Posts Tagged: ‘England’

‘Now Is Right Time’ To Sort Out Finances

October 15, 2014 Posted by admin

Over half of Britons are not ‘financially fit’, a new study reveals.

Research carried out by Lloyds TSB as part of its bank mass index (BMI) suggested that the typical person is managing various areas of their finances, such as investments, unsecured debt and pensions, ineffectively. Basing its findings on the body mass index, the financial services firm pointed out that the average adult has a BMI score of 28. With this figure meaning someone is “financially overweight”, it was revealed that such people owe a “much greater” amount of debt than they have in savings. Overall, 46 per cent of consumers were revealed to be over-committed in a monetarily sense.

However, fiscal problems could be even more pronounced for the 12 per cent of adults revealed to be “financially obese”. With a BMI of at least 30, these people were indicated to be relying too much on credit as over a quarter of their income goes towards making repayments on unsecured borrowing.

Due to such difficulties with money it may be possible that significant numbers of consumers are struggling with loan and credit card repayments, in addition to having uncompetitive financial products such as pension plans and savings accounts.

On the other hand, 42 per cent of people are shown to be “fit” when it comes to managing monetary deals and offers. Meanwhile, young people and those living in Scotland were shown to be most likely to be financially unfit, in comparison to people from Wales and the south-west of England who are the most adept at managing money.

Commenting on the findings, Ian Larkin, managing director of consumer banking at Lloyds TSB, said: “Our physical health is something that the nation is taking increasingly seriously. Most of us know our body mass index, but our financial health seems to be less of a priority and often people have misapprehensions about the real state of their money.”

Research from the financial services provider also revealed that a quarter (25 per cent) of people lack the motivation required to sort out their spending, with 22 per cent of respondents believing that doing so is too challenging. However, Lloyds TSB pointed out that following its survey 16 per cent are looking to take immediate action to get to grips with money management.

“The Lloyds TSB BMI is a great wake up call for people who might have been neglecting their financial affairs – helping to put them on the right track. There has never been a better time to get Britain financially fit,” Mr Larkin added.

Furthermore, the firm advised consumers looking to sort out their money to examine their spending habits and set up a budget. Meanwhile, a debt consolidation loan was also advised as a means of quickly repaying monies owed on credit and store cards. Lloyds TSB also suggested that loans often attract a more competitive rate of interest than plastic borrowing.

By getting a debt consolidation loan, people may find that they can merge numerous demands on their finances into a single low-cost monthly repayment. This could be of particular assistance to those looking to get to grips with mortgage costs. A recent Abbey Mortgages study showed that about a third of homeowners – some 10.3 million consumers – state they would take out a fixed-rate mortgage if they were required to remortgage their property immediately.

Consumers Reluctant to ‘Discuss’ Finances

October 11, 2014 Posted by admin

Despite concerns about money management, Britons are generally unwilling to talk about their financial situation, a new study indicates.

In research carried out by Picture Financial, consumers are four times as likely to discuss ‘the birds and the bees’ with their family members than monetary matters. Overall, finances are ranked fourth on the list of “hot topics” talked about in the home coming behind sex, current affairs and religion. Meanwhile, just under two out of five (38 per cent) households argue more often about money than work relationships, television, family members or politics.

The news comes as more than three-quarters of Britons are concerned about their family’s financial management, with half of the population believing that lending through credit cards and personal loans is a good thing. These respondents added that, when used sensibly, borrowing can be an “acceptable means” of maintaining a certain standard of living.

Commenting on the figures, Julia Dallimore, marketing director for Picture Financial, said: “There is a sharp contrast in our willingness to talk about sex and current affairs compared with credit and borrowing. This reluctance to discuss our money can lead to a ‘head in the sand’ approach to our finances. Being more open with our money management and taking regular time out to review and sort our finances can make all the difference to our financial health.”

