Monthly Archives: June 2015

Weekly Round-up, 26th June 2015.

Award news.

Last week HomeLoan Partnership won the “Best Directly Authorised Firm for Growth in Quality Mortgage Business” award at the prestigious Legal and General Mortgage Club awards. This award recognises all the hard work and effort both the Network’s staff and member firms put in to meet customers’ needs.

Following our achievement in the Financial Reporter awards with our 4th successive “Best Network” honour, this latest success truly re-enforces our belief that growth comes from delivering a great service. This service is underpinned by an innovative technology platform and a comprehensive product range that complements effective, efficient systems and controls.

Feeling flat in London.

New research from Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks has shown that 72% of first time buyers in the UK are now setting their sights on owning a house rather than a flat.

The UK average is up considerably on last year when only 57% of first time buyers said they wanted a house rather than a flat. The 28% who said they preferred a flat this year is significantly down on 2014 when 43% of UK first time buyers were aiming to buy a flat rather than a house.

The research also highlighted that only Londoners are opting for flats when taking their first step onto the property ladder reflecting the high property prices, availability of housing stock and distinct challenges of buying a home in the capital.

The London market shows a stark contrast to the 92% of those surveyed in Yorkshire and 90% in the Midlands who wanted a house rather than sampling apartment living.

Water damage.

People in Britain are still not checking the flood risk of their homes, in spite of increased incidents of flooding in recent years. 67% of respondents to a new YouGov survey2, which was commissioned by the Know Your Flood Risk Campaign, reports that they had never checked the flood risk level of their home.

Those in the North East were the least likely to have carried out any checks, with 88% confirming they had never researched their flood risk. This compares to 55% for those in the South East, which has also bared the brunt of significant flooding events – including last year when January 2014 was reported as the wettest January on record3, which resulted in over 100 flood warnings being issued in the South East region alone.

The survey identifies that the public are still not making flood checks part of their research process when moving into a new home; just 20% of respondents currently check the flood risk of their home before moving in, and only 11% check after.

The research went on to identify that there is confusion over who is responsible for protecting a home against flooding. Respondents considered a range of organisations that they believe have a responsibility to protect homes against flooding including the Environment Agency (57%), their local council (55%) and the Government (34%). Homeowners (55%), landlords (39%) and tenants (23%) were also noted as being responsible for protecting a home against flooding.

The twelve-percenters.

The latest Scottish Widows Retirement Report reveals that, outside of pension savings, people are saving on average £142 a month towards their retirement, rising 8% from £130 last year. Almost one in five (19%) expect to save more over the next 12 months and 40% feel positive about their long-term financial situation, up from 37% last year.

For the first time in 10 years, the average proportion of earnings being put away each month towards retirement has reached the 12% recommended by Scottish Widows – more than twice the level in 2006 (6%) and a third higher than in 2013 (9%).

Despite the recent raft of reforms designed to shift retirement planning higher up the nation’s financial agenda, there has been no improvement in the number of non-savers since last year, with one in five people (20%) – around 6.2million – not saving at all for retirement, the same level as recorded in 2009. This is the equivalent of double the population of Wales. A similar proportion of people have no savings or investments whatsoever, increasing from 17% last year to 19%.

The research found that the savings gap is widening among the self-employed and those working for small businesses, with 39% of self-employed people and 30% working in a small business not saving anything at all, up significantly from 23% last year.

The study of 5,000 UK adults highlighted a clear disparity between expectations of retirement income and the reality of how far savings will stretch. Whilst the average income Britons aged 30-65 believe they would need to feel comfortable in retirement is £23,469, people saving at the current average level can expect an annual income of £15,600 in retirement – an annual shortfall of over £7,800.

You are covered Pet.

More UK families have pet insurance than income protection or critical illness cover combined, according to figures from Aviva’s upcoming Family Finances Report.

Pre-released statistics from the report indicate that while 20% of UK families have pet insurance, the proportion of UK families with either income protection (8%) or critical illness cover (11%) is marginally lower at 19%. The statistics are even more striking, given that according to figures from Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association Pet Population Report 2014, only 46% of the UK population actually has a pet.

