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Gambling & Debt Crises – News we could have Avoided

Two financial news stories broke this week which have particularly saddened me. Two tales of situations where the financially vulnerable in our society have suffered unnecessarily, perhaps even been exploited. And this is heartbreaking, as the human pain and suffering could so easily have been prevented. Read more

Mark Carney is Right

A few weeks ago, I used this blog to welcome Mark Carney’s warning that families are seriously over-indulging on car finance and credit card debt. And this week, the Castlight team were delighted to see two pages of the The Sunday Times newspaper reporting on Bank of England initiatives to demand more detailed information from lenders on how they approve loans. Read more

Responsible Disruption

Uber, apparently the most valuable venture-backed company in history, has taken a tumble. Like all disrupters It was on a mission to change the world, to deliver a service that would cut right through the way people normally did things, and make life easier to navigate. But it has got itself mired in lawsuits and corporate culture chaos. Read more

Going on a Summer Holiday?

Taking a family of four on a summer holiday now costs an average of £1,212 according to new research quoted on the This is Money financial website. It’s a lot of money but we all, maybe subconsciously, appreciate that taking time out to spend with friends and family is important. Read more

Mark Carney’s Warning: We Need a New Zeitgeist of Affordability

Mark Carney warned this week that Britain could be heading for another economic crash as households over extend on consumer credit. It seems, as a nation, we have short memories. Read more

Credit Too Thin? Get to the Core of the Problem

I’ve talked about pizza before in one of my blogs but maybe I failed to mention that thin crust is best. And that the best thin crust I’ve found is at Paesano in Glasgow’s city centre.

In fact, thin is quite often seen to be a good thing. Kate Moss and Victoria Beckham have built careers on it. Steve Jobs’s mission in life was to make his i-things thinner and thinner. And no self regarding espresso would ever want to share saucer space with a fat chocolate mint would it? Read more

Tumbleweed Rolls through the Branches as Banks go Digital

Last week in this blog I flagged up Radio 4’s The Bottom Line’s interesting debate about the impact of fintech on the banking scene. If you had time to tune in, you will also have heard Anthony Jenkins, former CEO of Barclay’s Bank talk, in almost apocalyptic terms, about the accelerating fall in branch traffic. He quoted customer traffic as falling by 15% per annum and said: ‘€œIf you walk into a branch in central London now, you can see the tumbleweeds rolling through the aisles.’€ Read more

Ten Minute Mortgages for the Self-Employed

If you’re self-employed, you may be reeling a little from the changes in your tax fortunes as last week’s budget rise in national insurance contributions for the self-employed was reversed this week. Read more

Kick the Pizza Habit & Pass the Mortgage Stress Test

It’s February, it’s miserable, the days are getting a wee bit longer, but not much. It’s time to think about holidays, get something in the diary to look forward to. And most of the planning is great. City break, ski, beach or an adventure? But, its not all fun in the sun. Once we start signing on the line, we are simultaneously worst-case scenario planning. We take out insurance in case we’re ill and have to cancel, in case we break a leg, in case we lose all our luggage and have to improvise a new holiday wardrobe, in case we get food poisoning and have to fly home early. We take contingency planning very seriously – even if it is only a quick flip to France. Read more

Affordability & Financial Capability – What’s the Difference?

The UK’s first ever Financial Capability Week took place in November – a week of initiatives designed to highlight ways in which people can be helped to manage their money well. Financial capability as a concept is gaining ground and hundreds of organisations in the UK are involved in tackling the issue of low financial capability, helping people to prepare and cope with financial shocks and life events such as redundancy, bereavement and divorce. Read more