My pick of last week’s news is the two pieces on SMI. It is being reported that with about 7 weeks to go before SMI as a benefit ends, less than 5% of the people getting SMI have agreed to take the replacement loan.
Graph of the week
— Paul Kirby (@paul1kirby) February 9, 2018
- Anger as thousands unaware they face a ‘second mortgage’ Guardian: Calls for the delay of a new loan set to replace SMI in just 10 weeks’ time.
- item on SMI in this week’s MoneyBox.
Watchdog admits investigation into second mortgages after fears borrowers are inflating their incomes – and Shawbrook is the first to apologise Mail: The financial watchdog is investigating several firms offering second charge mortgages after evidence emerged over lax lending standards.
Personal lending increases four times faster than wages BBC: British households amassed £37bn in unpaid personals loans in 2017, an increase of £7bn from three years earlier.
UK households increasingly comfortable with debt burdens FT: British households do not share regulators’ worries about rising levels of consumer debt, according to official data suggesting consumers are feeling more confident than ever about their ability to handle their debts.
Blow to pensioners as they are forced to close Post Office accounts where their state pension is paid Mail:
The Government is now phasing the account out, as it is too expensive to run.
LOQBOX – how saving can improve your credit score – my article on a new product that has found a way to help your credit score by regular saving.
Is buying cryptocurrencies on credit cards really being banned to stop a glut of Section 75 claims? Mail: Lloyds told This is Money that this isn’t the case.
FCA: Gopee found guilty of acting as an illegal money lender Mortgage Solutions: Gopee agreed 147 new credit agreements with consumers for up to £1,000,000 over a four-year period. He ran his business, collected loan payments and registered charges over consumers’ properties and pursued court actions for money judgements and for possession. My comment – why on earth did it take so long to prosecute him?
Public offered cash to snitch on illegal parking Time (£ paywall) Rewards of up to £30 are being given to members of the public under a “shop a motorist” scheme.
The Insolvency Panel – a start-up aiming to introduce more transparency and better ethics into the IVA sector has launched.
“No dog, can’t walk”: tales from the PIP and ESA front line House of Common’s Work and Pensions committee publishes what it describes as a distressing report on PIP and ESA claimants’ experiences eg “When did you catch Downs Syndrome?”
Government confirms Universal Credit change that could take away free school meals from over one million children Mirror: Changes to the flagship Universal Credit system will mean a child will lose their free meals when a family earns more than £7,400.
- the government has chosen to ignore the evidence, eg from CPAG, that this risks creating poverty traps for people in work and will be hard to implement.
Free markets are failing the poor Times (£ paywall) From housing to energy there are problems that neither deregulation nor nationalisation can solve.