USA and UK banks propose a safer future

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Banking authorities in the UK and USA have revealed plans that will limit damage caused by banks falling in to financial trouble. The proposals have come from the Bank of England and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, which is the US institution that would compensate savers if a bank went under and also tries to limit the effects of bank failures on the economy.

The plans detail one national regulator who would be responsible for overseeing the insolvency of larger international ...

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Further tax increases and spending cuts expected in Ireland

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The Irish government is due to present its sixth hard-hitting budget since the collapse of the country’s Celtic Tiger economy. It is expected that the government will propose a further tax rise and spending cuts as they hope to save another 3.5 billion euro.

Since the bailout of Ireland in 2010 the government has been forced to adhere to strict spending limits set by the EU and International Monetary Fund. By continuing the adhere to the guidelines the country  has earned ...

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UK economic contraction predictions improve for 2012

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The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has estimated that the UK economy will shrink by 0.1% this year, less than the 0.4% contraction it had predicted previously.

This improvement was said to be due to, “stronger-than-expected” growth in the last quarter, helped by the Olympic Games.

The BCC also estimate that the UK economy will see a growth of 1% for the whole of 2013, down from the 1.2% it had forecast in September.

Director-general of the BCC, John Longworth said, “As we ...

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UK Wage gap falls for full-time employees

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The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has announced that the full-time pay gap is less than 10% for first time since records started. However the overall gap remains almost double that as salaries in general fail to keep up with inflation.

The difference between men’s and women’s hourly full-time pay fell from 10.5% in 2011 to 9.6% in 2012. The average gross full-time salary of women in the UK now stands at £23,100 which is £5,600 less than their male counterparts. ...

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Lack of deal threatens the entire eurozone

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Eurozone leaders have hit out against the eurozone ministers for a failure to reach a deal to give Greece its latest bailout payment. Following almost twelve hours of talks in Brussels the Eurogroup said it needed more time for technical work.

Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said, “It’s not only the future of our country, but the stability of the entire eurozone [that is at stake].”

“Greece did what it had to do, and what it had pledged to do… whatever technical ...

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UK government to contemplate Welsh tax proposals

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The government has announced that they will give serious consideration to a report calling for Wales to have its own tax system. Many believe that a referendum should be held to decide whether allowing the Welsh government to vary income tax is the best option for the Welsh people.

Welsh Secretary David Jones said work would begin straight away to decide which of the report’s proposals may be introduced.

David Jones was asked if it was part of a “slippery slope” towards ...

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Government considers lifting long term restrictions on Nest scheme

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The government has announced that they will look to remove a cap on contributions and a bar on transfers in an effort to avert retirement saving crisis. This apparent U-turn means that they will consider removing restrictions that had threatened to ruin the solution to the occupational pension crisis.

Official statistics showed fewer people now pay into workplace pensions than at any time since the 1950s. In a reaction to the data, the government established the not-for-profit National Employment Savings Trust ...

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UK service sector growth slows rapidly

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A survey has suggested that activity in the UK service sector grew at its slowest pace in almost two years during October. The Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) from from Markit/CIPS fell to 50.6 from 52.2 in September and a score above 50 specifies growth.

Markit commented that growth in new business eased, whilst employment in the sector fell for the second consecutive month. Markit added that the data was a reminder of the tough economic conditions despite growth exceeding estimations last month.

Andrew ...

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Economic recovery may miss low and middle earners

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A report published by the Commission on Living Standards has predicted that millions of poor and middle-income households may be bypassed by any economic recovery.

The group believes that due to the demise of administrative and manufacturing jobs in the UK the quality of life could stagnate for the next decade. They suggest that the answer is to implement state subsidies to boost employment to avoid any further job shortages.

The commission was brought together by the Resolution Foundation think tank and ...

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Structured investment products – the way forward?

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With current interest rates sitting around 1.8% many investors are looking for innovative ways to increase returns. So a structured investment product that offers a return of 8% per year that protects your money sounds like a great option. However if something looks too good to be true there is usually a downfall.
Rob Morgan at Hargreaves Lansdown said, “We are sceptical of structured products.”
“If a product cannot easily be explained then we are on our guard.”
A structured ...

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