News Headlines for the 29th December


Hector Sants, the chief executive of the FSA at the time of the banking crisis was knighted in the honours list, to a mixed reception. The Guardian takes it as a signal from ministers that they are showing their gratitude for his contribution for keeping the banking sector from systemic meltdown, while Paul Moore, the ex-HBOS head of risk calls it extraordinary as Sants was “part of a system that clearly failed”.


First-time buyer numbers reached their highest in five years in 2012, according to Halifax. They claim 216,000 first-timers were able to buy, up from 193,000 in 2011, and Anne Ashworth argues this was down to an increasing number able to turn to the Bank of Mum and Dad to meet the average deposit of £28,000.


School leavers are being urged to go straight into professional jobs without obtaining a degree as skills minister Matthew Hancock announces a set of schemes to throw open the door for non-graduates to train as lawyers, accountants and insurance brokers. Auditors and accountants can now train straight from school at PWC, while a law course for school leavers is being designed with BPP. Currently, around 500,000 young people a year become apprentices in careers like construction and engineering.

Personal Finance:

Microfinanciers are giving payday lenders a run for their money, according to the FT. Fair Finance, the example cited, has raised £750,000 from banks wealthy investors and £2.5m from banks as it attempts to show there are ways to lend viably to the poor. APR works out at about 55%, much less than the equivalent with Wonga. Investors have been promised an annual return, capped at 5%.


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