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Banks rescue package: will they start lending again?

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Melanie Bien, director, Savills Private Finance, is a guest commentator. The opinions expressed in this commentary are her own.

It is too early to say whether the latest bank rescue plan will have the desired effect of persuading the banks to start lending again. But it is a step in the right direction and we welcome it as a positive move as it may just remove the remaining stumbling blocks to getting the credit and mortgage markets functioning properly once more.
Clearly, something further had to be done. October’s £37bn bank recapitalisation did little to persuade banks to regain their appetite for lending. Credit continues to be difficult to come by – unless you have a large deposit or equity in your home and a clean credit history.

Pre-budget report: what it means for personal taxes

Here is a guide on what the pre-budget report means for personal taxation by accountancy firm BDO Stoy Hayward. Income tax – changes to allowances and rates

The basic personal allowance for 2008/09 was increased above inflation from £5,225 to £6,035 as a one off measure to compensate for the loss of the 10 per cent starting tax rate.

You know things are bad when..

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    You know exactly what the population of Iceland is and can also pronounce the name of its prime minister. Even the word ‘crisis’ seems to have lost its currency. Countries pop up for sale on eBay for 99p and get few offers. Posters on BBC messageboards stop discussing the undulating pitch of Robert Peston’s voice and listen to what he’s actually saying. The speech bubble on Page 3 of the Sun is given over to discussing the credit crisis. Financial market updates displace stories about Jade Goody on the tabloid front pages. Bad news stories from government departments are rushed out day after day and not even the Opposition seems to notice. Estate agents finally admit house prices have fallen but tell you now is a really great time to buy because the market is stabilising. People marketing get-rich-quick property seminars don’t get taken seriously any more. The Chancellor, writing in the Financial Times, says that “now, more than ever, we need new ideas”. Your primary school-aged children know that credit crunch is not a type of biscuit and that IMF isn’t just a fictional organisation in Mission Impossible. You go for a while without noticing one estate agent’s mini and then you see a whole bunch of them on the back of a car transporter. A pensioner on the evening tube train from Canary Wharf gives up her seat to a banker because she reckons he might need it. The Ivy rings to ask if you’d like a table tonight or any night. There are no spare trolleys when you turn up at Aldi to do your weekly shop.

Do you have any better suggestions? All contributions welcome – please send in your selection.

Tuesday’s headlines

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mail-pic.jpgHere is a round-up of Tuesday’s headlines:

DAILY MAIL: Father of Four Taken to Court and Fined…Because he Overfilled his Wheelie-Bin by Just Four Inches

Bus driver Gareth Corkhill collected a conviction and a 210 pound fine after he declined to pay a council on-the-spot fine for leaving the lid of his wheelie bin ajar four inches. Story here.

The little white lie that could spell financial ruin

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cash.jpgA little white lie never hurt anyone, right? Wrong: it could have serious financial implications for your future. A growing number of people are getting into financial difficulty at a younger age and are then telling lies on applications forms to obtain credit, insurance and other products, according to CIFAS, the UK’s fraud prevention service.

The number of application fraud cases filed on the CIFAS database increased from 62,000 in 2004 to 77,000 in 2007, an increase of more than 24 percent. In each of these cases, people told “material falsehoods” on application forms or supplied false or altered documents to support them. The lies most frequently told included trying to conceal a poor credit history or exaggerating the length of time resident at a particular address in the belief that stability increases creditworthiness.

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