I TRUST you enjoyed your share of Lloyds Banking Group's success last week. What success, I hear you ask?
When Sir John Vickers was chair of the Office of Fair Trading, he was accused of being too cautious with the extra competition powers he had been given. You can see where that idea came from, judging from Monday's preliminary report by the Vickers-chaired Independent Banking Commission (IBC).
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No-one familiar with Ofgem's previous attempts at reining in the excesses of the big six will be getting carried away with the energy regulator's sabre rattling on Monday.
The banking crisis was supposed to be a tipping point in the relationship between the UK's high street banks and their customers. No longer would consumers put up with sub-standard service and a flagrant disregard for their needs, the likes of which were drummed out of other industries decades ago.
No FOOTBALL manager worth his salt would keep picking players that consistently fail to pull their weight in the team. So why should investors tolerate poor performance year after year from funds into which they've ploughed their own money?
Thanks to my mediocre DIY skills I'm all too familiar with the sinking feeling that invariably follows any attempt to repair something. The satisfaction at a job well done inevitably becomes frustration at having, in fact, failed miserably.
A lot of hot air has been expelled over the VAT hike, but its true impact can only be viewed in the context of a flurry of blows set to hit households over the coming months.
I have no intention of making firm predictions for the year ahead; there are plenty of other ways in which I can, and doubtless will, make a fool of myself. However, I do suspect 2011 could be the year in which financial mis-selling scandals return to the headlines.
Letting kids leave school with no financial skills is unacceptable
IT'S a fine line that separates optimism from delusion and George Osborne is clearly a man who likes to flirt with it.
THIS year's competitors could have been forgiven for anticipating a relatively smooth ride. The banking crisis and the recession made the previous competition the most challenging yet, and this time promised to be a walk in the park by comparison.
BANKS are only misselling products because they're not making enough money on current accounts. Oh, and free banking is also the reason for the lack of competition in the sector.
THE UK's lenders were anything but meek at the annual Mice event this week as they continued to divert attention away from their role in the lending slump.
Many hopes that the pressure on household finances would ease as Christmas approaches appear to have been dashed. Consumer confidence has ebbed away in recent weeks, according to the major surveys on the subject, and developments this week will do nothing to improve sentiment.
IT WAS hardly buried in the small print but the extent to which one apparently technical change made by the government will hit millions of people is only now starting to be appreciated.
Six in ten Scots are putting less money aside for their retirement than they were a year ago, new research shows.
LODGERS are the latest weapon being employed by cash-strapped Scottish households as the government begins implementing an unprecedented package of austerity measures.
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IT WAS a year ago this month that the first annual rise in house prices for almost two years prompted bold declarations that the property slump was over.
THE deputy governor of the Bank of England is either confused, very short-sighted, or both. Weeks after proposing a mortgage lending cap that would kill off any prospect of a housing market recovery, Charlie Bean has called for consumers to ditch prudence and embrace debt in favour of an economy-boosting spending spree.