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Labour urged to help sub-prime

The government was last week urged by the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association to help fund sub-prime lenders.

IMLA’s latest survey shows that just 4% of the mortgages sourced by intermediaries in Q4 2008 were sub-prime.

But with many borrowers losing their jobs and getting into financial difficulties, IMLA says a growing number of consumers have imperfect credit histories.

Peter Williams, executive director of IMLA, says: “The government should expand funding to help these individuals – this is a two-way street. It must extend its support for lenders in the mortgage market to include non-deposit-takers as this would free them up to offer special-ist products.”

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England vs Australia: pensions

Well, the cricket season is here, and England and Australia are stepping up to the wicket. Although we compete with each other in the sporting world, when it comes to pensions, Australia’s pension programme is held up as a model for our auto-enrolment initiative. Auto-enrolment was introduced because people weren’t saving enough into their pensions, and it is still early days but signs are positive. However, in Australia, saving into a pension is compulsory, and in fact employers are the ones who have to pay in. Employees in Australia can make additional contributions into their pensions, but they don’t have to. Should the onus be on the employer or employee to save? Well in the UK we think it’s both, but to get ‘adequate’ savings for retirement it’s the employee who has to pay more in.

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