Recovery threatens to bring bigger bills

IAIN MALLON, DIRECTOR OF PROTECTION MARKETING, AXA
IAIN MALLON, DIRECTOR OF PROTECTION MARKETING, AXA

With the economic environment holding interest rates down, home owners have been making the most of low variable rates on their mortgages.
But what happens if the green shoots reported by the government turn into a full-fledged recovery and interest rates begin to rise?

Many people have made the most of the downturn and reviewed their mortgage deal. In many cases, individuals have basked in the glory of historically low variable interest rates and used reduced mortgage repayments to ensure other finances are in order, too.

People have spent the spare cash on a wealth of things. Some will have used it on a Sky subscription or a visit to the beauty salon. But some will have used it to upgrade their financial services provision by extra contributions into their pension, increased regular savings or purchasing protection cover.

My concern about the recovery, inevitable rate rise and potential rise in the cost of living is that people may find themselves unprepared to foot higher bills.

Something will have to give. We know from history that people tend to cling on to the enjoyable purchases that provide instant gratification rather than those that provide security.

The temptation to lose their extra savings or protection cover owing to a rise in their mortgage repayments could be large.

As an industry, we need to ensure that the products and services we have advised on and provided remain valued and in force to ensure our clients remain sufficiently protected.