While this is good news for pets and owners alike, the figures suggest that people could be neglecting their own financial wellbeing, potentially leaving themselves vulnerable, should they fall ill and be unable to work.

The proportion of families who have life insurance is reassuringly higher however, with four out of 10 families having this form of cover. But how they might cope financially if faced with a critical illness, or if an income-earner was unable work due to accident or illness.

Payments from an income protection or critical illness plan can allow people to focus on their health, knowing that money matters are taken care of. And because they can spend their payments on what they choose – including dog walking services or pet products – they can make sure all their loved ones are cared for at a time of need.

And finally… Pizza at last.

It wasn’t Express, the wait was too long for that, but after 18 hours an extraordinary Pizza was created: 1.59545 kilometers, or nearly a mile long – a lot of dominos.

More than 60 of Italy’s best pizza-makers worked through the night to create the pizza at Milan’s world fair, Expo 2015. Their toil was rewarded with a proclamation by Guinness World Records judge on Saturday that it was the world’s longest pizza. Expo organizers said the record-setting pizza, made with 1.5 tons of mozzarella and 2 tons of tomato sauce, weighed some 5 tons in all.

The creation topped the record of a 1.1415-kilometer-long pizza made in Spain.

Remember when a moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, That’s amore. When the world seems to shine like you’ve had too much wine, That’s amore. Bells all over Milan were ringing ting-a-ling-a-ling, ting-a-ling-a-ling.

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Consumer communication.

We have seen the launch of a new discussion paper by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) on the subject of consumer communication – how do we as an industry ensure there is transparency with a customer understanding what has been bought and what it’s expected to do?

The regulator has identified 7 areas: T&Cs; fees and charges; scope of advice; technical terms in general insurance; retirement complexity; the role of complaints and the FSCS; and finding the right people to answer questions, that could improve and has invited the industry to comment.

You could argue that the communication message in our industry starts too late, a fact proven by the lack of a remortgage market even though rates are at all time lows and the need for another 7 based campaign – the 7 families – designed to try and raise the consequences of not protecting your income. The question of communication is not necessarily about the technicalities of our industry, but more to do with the benefits and consequences. How do we help consumers understand that we need to hear the actual position and not one they think the bank wants to hear? How do we create a world where there is a desire on the part of the consumer to have the risk of financial hardship protected for them and their families? “How much” should be the question being asked, not “why do I need it at all”. When can we get away from buying financial products based on price and move towards the benefit it provides?

Mastercard had the right idea in its adverts where it positioned the services the card offered not in terms of tangible value but an emotional benefit – imagine a critical illness provider trying to sell a product on the fact that you are paying for peace of mind – no its dictated in terms of ABI conditions or ABI Conditions plus, partial payments the list goes on. But think of the slogan, what’s the value of an immediate second opinion when you’ve just been told you have a serious illness, priceless. So from a communication perspective, the FCA 7 is a good start, the IP 7 is a great campaign, and we have the TCF six. Lets look to ensure we communicate the right balance of need, solution and products, after all there is an element of treating customers fairly that the consumer owns – recognising their own needs and taking action at the right time with the right attitude, the right product (which is advice) with the right information, and the right engagement post sale.

Neil Hoare

Commercial Director

All smiles at HLP CRM training.

All smiles at HLP CRM training

Just back from our round of workshops in Northern Ireland, HomeLoan Partnership’s Training Manager, Bob Haselip, gathered a few of HLP’s local network members together at our Head Office today for training on our revolutionary new Client Relationship Management system.

Weekly Round-up, 19th June 2015.

Feeling connected.

People are now in touch with their bank more frequently than ever before, according to new research by CACI for the British Bankers Association (BBA).

In 2015 UK customers interacted with their banks about their current account 2.1 billion times – an average of 3.5 times per month each. This is an increase of nearly 50% compared to 2010. CACI predict that in 2020 customers will interact with their banks 3.2 billion times – more than five times a month on average. This is largely being driven by a large increase in the uptake of digital banking.

