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Our Weekly Newsletter

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Our Weekly Newsletter

Across Instinctif Partners’ Financial Services team, we are always keeping an eye on the key developments taking place across the sector to evaluate their impact on the many businesses we work with. Here we share our picks of the week’s most interesting news, and our expert views.

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Contactless card limit will rise to £100

The Treasury has confirmed that the limit on a single payment using contactless card technology will rise to £100 later this year. The pandemic has accelerated a move away from cash, with shoppers encouraged to use contactless in many stores for public health reasons. Regulators say businesses could still decide themselves whether to accept the higher limit amid concerns raised regarding fraud risks involved in the use of cards. (From BBC, 3 March 2021)

Home values hit another record high as buyers attempt to beat Stamp Duty deadline 

The average house price hit a new record high of £231,068 in February, according to building society Nationwide’s monthly index. Property values climbed 6.9% annually, up from 6.4% in January in a surprise acceleration. It is also noted that house prices were up 0.7% on a monthly basis, with increased buyer activity sparked by the Stamp Duty holiday that was initially set to end on the 31st March. The holiday has since been extended by three months as announced by the Chancellor in the Budget. (From Daily Mail, 2 March 2021)

Complaints about guarantor loans rise by 3,000% in a year

Complaints about guarantor loans where the debt is backed by a relative or friend have risen by more than 3,000% in a year to almost 800 a week. According to new data from the UK’s Financial Ombudsman Service, this type of loan received the highest number of complaints during the last three months of 2021, and has resulted in Amigo, the biggest provider of these loans, becoming the most complained-about financial firm. It has also fuelled concern over the types of product arising following the decline of the payday loans industry. (From The Guardian, 3 March 2021)

Stricter rules will stifle innovation in UK fintech scene 

More stringent regulations in response to the collapse of Wirecard will stifle innovation and make it harder for smaller fintech companies to achieve long-term profitability. Senior executives at fintech firms have warned policy makers about the costs of tightening rules on the industry in response to new rules that are set to become permanent this year. Under the new regime enforced by the FCA, payment and e-money institutions will be required to employ stronger risk-management standards, similar to those followed by banks. (From the FT, 3 March 2021)

Britain’s high street banks unveil plans to launch open banking

The UK’s largest high street banks will unveil plans to launch a not-for-profit organisation to oversee the banking’s industry steps to strengthen competition through implementing an open banking system. The system is designed to give consumers more information on banks’ products to ensure they can secure the best product for their individual circumstance. The initiative would function by aggregating third-party data on a single platform that consumers can access to compare different offers. (From Sky News, 1 March 2021)

 

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