Week ending 23rd September 2011
It’s been another week dominated by fluctuating world markets. With the FTSE100 first making some gains after the losses of the last few weeks, towards the end of the week, it was heading back down towards 5000. This was also the week the Liberal Democrat conference took place in Birmingham with announcements on tax and banks at the forefront.
• FTSE100 drops again
The FTSE100 fell below 5300 points on Monday, following a regional election defeat for German’s chancellor, further signs of a possible Greece default and an upcoming US Federal Reserve meeting.
• New rules to make switching bank accounts easier
The Independent Commission on Banking report has proposed rules which would make it easier and less risky to switch bank accounts. It is not clear, however, how long it will be before these proposals come into force.
• £100 a week rise in house prices
Online estate agent, findaproperty.com have surveyed over a million properties and found that the asking price (as opposed to the selling price) of properties has risen by £3,667 since January.
Source: Economic Voice
• Energy Secretary to ‘get tough’ with energy companies
The government’s Energy Secretary, Chris Huhne, has promised to ‘get tough’ with the energy companies and reduce household energy costs. Pledged measures include forcing companies to reduce the switching period for customers from 3 to 6 weeks
Source: Economic Voice
• Lib Dems propose income tax threshold of £12,500
At their party conference, the Liberal Democrats revealed that they want to raise the income tax threshold to £12,500, meaning anyone earning less than this annually would pay no tax at all.
• Survey shows over-55s are ‘terrified’ about long term care costs
A survey by insurer, Aviva, has revealed that the majority of over-55 year olds are ‘terrified’ by potential long term care bills and do not believe that individuals should pay for their own care.
• Halifax announces ‘prize draw’ scheme
Halifax announced a new prize draw scheme, similar to Premium Bonds, for customers who have more than £5,000 in a Halifax or Bank of Scotland savings account. Customers can win up to £100,000.
• FTSE100 drops again after US announcement
The FTSE100 along with other markets around the world plummeted after the US Federal Reserve’s message that the economy faces ‘significant downside risks’.