Some people however, are not comfortable banking digitally. All the major high street banks have now done deals with the Post Office which allow their customers to carry out basic banking services in Post Office branches. This means that there is now a network of over 20,000 places where customers can bank. This is the largest effective bank branch network the UK has ever had. It has halved the distance people need to travel to get to a place where they can carry out basic banking face to face.

According to CACI’s research, on average people live 2.1 minutes’ drive away from a place where they can bank face to face, and 99.9% of people in Britain live within 20 minutes’ drive of a bank branch or post office. When the 68,000 cash machines in the UK are included, the average banking service is 1.4 minutes away – closer than the average local pub (1.6 minutes) and primary school (1.7 minutes).

Short sighted?

New research by Royal London – the UK’s largest mutual life, pensions and Investment Company – reveals almost a third (28%) of UK adults who purchase Over 50s life insurance cancel their policy. The study by YouGov indicates £173m of life insurance was lost in 2014, because 52,000 people cancelled their Over 50s policy. In terms of premiums paid, collectively this represents £86m of customers’ wasted cash. The mutual commissioned the study – which surveyed over 1,400 UK adults – to establish the extent to which Over 50s life insurance customers miss out on protection through the cancellation of their policies. It also wanted to assess customers’ motives for lapsing and the emotional effect of their decision.

The mutual says the study highlights the extent to which some UK providers are abandoning Over 50s life insurance customers at a critical time, as they struggle to keep up payments. The findings indicate many customers who cancel their Over 50s life cover are financially vulnerable; for example, a quarter (25%) who lapsed their policy have ‘no savings or investments’.

Although a third (33%) of customers chose to cancel their Over 50s policy because they no longer ‘needed’ it anymore, a fifth (20%) of policy-holders said it was due to long-term money issues. Two in five people (40%) cancelled either because they couldn’t afford their premiums or because they needed to prioritise other bills instead – heating/energy and mortgage/rent were key priorities.

Stamp it out.

The latest research from Lloyds Bank shows the Stamp Duty revenue raised in England and Wales increased by an estimated £1.5 billion to £7.7 billion in the year to March 2015; comfortably exceeding the £6.2 billion in the year to March 2008 at the peak of the last housing boom. In contrast, in the 12 months to March 1999, less than £1 billion was raised.

A higher number of residential property transactions and increased prices are estimated to have led to a significant rise in Stamp Duty revenues in the 12 months to March 2015, with the average homeowner now spending nearly £10,000 (£9,600) in total on Stamp Duty as they move up the housing ladder.

Homeowners stay in their homes for just under eight years (7.8 years) on average, and take three steps up the ladder in their lifetime3. Based on these findings, the research looked at those homeowners who bought their first property in 1999, their second in 2007 and their third in 2015, living in typical homes at each step on the ladder.

How much?

While we typically overestimate the price of a loaf of bread by 43%*, when it comes to life cover, we are – on average – a massive 394% out, according to research** by leading insurance provider SunLife.

For those with no life cover, affordability is cited as the main reason why, but, on average, people think £100,000 of life cover would cost £50.98 per month; almost five times more than the average premium of £10.31.***

SunLife also found that 47% of people have no idea how much life insurance costs, with this rising to more than half (53%) of those who cited affordability as the reason why they have no life cover. And it seems the misconception of the cost gets worse with age, with 58% of 55-65 year olds admitting they have no idea what life cover costs.

The Insurer’s research also shows that of those that do not have life cover, more than a quarter (26%) are concerned that they do not have any in place. One in 10 (11%) said their family would lose all or most of its monthly income if they were to become critically ill or die while 8% said they ‘did not know’ what the financial implications would be.

* https://yougov.co.uk/news/2013/10/04/most-voters-cant-guess-price-value-loaf/


**taken from nationally representative poll of 18-65 year olds conducted online by Critical Research. Interviews were completed from 14th February to 20th February 2014. A total of 1011 respondents participated in the survey. Average amount people thought £100,000 worth of cover would cost is £50.98


***Based on £100,000 sum assured, life cover only, 25 year term for a 38 year old (average age of SunLife term life insurance customer) and accepted on standard rates: Non-smoker: £10.31 per month Smoker: £20.14 per month £50.98-£10.31=£40.67. £40.67/£10.31*100=394%

And finally…

Eating up to 100g (4oz) of chocolate a day has been linked to a lowered risk of heart disease and stroke.

