Category: Finance

Teens Find Financial Security A Bigger Issue Than Environment

Fears about a possible nuclear war and environmental destruction are waning among teenagers across Europe. Money troubles had kept most teenagers awake at night.

According to a 28-year study, teenagers from the 80s said the issues that kept them awake at night included climate change and the threat of global conflict. Today, 92% of teenagers are troubled about money, personal accidents, bullying and terrorist attacks. This is in stark contrast to the nuclear threat and environmental destruction worries from more than two decades ago.

Lead author Dr Nanette Danielsson, of Karlstad University in Sweden, said:

“Many adolescents have sleep disturbances, and this is associated with adverse consequences.

“Sleep disturbance was strongly associated with worry for the family’s financial situation, followed by worry about illness or accidents.

“Relationships between sleep disturbance and worry for environmental destruction and nuclear war were weaker.

“Concerns closely tied to one’s personal life, as well as current political threats, may have stronger associations with sleep disturbance than global threats due to a closer proximity to one’s own life situation.”

Between 1988 and 2011, more than 20,000 Swedish teenagers were asked to complete a questionnaire about living conditions and their health. Sleep disturbance was reported by 24 per cent of girls and 16 per cent of boys.

An American Economic Slump Is Possible In 2016

The New York Stock Exchange endured a harsh start to 2016 with stocks plunging in value at every turn. According to analysts, it may be an indicator that a US economic slump is just around the corner.

Manhattan Venture partners Chief Economist Max Wolff said the stock drop could mean anything.

“The economy doesn’t look as bad as the stock market right now, but that’s a flip side of the fact that the stock market has looked a whole lot better than the economy for about six years,” Wolff said.

“We do think the market got out well ahead of the fundamentals, and now they’re violently re-correcting back closer to where they should be.”

According to BK Asset Management’s Boris Schlossberg:

“We don’t have a 2008 scenario, but we definitely have a very serious slowdown in front of us, and I think the market is looking at that and doesn’t like it at all.”

Howard Marks of Oaktree Capital Management said:

“It seems clear to me: The market does not have above-average insight, but it often is above average in emotionality. Thus we shouldn’t follow its dictates,” Marks wrote.

“In fact,” he added, “contrarianism is built on the premise that we generally should do the opposite of what the crowd is doing, especially at extremes, and I prefer it.”

Deal Is In Sight For Greece According To Prime Minister

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said that the talks in Brussels on Greece’s debt crisis have been “constructive”. He had held a straight four-hour talk with EU’s Jean-Claude Juncker to finally make a plan as Greece’s bailout is set to expire in less than a month.


Tsipras confirmed that Greece has rejected some proposals put forward by their creditors.

Eurogroup Chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem said that between Tsipras and Juncker, the talks have resulted to positive progress. They are set to meet again after a few days.

Greece has a £216 million IMF repayment due on Friday. Greece and its creditors are now close to an agreement regarding “primary surpluses” that would help Greece move forward “without the tough austerity measures of the past.”

Primary Budget Surpluses  is the amount when tax revenues exceed public spending. It is now one of the main sticking points in talks. Greece had been keen to agree for a lower figure.

French President Francois Hollande had earlier suggested that Greece and the EU were close to finally creating a deal. However, an EC Spokeswoman said to the press that there would be no “final outcome” from Wednesday’s talks.

Greece would be asked to post a budget surplus of 1% of GDP and 2% in the following year.

Financial Ombudsman PPI Complaint Volumes on the Increase

The Financial Ombudsman reveals that it had received 576,000 complaints last year, marking a 38% increase in claims from 2012. Around 76% of complaints were attributed to payment protection insurance in the second half of 2013.

Tony Boorman, Chief Ombudsman, said that 56% of the complaints the previous year were upheld in favour of consumers. He said that the number of financial complaints in 2013 appears to drop in numbers slowly, but he warned that it is still a long way to go before UK’s PPI scandal finally comes to an end.

The Financial Ombudsman said that they are still receiving 1,000 claims daily from consumer with bank-rejected PPI claims.

In the last half of 2013, Lloyds, Barclays, RBS, HSBC and MBNA were the most complained about financial institutions in the United Kingdom. All have set aside a total of £22 billion for mis sold PPI.

Non-PPI related complaints fell down from 60,807 on the first half of 2013 down to 55,747 in the second half of the year.
Lloyds alone covers at least £9.8 billion of the entire PPI refund package, making it the largest mis-seller of payment protection insurance.

If you think you might have been mis sold PPI, it is advised that you seek the help of professionals such as those at the for more information about how to claim your money back.

Natalie Ceeney Quits Financial Ombudsman After Millionth PPI Claim

Financial Ombudsman Chief Natalie Ceeney declared her resignation after the FOS received its one millionth PPI complaint in the last four years. Chairman of the Ombudsman Nicholas Montagu said that Deputy Chief Ombudsman Tony Boorman will be replacing Natalie Ceeney on a temporary basis.

