Things you might have missed this week
The Prime Minister pledges to tackle car insurance premiums, 'misleading' energy salespeople and some of this week's other financial stories.
Welcome to our bite-sized look at some of the other money stories that caught our eyes this week.
PM to drive down car insurance
The Prime Minister has pledged to cut the cost of car insurance premiums and reduce claims for whiplash. Following talks at Downing Street with car insurance companies, David Cameron said the Government was “determined to tackle this damaging compensation culture which has been pushing up premiums”. But the Law Society said the Government has “ignored” its offers to work with them to reduce whiplash claims.
Energy salespeople 'misleading people'
Which? has uncovered dubious sales tactics by some energy salespeople in supermarkets and shopping centres. Its investigation found that salespeople were offering shopping vouchers or discounts to entice people to switch energy supplier on the spot. They were also quoting savings of between £20 and £142, when in actual fact the customers would have been between £39 and £311 worse off. This was mainly because they assumed all customers were on a more expensive standard tariff. And only two out of 13 salespeople admitted that there might be better energy deals elsewhere.
First-time buyer mortgage rush to beat Stamp Duty
The number of first-time buyers obtaining mortgages increased in December, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders, as would-be homeowners rush to beat the deadline for paying no Stamp Duty. Lenders lent to 7% more first-time buyers in December than they had in November. The Stamp Duty exemption ends in March.
Rents rise in January
Rents in England and Wales rose in January, according to the latest index from LSL Property Services, which owns the UK’s two biggest private rental companies. It’s the first time LSL has seen rents rise in January. The average rent rose by 0.1% to £712 a month. Rents in London have risen by 6.3% in the past year. The north east of England is the only region where there’s been an annual fall.
One in ten putting off retirement
One in ten people who planned to retire this year are now making other plans, according to Prudential. Two thirds of those people say it’s because they can’t afford to retire as they originally planned. But the average age of those planning to retire this year is 60.
RBS rapped for 'last bank in town' ads
The Royal Bank of Scotland Group has had its knuckles rapped by the Advertising Standards Agency for two TV ads. The ads claimed that NatWest and the Royal Bank would be “the last bank in town”. Viewers in Farsley, West Yorkshire and Sutherland in the Scottish Highlands, having seen the closure of their branches, the last banks in their towns, duly complained.
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