University of Aberdeen researchers found that those with a higher chocolate intake had a 23% reduced risk of stroke compared to those who had none – even after taking account of other factors. Eating more chocolate – 100g is around two bars of Dairy Milk a day – also gave an 11% lower risk of cardiovascular disease and a 25% reduced risk of associated death.

The study, which came from analysis of almost 21,000 adults taking part in the EPIC-Norfolk study, is tracking the impact of diet on the long-term health of 25,000 men and women in Norfolk.

It concluded there is no evidence for cutting out chocolate to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. The study authors pointed out that dark chocolate is usually said to have more beneficial effects than milk chocolate, but milk chocolate was more frequently eaten by the Norfolk participants.

Now affectionally nicknamed Myint Chocolate, Professor Phyo Myint, of the School of Medicine & Dentistry at the University of Aberdeen, said: “Our study concludes that cumulative evidence suggests higher chocolate intake is associated with a lower risk of future cardiovascular events.”

With the average American consuming around 4.5 kg of chocolate each year, there is plenty of relief across the pond, relief shared by drumming Gorillas all around the world.

Time for the discounters.

It must be confusing for the consumer with the levels of economic data out this week which led to speculation of when, in 2016, interest rates will rise. But of course that assumes that there will be no interest rate rise this year which, based on past performance, cannot be ruled out or ruled in, in fact a base rate rise just can’t be ruled. Inflation is up 0.1% based on increases in petrol prices and air fares but with inflation likely to stay below its 2.0% target until 2017, the Bank of England can theoretically afford to take its time before raising interest rates. There have been many analysts stating that its never been better for UK consumers who continue to benefit from very weak price pressures, low mortgage rates and wage rises averaging 2.7% in April, up from 2.3% in March and 0.7% in the same month last year. This is the strongest rate of growth since August 2011. Just imagine the impact if the same people enjoying the economic sunshine were to remortgage in today’s competitive marketplace. So why is the remortgage market such a sleeping giant? Is it a fear of the Mortgage Market Review and the income and expenditure stones that have to be overturned? Is it that transition arrangements from lenders make what should be a quick sprint to the line into a marathon? Is it simply customer apathy – the average customer does not see the mortgage as a commodity and is happy to save 20p on a sliced loaf but not £200 on the mortgage. Is it time for the industry to promote the savings available, the impact of financial advice, and the consequences when the base rate does eventually (or not) rises and the stable door gets bolted as the horse gallops over the hill. As with retail, we have the word “discount” in the mortgage world, it is time to promote it!

Weekly Round-up, 12th June, 2015

Post-election flat

According to the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, vendor instructions fell for the fourth consecutive month and the average stock of houses per surveyor fell by around 12% since the start of 2015. House prices rose again in May, and at a quicker pace than in April, as the stock of homes per UK surveyor fell to a record low since the data series began in January 1978. While 34% more surveyors saw prices rise in May, supply to the market declined for the fourth consecutive month with 19% more surveyors reporting a drop in new instructions.

Despite the rise in new buyer enquiries, which increased from a net balance of 4% in April to 18% in May, many respondents to the survey expressed some surprise at the lack of ‘post-election bounce’ in fresh supply following the unexpectedly decisive outcome to the poll. The North West and London saw the sharpest drop in instructions compared with April. More ominously, UK-wide listings have now failed to see any meaningful growth since the middle of 2013.

Additionally, although respondents reported a slight improvement in credit conditions with higher perceived loan to value ratios on mortgages to first time buyers and existing home owners, the average number of newly agreed sales per surveyor rose only very marginally to 19 (down from 23 in May 2014 and up from 18.9 in April 2015).