According to the Chairman, Natalie felt that it was time to move on after the Financial Ombudsman received its millionth complaint. He said that as the FOS sets to provide solutions to new challenges, most of the solutions will be founded on the contributions of former Chief Natalie Ceeney.

Ceeney said that she had been privileged to have worked with a greatly-talented group of people in the FOS. She said that she was very proud with the service because of the great difference she and its people have contributed to society in improving the consumer confidence in the financial industry.

PPI makes up the majority of complaints the Financial Ombudsman receives on a regular basis. In 2013 alone, the FOS had received over 265,000 cases of PPI refund claim back from RBS, HSBC, Lloyds and other financial institutions.

The FOS recently said that the PPI crisis is far from ending. This is in contrast to the figures shown by the Financial Conduct Authority that show PPI complaints have dropped in number in the last few quarters of 2013.

Getting to Know the Interest Rate Swap Scandal

When UK’s largest banks have admitted that they were involved in mis-selling interest rate swap products to thousands of customers and small businesses the scandal begins to grow. The interest rate hedging product s is offered by the banks to customers and assures them that their finances will be protected even if the rates would rise. Since there were a lot of the customers who believed in the product even without knowing all about its policies well, the problem starts when they find out that they were mis-sold and mis-led by their banks.

The City’s regulator has found out that mis-selling occurred when the big banks failed to mention how much it would cost the customers when they exit the swaps. The failure to discuss to them the break cost after they terminate the agreement. The customers were only told that the protection would have a zero cost even if it wasn’t true. It is when the complexities surfaced.

The problem was made worst when mis-selling of the interest rate hedging product went a long way and the banks started to offer low rates and gave the customers a suggestion to take it for a long duration because when they take this offer, the bank has told them that they will have a lower interest rate. Most of the mis-led customers did not have any idea or access on the swap pricing data. They weren’t even mindful of how much the bank would earn if they take the offer. The customers who took the product only knew the problem when they tried to cancel and terminate their agreement.

How you can make an Accident Claim

Accidents can happen anytime, anywhere when we least expect it. Often times there are accidents that would cause someone to get injuries. Whatever type of accident there is, someone must be answerable. The victim of the accident is entitled to receive  compensation from the offenders. It is important to know the steps involved in making an accident compensation claim. It is also necessary that when an accident has occurred, the one who is responsible for that particular accident should be identified first before making the claim. This is the first action to be done. Being able to determine who is answerable to a certain accident has its short guide.

First, you must be aware of what happened. It is important to know all the details regarding the accident. You need to identify what exactly caused your injuries. In case of a car accident, you must be able to take note of the car’s plate number, the type of car used, the name of the person driving and the damage that was made during the accident. Second, you must be sure that you can prove your claim before even accusing someone of doing something. This is when the evidence plays an important role so that you can have a proof with your accusations. This will surely help you prove that you were the victim of the accident.

Third, after the accident, there is a need for you to have yourself checked by medical professionals. They are the best person to consult about your injuries. The medical certificate is an important document that would also support your claim that indeed you suffered from certain injury that was caused by the accident. A Doctor can always certify the truth about your injuries. Lastly, after following the steps you have the option in submitting a claim and seek help from a ‘No win no fee’ claims company such as  The company would know how to help you and give you more options on how to make your claim.

Analysts Estimate PPI Compensation Package Can Reach £16 Billion

Currently, the UK PPI crisis is now estimated to have a total of £12.96 billion in bank expenses for repaying all customers mis sold the insurance policy but financial analysts estimate that the amount can still increase next year. With over a 150% growth in the number of PPI claims from 2011 to 2012 and the Financial Ombudsman receiving 1,500 claims on a daily basis, analysts estimate the amount can reach up to £16 billion halfway next year.

All UK banks have set aside additional money for compensating all who are mis sold PPI. Lloyds still leads after setting aside £1 million more to add to their already-existing £5.3 billion PPI bill. Barclays, at £2 billion, is now at £2.7 billion after setting aside £700 million more for PPI. RBS reaches £1.7 after setting aside £400 million and HSBC is now at £1.3, setting aside an additional £220 million.

Claims management companies were criticised by banks for capitalizing on consumer claims and “clogging” the process with almost 1/5 of the claims appearing duplicated or fraudulent. However, CMCs like, state that they thoroughly look through every claim they receive. They also mention that if the bank did what the Financial Services Authority asked them to do, there will be no PPI industry from CMCs.

Early this year, the FSA asked all UK banks who mis sold PPI to write to potentially mis sold customers. However, banks never fully performed the task, seeing the great number of bogus claims coming from many customers. Banks also blame the FSA for the increased number of PPI claims, increasing their bureaucratic costs.

The Financial Ombudsman Service proposed a no-claim payout for consumers because the service saw that banks were “dragging their feet” in resolving the situation. The no-claim payout compensates the mis sold consumer without having to make a claim as crediting and insurance companies will work directly with the regulator in identifying the cases.