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Beware hidden catch in drop-lock products Yorkshire is offering

Yorkshire Building Society recently revealed it was launching two products that will allow customers to switch to a fixed rate mortgage at no extra cost.

It should be made clear that the hidden catch with this drop-lock scheme is that you can only switch to the fixed rates from existing customer deals and not the new customer rates.

This means currently the best fixed two-year deal available when switching under this scheme is 3.79% which is considerably higher than the 2.99% rate available to new customers.

Alan Stirling

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SHIP considers opening membership to advisers

Safe Home Income Plans is looking to open its membership to advisers and legal firms. The equity release trade body currently only allows providers to become members. But Andrea Rozario, director-general of SHIP, says it has been reviewing its role since January and has set up a Formation Committee to create a blueprint of how […]

Stephen Mitcham, Chief executive, Cambridge building society

60 seconds with…Stephen Mitcham

Will you be doing more mortgage lending this year? We are geared up for increased business volumes and have over £200m to lend in 2011. This is a significant increase from our £128m lending total in 2010. Will we see more consolidation in the building society sector this year?It is hard to argue there won’t […]

Strong dollar can be a powerful driver of UK dividend growth in 2015

By Robin Geffen, fund manager and CEO 

This year threatens to be a challenging one for UK dividend hunters. Last year saw an all-time record amount paid out in UK dividends — some £97.4bn, according to research from Capita Dividend Monitor. Yet as Capita also pointed out, out the biggest single factor driving the growth in the fourth quarter of last year was easy to identify: the rising US dollar. 

In our view, this trend is much more than simply a one-quarter phenomenon. It is actually the most profound issue to get right as a UK equity income investor in 2015. We believe that the US dollar will continue to strengthen significantly from its current level. This is due more to the US economy’s demonstrable de-coupling from the rest of the world than to a view on the UK. The US has a strong chance of tightening monetary conditions this year without jeopardising growth or de-stabilising its housing market. The same can unfortunately not be said about the UK.

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