At a regional/country level, unbalanced price growth continues to be particularly marked across the market. Surveyors reported the highest price growth over the last three months in the North West, Northern Ireland, East Anglia and the South West, but alongside this, London is now seeing a slight turnaround, following seven consecutive months in which the net balance for prices was in negative territory, it has now been positive for two months in succession.

In the lettings market, tenant demand continued to increase in May (on a non-seasonally adjusted basis) extending an uninterrupted run of demand growth into a fifth straight month and respondents’ anticipate rents will rise across all parts of the UK over the next three months, with expectations most elevated in the East Midlands and the South West.

Choice is up

The latest figures from Moneyfacts show that product numbers rose by 175 this month to stand at 3,956, the second-highest total seen since they began recording this measure in 2007. Notably, this increase in product choice can be seen across the majority of loan-to-value (LTV) tiers, ensuring that borrowers of all kinds are able to benefit.

Average rates reflect this level of competition. The average two year fixed rate has posted a reduction of 0.08% this month – the ninth consecutive monthly drop – to stand at a new record of 2.87%, and again, rates have fallen across the majority of LTVs. Average variable rates have also fallen, with the average two-year tracker rate down by 0.01% this month to 2.02%.

A similar pattern can be witnessed in the longer-term sector, following last month’s finding that five-year rates are becoming a key area of competition. According to the on-line research, the overall five year fixed rate fell by 0.06% to a new record low of 3.38%, and at the same time, the product count has increased.

Generation rent

The Halifax Generation Rent Report has found a wide disconnect between prospective first-time buyers and their parents with regards to their perception of the first-time buyer market. While just 12% of parents believe it is ‘virtually impossible for first-time buyers to obtain a mortgage’ this rises to 21% of prospective first-time buyers.

The Generation Rent Report contains data from interviews with over 40,000 20-45 year olds built up over five years, and over 4,000 parents of 20-45 year olds over the last four years. In recent years, it has shown parents and Generation Renters were both more pessimistic about the first-time buyer market (with 21% of parents and 29% of prospective first-time buyers saying it was virtually impossible three years ago in 2012).

However, with improving economic conditions and an increasing number of first-time buyers since then, both parents and prospective first-time buyers have become more optimistic – although more than a fifth of Generation Renters still believe it’s virtually impossible.

Despite increased optimism from parents The Generation Rent Report also found that first-time buyers moving back in with Mum and Dad is a growing issue, and in 2015 28% of parents said their children moved back to their family home, compared to 24% in 2012.

57% of parents who own a property reported to having contributed, or planning to contribute, towards their child’s deposit, compared with 24% of parents who rent. Furthermore, 24% of parents who own said that they were, or plan to be a guarantor on a mortgage compared with just 7% of parents who rent.

Broadband more important?

The Mortgage Market Review (MMR) has changed the house buying landscape. Greater scrutiny over lifestyle and expenditure means a new generation of homeowners are far more aware of the way they spend their money.

With the introduction of MMR a new report from Scottish Widows found that people are struggling to get a mortgage due to affordability. As a result people’s financial priorities are changing and fewer people view owning a property as essential, while people’s communication networks are now so crucial that they place broadband access and owning a mobile phone above owning a car and paying off debt.

The report found that 80% of people regard broadband access as essential in their lives, in comparison to 56% of people who believe owing their own property is essential. 48% of people believe their household would be able to cope with the loss of an income due to their or their partner’s death and 39% of people feel that financial protection for their dependents on death is essential, however this has dropped from 53% in 2010.

Return to Australia

For two years Coke have been offering personalised packaging across the world – and now it’s the turn of the humble Jaffa Cake. Like the “Share A Coke” promotional campaign, McVitie’s has launched packaging bearing names, giving you the chance to own your very chocolate box of cakes.

According to the company, it’s in direct response to repeated requests from legions of fans who’ve been dying to get their hands on the little cakes bearing their own monikers. Although it remains to be seen exactly how diverse the selection of names are, ‘Dad’ and ‘Sophie have already been seen on the shelves.

The cult product’s gone all in, with more than a half a million names, nicknames – including Dad – and greetings available from the online Sweet Shop. There are 2.9 million Jaffa Cakes produced in the UK every day – if placed end to end would stretch from London to Australia, and back again.