Behavioural psychologist Donna Dawson added: “Despite being a nation of regular credit users, we tend to shroud our family finances in mystery when we really don’t need to and as a result this can lead to unnecessary tension. We shouldn’t feel so restricted when it comes to discussing our finances with our family, as a lack of communication can impact not only on family life but also on our ability to take proper financial stock.”

The Picture Financial study also showed that younger people tend to have the greatest concerns over credit. Some 19 per cent of respondents aged between 16 and 24 were reported to be constantly worried about their finances, with this proportion falling to six per cent among those over the age of 55. However, young Britons were said they were reluctant to discuss their monetary situation as only seven per cent regularly talk to their family members about this subject.

In addition, older consumers are indicated as having a “more realistic attitude” to money. Just under half (48 per cent) of the over-55s claim that credit can be a good thing if used wisely, in comparison to 34 per cent of 25 to 34-year-olds. Britons in the upper age bracket were also reported to be honest about their finances, as 92 per cent have claimed to have never lied about money.

At the beginning of last month, Helen Saxon, a spokesperson for the Finance and Leasing Association, pointed out that credit uptake is decreasing due to the effect of recent base rate increases by the Bank of England over the last year. However, she claimed that borrowing can be “a good thing” if used well as it gives people the opportunity to make purchases they would be unable to do so otherwise and has in the past helped to support the British economy.

Car Consumers Should ‘Shop Around’ For Finance Deals

September 25, 2014 Posted by admin

Despite further pressure on their personal finances, demand for new cars is rising among Britons, new figures reveal.

According to the Deals on Wheels report by the AA, interest in new registration vehicles has risen by 22 per cent during the past year in spite of five base rate rises by the Bank of England since August 2006. A third (33 per cent) of drivers are looking to buy a new automobile over the next 12 months, in comparison to the 26 per cent recorded in the same time last year.

The financial services provider also pointed to statistics showing that the real cost of cars had decreased by 26 per cent over the last ten years, figures which were suggested to be “impacting people’s decisions to make an investment in new wheels”.

In comparison, the second-hand car market was shown to have fallen over recent months. Currently, just over a third (36 per cent) of respondents are planning to get a car which is less than three years old – a fall of 16 percentage points from the 44 per cent recorded in a study taken at the start of 2007.

Reliability and mechanical problems are the main factor pushing demand for new cars, accounting for 32 per cent of people surveyed. Concerns over running costs of vehicles make up 28 per cent of consumers’ reasons to get a brand new automobile, compared to environmental worries which stand at 18 per cent.

Commenting on the figures, Lloyd East, head of AA Personal Loans, said: “As interest rates rise, UK consumers are beginning to tighten their purse strings. But our research shows strong consumer demand for new registration cars ahead of September 1st. This suggests that reasons for buying a car are not only influenced by price at purchase.”

And with about a third of those planning on getting a car set to take out personal loans or showroom finance deal to fund their purchase, Mr East suggested that more people are becoming increasingly concerned about the running costs and the practicality of their cars. “With interest rates rising, the cost of buying a car on finance is increasing and it is therefore essential that people intending to buy a new or used car shop around for the best deal before heading for the forecourt,” he added.

Those in Scotland were revealed to be “keeping their foot on the accelerator” when it comes to buying a car as 41 per cent of consumers in the region are aiming on getting a new vehicle over the coming year. This compares to some 26 per cent of residents in the south of England.

Overall, older Britons are driving the new car market as 52 per cent of those over the age of 55 are set to make such a purchase. Meanwhile, a fifth of 25 to 34-year-olds are looking to do so, as younger people are reported to be much more likely to buy a used automobile.

Earlier this month, Tim Moss, head of loans for moneysupermarket, claimed that those considering buying a new 57 registration car in September could be “taken for a ride” if they choose an uncompetitive finance product. The price comparison website suggested that consumers opting for a showroom deal instead of a cheap personal loan could collectively be paying 140 million in extra interest payments.