Monthly Archives: May 2015

StrokeStrokes rising among people of working age, warns charity

There has been a worrying rise in the number of working-age men and women having strokes, a charity has warned.

In England in 2014 there were 6,221 hospital admissions for men have a stroke aged 40-54 – a rise of 1,961 on 14 years earlier, a Stroke Association study shows.

Experts said unhealthy lifestyles were partly to blame for the rise, though the growing population and changes to hospital practice also played a part in the increase of strokes.

Overall the rate of strokes is going down in the UK, however.

Researchers say based on their findings strokes should not be considered as a disease of the old.

Huge costs

Strokes are caused by blood clots or bleeds to the brain and can lead to long-lasting disability. To read more click here


Mortgage Solutions magazine reports: – Mortgage lenders and intermediaries have won the battle to have some flexibility in the process of implementing the rules of the EU Mortgage Credit Directive (MCD), the Treasury’s final ruling has revealed.

In its final legislation published today, the Treasury said there had been particular concern about pipeline mortgage applications which had been started but not completed before the deadline for implementation on 21 March 2016.

It said this was a ‘significant theme’ in many responses it received in its consultation over the MCD rules from mortgage brokers and lenders.

The original MCD proposal did not make any provisions for pipeline cases which implied any mortgage application which had not been completed by the deadline would have to be reassessed against MCD rules.

In its response to the Treasury’s consultation on the MCD, the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) was concerned that lenders would begin to slow business down towards the end of 2015 to help manage the change to the rules. It said this reaction would impact on property sales and the wider economy.

The government has responded to the concerns by allowing firms to adopt the revised rules up to six months ahead of the deadline and honour agreements offered before 21 March 2016 under the old rules.

In its response the Treasury said: “…where credit is granted pursuant to an agreement that exists before the implementation date of 21 March 2016, the affected mortgage does not need to be subject to the MCD.”

Individual firms must decide for themselves when an agreement exists, for example at the decision-in-principle or mortgage offer stages.

Under the EU’s new rules, mortgage customers will be allowed a seven-day cooling-off period to consider the mortgage offer. The illustration issued to the borrower must use the new format of the European Standardised Information Sheet (ESIS) instead of the Key Facts Illustration (KFI) which includes a more detailed Annual Percentage Rate (APR) breakdown.

The Treasury’s overriding feeling of Europe’s desire to unify residential lending across its member states is that it is not necessary. It said consumers already received a ‘high level of protection’ from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). It viewed the MCD as an added cost rather than an added benefit.

It said that though the MCD aimed to ‘facilitate a better internal market in mortgage lending across Europe’ it did not help lenders to deal with unfamiliar markets and foreign legal systems therefore falling short of achieving this goal.

The head of mortgage policy at the Building Societies Association (BSA) Paul Broadhead shared this view. He said: “The BSA is still of the view that the Mortgage Credit Directive will offer little or no benefit to UK consumers but will add cost, complexity and some confusion to the mortgage process.

“However, we welcome the government’s approach to implementation putting in place the minimum requirements to meet European law.”

The FCA will publish its final rules on how the MCD will be integrated into the mortgage rule book at the end of quarter one 2015

Bank base rateThe Bank of England has confirmed the base interest rate will be held at 0.5 per cent for the 74th consecutive month.

The BoE was set to announce the rate stall on 7 May, but a potential clash with the general election forced the bank to switch to 11 May.

It has been at this level now since March in 2009

The Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee has also voted to keep the quantitative easing programme at £375bn, a level that has been maintained since July 2012 when it was increased by £50bn.