Category Archives: Money

What Happens to Credit Card Debt and Other Debt When You Die?

Are your credit card debts cancelled when you die or do they become the responsibility of your loved ones? This is a very important question, yet many credit card holders don’t know the answer. Here’s what you need to know.

According to Andrew Shaw, StepChange Debt Charity’s debt advice policy coordinator, the rules vary depending on a number of factors.

If you live in England and Wales, for instance, your debts can “die” with you in some cases. Sometimes creditors can write off debt belonging to deceased individuals or simply stop pursuing such debt; however, aren’t obligated by law to do so.

Also, some alternatives may be addressed in insurance policies. For instance, if the deceased has a policy that covers outstanding debt if they die, such policies can take care of credit card debt among any other debt the policyholder may have.

It’s also a matter of the type of debt. If the credit card debt has joint names, the responsibility of paying the debt is automatically passed on to the other person i.e., surviving account holder. However, most credit cards are issued for individual names.

Outstanding debt owned by a person when they die can also be repaid using proceeds of their estate. This is usually done in a probate process. If the money isn’t enough to repay the debt/s or the deceased estate is insolvent, a trustee is usually appointed to share the proceeds fairly among all creditors.

A creditor or representative of the deceased can get an insolvency administration order. In case the deceased has jointly owned property, proceeds of the property are shared depending on the nature of the joint ownership. If all parties had equal ownership, the property is transferred to the surviving owner and creditors can’t force a sale. However, the surviving person can be obligated to pay an amount equal to the deceased person’s shares if there is an insolvency administration order.

Creditors can force a sale to recover their money if the joint owners owned separate shares i.e. tenants in common. The shares of the deceased are treated as their estate in such a case.

If you think your home is at risk because of debt accumulated by a deceased joint owner, seek legal advice immediately. After the estate is dealt with, relatives of the deceased are not responsible for any outstanding debt.

Emma Gunn’s take

According to Emma Gunn of ThisisMoney.co.uk, family members should take some steps when a loved one passes on to avoid confusion with lenders as well as help settle any liable outstanding debt smoothly.

You’ve probably heard of companies or creditors who keep sending bills to deceased persons or fail to terminate accounts and then charge deceased persons late fees/penalties. Some creditors go as far as harassing loved ones.

To avoid such problems, it’s important for outstanding debt or credit contracts of loved ones to be listed. Contacts of banks/lenders should also be known in advance. Doing this is important when it comes to managing mortgage debt, credit card debt and student loans among other debt after the death of a loved one. The information should extend to insurance, savings and pension information to ensure there are no late fees among other charges added to existing debt or bills.

In most cases, you need documentation such as a death certificate to stop charges/fees, so it’s important to take extra copies when you register the death. You should also record when you contact creditors/banks, who you spoke with and file any correspondence in case there is a dispute in the future.

Remember to include utility companies in the list from mobile phone contracts to energy bills. Some utility companies don’t cancel contracts, but it’s worth asking. There may be an outstanding balance or due payments that can be deducted from the estate.

As mentioned above, the rules change for joint bank accounts among other joint credit accounts like mortgages or loans. Your partner may/may not be held jointly liable when you die.

The debt may be split, or he/she may be wholly liable. The key is; contacting creditors immediately. If you are struggling with payments, let the creditors know. Most will be willing to create a new repayment plan or offer repayment holidays.

Is the Company Director of Swift Money Limited.
He oversees all day to day operations of the company and actively participates in providing information regarding the payday/short term loan industry.

What is an IVA? What You Need to Know

What is an IVA?

An IVA (Individual Voluntary Arrangement) can be defined as a formal legally binding agreement made between an individual and creditors. The agreement highlights how a person is required to pay back their creditors. Since they are formal and legal, they must be approved by a court. IVAs can be flexible enough to suit the needs of the person who is in debt. However, they are generally expensive. An IVA can also attract some risks.

How an IVA works

IVAs are a form of insolvency like bankruptcy although they are different in many ways. For instance, an IVA must be prepared by an insolvency practitioner (a qualified person) who may be an accountant or lawyer.

Insolvency practitioners render their services at a fee which may vary from one practitioner to another. They deal with creditors on behalf of their clients for the entire IVA period.

