News headlines 19th September 2013

Economics

  • Wall Street was left stunned last night after the Federal Reserve un-expectantly announced that it would not start to taper its $85 billion a month stimulus QE3 programme. Wall Street hit record highs after the news as investors welcomed cheap money being pumped into the economy.

Personal Finance

  • In a mortgage shake-up Santander is abandoning its policy of shrinking mortgage books and aims to sell £25 billion of gross new mortgages next year. Last year the Spanish owned bank lent only £14.6 billion of new mortgages and its portfolio shrank by £9.4 billion.
  • Hundreds of thousands of workers have been unfairly charged high fees on their retirement pots the Office of Fair Trading is expected to rule today. The regulator will criticise pension providers for increasing management fees on retirement funds left dormant by employees who have moved jobs.

Property

  • George Osborne yesterday told the Institute of Directors that he was not inflating a housing bubble. An analysis of 10 house price surveys, including Sequence and LSL Property Services, shows that estimates of average prices vary from £154,000 to £252,000. Guardian p.31
  • More than half of the 50,000 families hit by the bedroom tax have been pushed in rent arrears since it was introduced in April, found by a survey by National Housing Federation.
  • Heron Tower could be in receivership in 48 hours if a deal is not struck between investors. Talks over a refinancing of the £300 million loan between Heron International and the Middle Eastern investor that financed the tower. If a resolution cannot be agreed receivers may have to be appointed to sell it.
  • The demand for the flotation of Foxtons is so intense that seven buyers are understood to be fighting for every new share.

Recruitment:

  • Blackberry could be shed up to 5,000 staff or the equivalent of 40% of its workforce in a bid to bring spiralling costs under control.
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