It’s a question of supply and demand.

According to the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), the supply of homes for sale across the UK has fallen to its lowest level since records began in 1978 pushing prices up for those who are willing to put a for sale sign up outside of the home. The ‘acute shortage of supply’ as described by RICS continues to push house prices up, with surveyors expecting prices to rise by 25 per cent in the next five years putting pressure on those looking to get on the housing ladder. It’s virtually impossible to see wages keeping up with property prices and, with affordability being the key measure of whether a first time buyer can put their foot on the first rung, the picture is looking more challenging. The number of properties coming on the market has fallen for four consecutive months in a row this year and there has been no marked increase in the number of homes up for sale since the end of 2013.

Is building more housing the answer? Of course the number of new developments is a key, but this takes time to have an effect and we may have already left the stable door open with the housing pony long gone. Is it forcing Housing Associations to sell off their stock? Probably not as this doesn’t add new housing but just changes ownership. Are incentives working? Well yes but this is just increasing demand not supply. And when property does become available, is it the savvy landlord that jumps in quickly rather than the new family looking to lay down their roots?

Is it time to designate developments purely for purchase? Is it time to look again at interest-only mortgages to help with affordability? It’s ok to rent and pay a monthly amount but not own the property – how is this different to the bank being the “landlord” in a new mortgage arrangement with the ownership passing to the occupant after a few years? And is it time to have a different view on self build and “projects” to help renovate derelict sites across the UK?

It really is time for fresh thinking on the UK housing market.

Neil Hoare

Commercial Director, HomeLoan Partnership

Weekly Round-up, 5th June 2015.

London tops the charts.

The April data from the Land Registry shows an annual price increase of 5.1 per cent which takes the average property value in England and Wales to £179,817 compared with the peak of £181,014 in November 2007. House prices are up 0.9 per cent since March.

The regional data indicates that London experienced the greatest increase in its average property value over the last 12 months with a movement of 10.9 per cent, Yorkshire and The Humber experienced the greatest monthly rise with a movement of 2.7 per cent. North East saw the only annual price fall with a decrease of 0.6 per cent and Wales saw the largest monthly price decrease with a fall of 1.1 per cent.

Sales and repossessions during February 2015, the most up-to-date figures available, show that: the number of completed house sales in England and Wales decreased by 17 per cent to 54,103 compared with 64,994 in February 2014, the number of properties sold in England and Wales for over £1 million decreased by 18 per cent to 722 from 882 a year earlier , repossessions in England and Wales decreased by 37 per cent to 638 compared with 1,016 in February 2014 and in London, South East and Yorkshire and The Humber, repossession sales fell by 45 per cent.

The Price Paid Data includes details of over 65,840 residential property sales in England and Wales lodged for registration in April 2015. The most expensive sale in April 2015 was in London W2 (£15.6m). The cheapest sale in April 2015 was in Bishop Auckland, County Durham (£18,500).

Cash is King.

The Nationwide, in their latest House price Index, estimates that the share of cash purchases in the housing market reached an all-time high of 38% in Q1 2015. Continued healthy demand from cash buyers has helped to support transaction levels in recent quarters, since mortgage lending has remained relatively subdued. For example, in Q1 2015 overall housing transactions were down by around 5% compared with Q1 2014, while mortgage completions were around 11% lower.

According to the UK’s largest Building Society, though the 38% share was a record, it was only modestly above the average of 36% prevailing in 2014. The significant rise in the share of cash transactions occurred in the wake of the financial crisis, where a tightening in credit conditions and a deterioration in the labour market limited the number of people able to buy with a mortgage, developments which would have had much less of an impact on cash buyers.

Kids feeling the pinch.

Despite some welcome relief on family budgets thanks to a recovering economy and negative inflation, children are not benefitting from any extra pounds or pence in their money boxes when it comes to the amount of weekly pocket money they receive. According to the latest research from Halifax, pocket money has fallen for the second year in a row to £6.20, a 2.4% decrease since last year.

