Private medical insurance popularity grows
According to figures from the Association of British Insurers (ABI), the number of people taking out Private Medical Insurance (PMI) has risen year-on-year for the first time in recent years.In 2006, 1,030,000 individuals took out personal PMI policies, up 1.8 per cent from the 1,012,000 personal PMI policies in 2005.The number of businesses taking out corporate PMI has increased even more than this, with 2,345,000 corporate PMI subscribers in 2006 an increase of 4.1 per cent on 2005's total of 2,254,000 corporate subscribers.Collectively, personal and corporate PMI plans now cover 5.9 million people in the UK. Commenting on the statistics, Nick Starling, the ABI's director of general insurance and health, said: "Private Medical Insurance offers people greater choice of treatment and other services for a wide range of medical conditions and injuries. It also takes pressure off the NHS, so by buying PMI, people are effectively reducing the burden on Britain's hard-pressed health service. "It is encouraging that more individuals are choosing to buy PMI for themselves and their families. PMI bought by companies on behalf of their employees has continued to increase in popularity too, helping to ensure that people can get back to work sooner after illness or injury."
Are interest only mortgages on the way out?
The Financial Services Authority (FSA) seems determined to push through major changes in the UK mortgage industry which would reduce the perceived risk for mortgage lenders. However, despite the fact that the majority of interest only mortgage holders have had no problem covering their monthly interest payments and final capital repayments it seems that the FSA is determined to stamp out interest...Read More
Inflation falls less than expected
The rate of inflation in UK, as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), fell last month to 2.2% from 2.3% the previous month. Analysts had expected a more significant fall to around 1.9% and the recent strength would seem to indicate that the prospect of deflation is lessening by the month. The Retail Price Index (RPI) inflation measurement is already in negative territory although it edged up...Read More
British Energy Deal Collapses At Last Minute
It a was billed as the way forward for the UK nuclear industry (in the hands of a French company!) and it was supposed to have been signed sealed and delivered last week, but last night saw the EDF takeover of British Energy fall apart after two shareholders blocked the deal. So what went wrong?
The deal looked to have been done only for Invesco and Prudential to withdraw their sup...
'Higher living costs to add to debt mountain'
Fast rising living costs are set to pile more pressure onto debt-strapped Britons, it has been claimed. The Alliance Trust Financial Reality Index (ATRT) recently found that recent wage increases have failed to offset the higher prices for food and fuel. This, along with higher mortgage repayments and credit card bills, will place more and more Britons into a parlous and stressful financial situat...Read More
HM Revenue and Customs struggling to cope with call volumes
The Whitehall spending watchdog has today revealed that four out of ten telephone calls to HM Revenue and Customs went unanswered in the tax year 2008/09. This equates to a staggering 44 million calls out of the 103 million received over the period. While the department employs the equivalent of over 10,000 full-time staff at a cost of £233 million there are serious concerns about value for money...Read More