View more on these topics

FSA advises consumers to plan for a challenging year ahead

The Financial Risk Outlook 2003, published yesterday by the Financial Services Authority, highlights a number of risks associated with the economic outlook and depressed conditions in financial markets.

FSA managing director Carol Sergeant says: “The year ahead should be one of modest recovery. But there are considerable uncertainties and plenty of reasons for caution at a time when more consumers look financially stretched and some sectors have seen their profitability and capital reserves reduce markedly.

“Some consumers don&#39t seem to be thinking ahead prudently when deciding how much to borrow and how much to save. This could cost them dearly in the long run.

“Borrowing by consumers in the UK has been growing at an unsustainable rate and some segments of the population are already having difficulty meeting their debt commitments. There is a risk that when a correction comes, it could be rapid and disorderly. The results could be lower overall economic growth, hardship for consumers and increased credit risks for lenders.

“Over the longer term, people need to put a lot more aside if they are going to enjoy the standard of living in retirement they expect. But quick fix solutions using complex products promising high returns are likely to be more trouble than they are worth.”

Sergeant adds: “The FSA&#39s programme of work to be published next week will explain how the FSA will continue to address the major issues that fall within its remit. Many issues are long-term in nature and require co-operation with others. But each consumer and each regulated firm has the opportunity and responsibility to review their own particular circumtances on a continuous basis.”


Scottish Equitable Protect adds five-year reviewable rates across critical illness range

Scottish Equitable Protect is adding a five-year reviewable rates option on critical illness cover within its mortgage and business protection menu products, which means that this option is now available across the company&#39s entire critical illness range. The new option means that IFAs now have the choice of recommending rates which are guaranteed for five […]

Packager tie-up creates lending unit

Packagers EM Financial and Mortgage Match have joined forces to create a branded lending unit. EM Residential Funding will receive packaged cases from around the country at its central London offices. Edward Strange, former business development manager at Mayfair-based The Mortgage Placement Company, has been appointed managing director. GMAC-RFC and SPML have already signed distribution […]

Manufacturing industry sees further decline in operations

The number of manufacturers operating below capacity has risen to a 20-year high, fuelled by a relentless two-year decline in orders and output. The CBI&#39s Quarterly Industrial Trends survey, published yesterday, also shows manufacturers&#39 confidence dropping further as weak global demand threatens to keep the sector mired in recession. It finds that 74% of firms […]

1,000th firm joins Mortgage Promotions

Packager Mortgage Promotions yesterday announced that the 1,000th firm had joined the rapidly growing network, which launched in July 2001. Nick Baxter, director of Mortgage Promotions, says: “We are delighted to have achieved this milestone so quickly. With an average of over three registered individuals per member firm it means that over 3,000 individuals have […]

Passport - thumbnail

Thinking of expanding overseas?

Whether you’re a small company or an established larger employer, expanding overseas into emerging markets can be an extremely attractive prospect for growing your business. However, with this comes a duty-of-care requirement to any staff based overseas.


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up