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Labour’s house building incentives slammed

Ruth Kelly, head of the Department of Communities and Local Government, came under fire last week over her plans to offer town halls housing incentives.

The grants are aimed at local auth-orities with housing needs and will be given to those that take on new housing developments.

Press reports have criticised the grants, likening them to “blackmail” and saying Kelly is planning to push up Council Tax for those town halls that refuse to build the homes.

But a spokeswoman for the DCLG says: “This measure is about supporting councils that are responding to housing demand in their areas.”

The move is in line with Kelly’s plans to increase the number of homes being built each year from 160,000 to 200,000.


MPPI withdrawal clause scrapped has scrapped a clause which allowed it to withdraw cover at 30 days’ notice from its mortgage payment protection insurance products.

FSA fines Merrill Lynch International

The Financial Services Authority has fined Merrill Lynch International 150,000 for failing to accurately report certain transactions to the FSA and previously the Securities and Futures Authority. Between September 1996 and January 2006, Merrill Lynch, which owns Mortgage plc, executed an estimated 1.2 million transactions in non-UK European equities. These transactions were incorrectly reported because […]

Servicing is crucial for new lenders

Much has been written about the new entrants in the sub-prime market with a focus on the front-end activities of these lenders. Products, technology and distribution channels have been covered in detail but little attention has been paid to how they operate behind the scenes. How will they service the assets they generate?


OFT slams PPI market

The Office of Fair Trading has issued a damning report on the Payment Protection Insurance market, following an investigation triggered by a complaint from the Citizens Advice last September. The report highlights numerous problems including poor product value, inflated profits, a lack of transparency in the sales process and problems for consumers trying to compare […]

Partied out and penniless

December has left me destitute. My piggy bank lies broken and empty, my lunchtime meal deal feels like an extravagant expense and I’m down to the Bountys in my box of Celebrations. But I won’t mourn my dearly departed pennies. Between buying gifts for loved ones (then deciding to keep them for myself) to treating […]


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