economic news, today the Parliamentary Commission into Banking Standards will today tell the Chancellor, George Osborne that the Bank of England must be handed the legal authority to break up banks that misbehave. The Commission’s chairman Andrew Tyrie claimed that failure to do so, could push Britain at risk of a fresh financial crisis. It was said the current plans to reform banking and impose a ringfence to protect retail depositors fell well short of what is required. The Bank of England will hold reserve powers to break up banks that try to break ring fence and this could lead to all banks facing break up. This radical proposal is expected to cause a stir as banks may respond with fierce resistance, many having already complained that a wave of new regulations will raise the cost of lending and hold back the economy. Some City groups were furious at the prospect of plans for full separation, as this could result in greater uncertainty to the financial sector and would seriously damage economic growth. (Independent, City AM, Financial Times)


Jobless people must sign up to website or lose benefits, according to a new Government job search web site. Otherwise unemployed people may face losing their Jobseekers Allowance. The website is called the ‘Universal Jobmatch’ and is viewed in an extremely sharp light as being highly controversial The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (Iain Duncan Smith) announced that joining the site would become compulsory, but it will take a little time until it is mandatory. It was launched last month and since then has been criticised , with hackers illustrating its vulnerability to attack.” ( Independent)


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