The latest findings of Halifax’s annual Pocket Money Survey show that the average amount children receive from their parent or guardian has fallen 4.8% in the last two years, from a six-year high of £6.50 in 2013. The number of children who receive weekly pocket money has also declined, dropping 4% since 2014, to 78%.

Although on average children are receiving less pocket money than they did last year, there has been a 2% drop in the number of children who think they ought to receive more, down to 41%. Over half of children (51%) now believe they get the right amount of pocket money, up 3% on 2014.

A quarter of children continue to believe that their friends get more pocket money than they do, with 7% thinking they get less than their friends (down 2% on last year). Over a third of children (34%) say that they don’t know how much pocket money their friends receive as they have never talked about it, up 5% on 2014.

The majority (70%) of children continue to save at least some of their pocket money, with one in 10 now saving all of it, up 1% on 2014. A quarter of children continue to save about half of it, with over one in five (22%) saving about a quarter, down 2% on last year. Despite their good saving habits, over two fifths (43%) of children prefer to ask for something expensive they really want as a present for their birthday or for Christmas as opposed to spending their own savings (30%).

More boys are saving some of their pocket money than girls. For the second year in a row, two thirds (67%) of girls are putting money away, compared to almost three quarters (73%) of boys. The number of boys saving some of their pocket money has decreased however, down 4% on 2014.

Under is not over.

New research by SunLife – done in May 2015 suggests that the UK’s famous ‘protection gap’ is caused by under-insurance as much as it is by no insurance.

According to SunLife almost a third (29%) of people take out life insurance when they take out a mortgage, while nearly a quarter (23%) take out cover after the birth of a child. However, the average life insurance payout in the UK currently stands at £51,500, which would only cover 62% of the average outstanding mortgage (£83,000) in the UK.

For people taking out new mortgages, the gap is even greater – £51,500 would cover less than a third (31%) of the average new mortgage of £167,000.

Have you booked IT yet?

Following the recent Business Development Forums, we are very pleased to announce that HLP is now ready to release our revolutionary new Client Relationship Management (CRM) system, in association with 360dotnet. At the release event, HLP members will be given an overview of how the system works, training on managing a complaint sales process from start to finish, and the opportunity to practice on the system.

HLP members can register via the Members’ Area website.

And finally…Skip the loo

Japan is looking into installing toilets and emergency drinking water in buildings’ lifts in case people are trapped after earthquakes. Officials from the country’s infrastructure ministry met industry representatives to discuss the proposals in the aftermath the latest undersea quake.

One idea is that lifts could be fitted with portable toilets featuring a waterproof bag or other absorbent material inside a collapsible cardboard structure. In the capital, Tokyo, almost 20,000 lifts stopped after the most recent quake, with 14 of them trapped between floors. In one case, people were stuck inside for more than an hour before being rescued. About 60% of Japanese lifts are designed to detect tremors and stop at the closest floor before automatically opening their doors.

Japan is regularly shaken by earthquakes, but seismologists say it’s likely the capital will be hit by a major quake – referred to as the “big one” – within the coming decades. The government estimates that as many as 17,000 people could be trapped inside lifts in the capital’s high-rises if that happens.

TSB joins the HomeLoan Partnership panel

TSB joins HLP panel

HomeLoan Partnership (HLP) is delighted to announce the appointment of TSB to its lending panel.

TSB has been working with brokers for six months and is already seeing significant demand for its range of competitive and innovative mortgage products. Over the rest of the year it’s clear that that TSB has a strategy to grow organically to meet the demand of the intermediary and their customers both in the residential and buy to let sectors.

Christopher Tanner, CEO of HLP comments: “TSB Intermediary has made a significant impact on the lending market through intermediaries which is remarkable considering the competition they face. They are a valuable addition to our panel and I look forward to working with them and the members of HLP to deliver good customer outcomes.”
Roland McCormack, TSB’s Mortgage Intermediary Director, said: “I’m delighted that we are able to welcome the HLP to our panel. There has been such incredible demand amongst brokers for the expert to expert service we are providing at TSB Intermediary and we will look to continue rolling out to more brokers in the months ahead”.