UK Money

Finance confidence hit by Christmas

The Lloyds Bank Spending Power Report found November's record high reading of 191 points fell to 188 points in December

Consumers' confidence in their finances fell back from its highest levels in four years in December as Christmas put a squeeze put on people's budgets, a report has found.

'Help firms to pay living wage'

Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser said firms should be given tax breaks to pay the living wage

Businesses should be given taxpayers' money or tax breaks to pay their workers a "living wage", according to the Conservatives.

Pension saving 'now more important'

People are now more likely to save spare money into a pension scheme, according to a new survey

Pension saving has become one of the nation's top priorities - but people are still more likely to put any spare cash they might have towards a holiday rather than their retirement fund, a report has found.

Pound climbs as euro tumbles

The rise in the pound against the euro is likely to cheer holidaymakers preparing for ski breaks in France or Italy

The pound climbed to a new near seven-year high against the single currency today as the impact of the European Central Bank's 1.1 trillion euro (£820 million) asset purchase programme was digested by markets.

Living Wage plea to Premier League

Hearts pay staff the Living Wage

Ed Miliband has put pressure on Premier League football clubs to follow the example of Chelsea and Hearts and pay all their staff a living wage.

Surprise growth in retail sales

It was the weakest December growth for two years but beat City expectations

Retail sales volumes grew by 0.4% last month despite Black Friday promotions bringing forward many pre-Christmas purchases into November.

Families with children 'lost most'

The lowest-income 10% of families with children are hardest hit in terms of percentage of household income, said the Institute for Fiscal Studies

Tax and benefit changes introduced by the coalition Government have cost the average household £1,127 a year and the poorest families with children have lost most, as a proportion of their income, according to a report by an independent economic thinktank.

£100,000 windfall for downsizers

The main reason people want to downsize is to find a property that is more suitable for their circumstances

Home owners can typically expect to create a windfall of more than £100,000 by downsizing to a smaller property such as a semi-detached home or a bungalow, research has found.

House price growth gap 'narrows'

The gap between the "best and worst-performing cities" was at its narrowest since February 1999, figures showed

The gap between the UK cities with the strongest house price growth and those with the weakest has shrunk to its narrowest levels in nearly 16 years, property analyst Hometrack has reported.

Most first-time buyers since 2007

An estimated £205.6 billion of mortgages were handed out last year to all types of borrower - the largest amount since 2008

More than 300,000 people took their first step on the property ladder last year, marking the highest number of first-time buyers seen since 2007, banks and building societies have reported.

Big Six rapped on customer service

The Big Six energy companies account for 90% of the UK market

Consumers are continuing to receive a poor deal from the Big Six energy suppliers, with smaller providers scoring far higher for the fourth year in a row, according to an annual survey.

Even more switch current accounts

Thousands of customers dumped their bank for a Santander current account last year

Some 1.16 million current account customers switched their bank or building society last year, marking a 12% increase on 2013, figures from the Payments Council reveal.

£230k bill to raise a child to 21

Rising childcare and education expenses mean it now costs £230,000 to raise a child to the age of 21, research shows

The cost of raising a child to the age of 21 has increased by almost two-thirds over the past decade to around £230,000, a new study has shown.

Long wait for first-time buyers

First time buyers face waiting years before they can save enough money for a deposit, Shelter says

Young families in England face saving for 12 years before they can afford to buy a home, while single people could spend around 13 years waiting to get onto the housing ladder, according to estimates from Shelter.

2p 'treatment tax' on beer urged

A 2p extra tax on a pint of beer could help pay for alcohol rehabilitation

Ministers have been urged to put an extra 2p tax on the price of beer to help pay for alcohol rehabilitation, after new figures showed the number of drink-related hospital admissions in England has passed 1.2 million.

Record low deals for home-owners

The Nationwide is the latest mortgage lender to offer 10-year fixed-rate deals at rates below 3 per cent

Home-owners looking for long-term protection against interest rate rises are being offered record low deals after one lender launched new rates today.