Jane Austen polymer £10 note enters circulation

The new £10 note featuring novelist Jane Austen has entered circulation – marking a return of a woman in addition to the Queen on Bank of England notes. The launch comes after a four-month period when women, apart from the Queen, have not been represented on the Bank’s notes.

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The cities where tens of thousands have problem debts

In at least 10 areas of the UK more than a fifth of the residents are missing bill payments repeatedly, according to research. New figures from the Money Advice Service suggest inner-city areas are the worst affected. In Newham, in the east end of London, and Sandwell in the West Midlands, at least 22% of residents have problem debts.

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UK inflation rate rises to 2.9%

The UK’s inflation rate climbed to its joint highest in more than five years in August as the price of petrol and clothing rose. UK inflation measured by the Consumer Prices Index rose to 2.9% in August, up from 2.6% in July, figures show.

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No interest rate rise

Many economists do not expect UK interest rates to rise until 2019 despite inflation remaining above target, according to a BBC snapshot. They believe that the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) will be reluctant to raise rates during Brexit negotiations.

Inflation stood at 2.6% in July – well above the Bank’s official target of 2%.

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1 in 4 landlords consider using pension lump sum

One in four landlords would consider using a lump sum from their pension to invest in property, with a further 24% undecided, research from BM Solutions shows.
The quarterly BM Solutions / BDRC Continental Landlord Panel revealed that while 77% of landlords view their property portfolio as part of their pension provision, 38% are not planning to withdraw a lump sum from their pension to invest in property or don’t have enough in their pension to do so. This rises to 48% for landlords with larger portfolios (20+ properties).

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House Prices pushed up

A further drop in the number of people putting their homes up for sale is pushing house prices higher, according to surveyors.

A report from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) says new instructions by sellers have fallen “deeper into negative territory”. Meanwhile the number of inquiries from would-be buyers remains unchanged. As a result, most of the 308 Rics members who took part in the survey said house prices were now rising.

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Inflation hits zero

Forecasts for growth in the UK have been lowered by the Bank of England in its latest inflation report.

The Bank says inflation hit zero in March, as previously forecast, driven by falls in energy and food prices. However, the Bank has made minor reductions in forecasts for growth in gross domestic product for the next three years.

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Unemployment fall in March brings in best rate since mid 2008

Finance News UK unemployment falls. UK unemployment has fallen in March, bringing in the best rate since mid-2008.
Data from the Office for National Statistics shows that in the first quarter employment for those aged 16 to 64 rose to 73.5%, up from 72.5% a year earlier. Employment was up by 202,000 in the three months to March, reaching a record high of 31.1 million.

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Record low for annuity rates

The average annual income from a standard annuity has fallen to a record low within three weeks of a major overhaul of the pension system.

The popularity of annuities – bought from a pension pot and guaranteeing a fixed, regular income for life – fell after the shake-up was announced. Since 6 April, retirees have been able to do what they wish with their pension pot, but it may be taxed.

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