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Base rate cut starts quest for advice

You’d think that after the number of Bank of England base rate changes we’ve seen in the past year borrowers would be complacent about them by now, but reaction to the most recent reduction proved this was not the case.

From midday on the Thursday when the announcement of the 0.5% cut was made, the number of requests from our users to speak to advisers began to rocket.

In fact, there was a 150% rise in the number of enquiries compared with the same time the previous week.

The number of consumers asking for mortgage advice alone exceeded 3,500 – the highest we have seen in our five-year history.

And enquiries stayed high the following day – 30% up on the previous week. Even on the Sunday there were 17% more enquiries than we see on a typical Sunday.

More than half of these were remortgage enquiries, with borrowers looking into how they might capitalise on lower rates.

These numbers emphasise how much demand there still is for advice.

Whatever tactics lenders try, borrowers want to speak to advisers who can help them evaluate their situation, tell them what their options are and find them the best deals.


Countrywide gets two more bigwigs

Guy Batchelor continued to construct his industry dream team at Countrywide as he snapped up Cammy Amaira and Richard Beardshaw last week.

Lloyds shares continue to dive

Shares in Lloyds Banking Group fell 7% this morning as the bank continues to feel the pressure from Friday’s announcement of huge losses at HBOS.

FSA to cut fees of over 10,000 small firms

The Financial Services Authority has published its Business Plan for 2009/10, which sets out its plans to hike fees for larger firms and cut fees for over 10,000 small firms.

Europe: banking on a recovery

Neptune video: Europe — banking on a recovery

Arguing that the eurozone crisis is over, watch Rob Burnett, head of European equities at Neptune, discuss the sectors that he’s investing in to harness the recovery. 

In the video, Burnett addresses the following: 

• The primary drivers of the eurozone’s economic recovery
• The turnaround in individual countries’ current accounts
• Sectors best positioned to harness the recovery, without offering undue exposure to risk


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