Individuals who decide to get IVAs work out repayment plans with their insolvency practitioners. The repayment plan is then presented to creditors. If they agree to all the details in the plan, the agreement becomes valid, and all parties must adhere to it.

You must make monthly repayments as agreed. The money should be sent to the insolvency practitioner who then distributes the money to creditors as agreed. A portion of the monthly repayments is usually deducted by the insolvency practitioner as fees. It’s advisable to find out what your insolvency practitioner will

charge you before getting into an IVA. As mentioned above, some practitioners charge more than others.

When can you take an IVA?

IVAs can be taken to repay a variety of common debts ranging from; overdrafts and catalogue debts to personal loans, rent arrears or mortgage shortfalls. You can also consider taking an IVA to help you with your tax debt i.e., council tax arrears, income tax, national insurance contributions, court fines, student loans, etc. You can get a conclusive list of all the debt covered by IVAs in the Citizens Advice official website. [1]

Who can take an individual voluntary agreement?

You need to be in debt to consider taking an IVA given IVAs are necessary for lessening a person’s debt burden. What’s more; you need some spare income every month (at least £100). Most creditors don’t accept IVAs with payments less than £100. If you have more than one debt, you’ll need more money. However, there are exceptions to this if you have something valuable you can sell. Many creditors will overlook the amount of spare income or regular income you have if you own a valuable asset which you can sell and repay your debt periodically or with a lump sum. In a nutshell, anyone with debt burden and some regular income or valuable asset can qualify for an IVA.

Is an IVA a good option for you?

IVAs can be flexible allowing you some much needed time to repay multiple debts. You can reduce your monthly debt repayment by as much as 70% using an IVA. The agreement can also offer you some much-needed protection against creditor actions such as auctioning your property, petitioning for bankruptcy, etc.

However, they are usually expensive in the long-term and tend to come with other cons. For instance, you may not be able to save money or make important contributions like pension payments during the duration of the agreement. You may also be forced to re-mortgage your home/use any equity. An IVA can also affect your ability to get another job since IVAs are public. Anyone including potential employers can get access to your IVA. An IVA also appears on a

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person’s credit report for years (usually six years) which can make it hard to get loans in the future. Last but not least, your IVA may fail if your circumstances keep changing and you struggle making repayments. You must consider all the above before deciding whether or not an IVA is a good option for you.

What next after an IVA?

Most IVAs last for 5 to 6 years although the period can vary and usually ends after all the debt is settled. Once an IVA ends, the insolvency practitioner is supposed to issue a completion certificate. You should ask for one. The practitioner should also ensure your IVA record is removed from the insolvency register.

Important considerations

You should come up with a detailed budget before taking an IVA to ensure you can repay your preferred amount comfortably. It’s also advisable to take time and choose a reputable IVA provider to avoid high fees. A reputable provider will also ensure you get the best possible terms with your creditors.

Is the Company Director of Swift Money Limited.
He oversees all day to day operations of the company and actively participates in providing information regarding the payday/short term loan industry.

A Quick Guide to UK Pensions

Building your pension fund is vital for retirement especially if you want to avoid relying on short-term loans like payday loans later in life. Here is a quick guide to UK pensions.

1. State pension

Most people in the UK get some state pension. This type of pension is paid by the state or government. You gain entitlement to a state pension if you have been making national insurance contributions partly or throughout your working life. State pension offers the pensioner a secure source of income for life. The pension usually increases on a yearly basis based on the inflation rate. Although state pension meant is for individuals who have been working and contributing, you can qualify for the pension if you claim certain benefits or when you are bringing up children.

Rate

Since April 2016, the UK state pension was set to a flat rate. For the 2018/2019 tax year, the flat rate is £164.35 a week. However, a person can qualify for more if they are entitled to additional state pension. The entitlement is subject to the previous system (before April 2016). A person can also receive less when they are “contracted out” of additional state pension.

Qualification

To qualify for full state pension, you require 35-years national insurance (NI) record. To be eligible for any state pension, you require at least 10 years on your NI record.

Claiming

You can claim state pension when you are just about to reach state pension age (4 months before). You can check your state pension age here: https://www.gov.uk/state-pension-age.

You can also defer your pension by doing nothing. If you don’t claim state pension, it stays intact until you claim. The pension increases by 1% every 9 weeks you defer or approximately 5.8% per year. The increase is paid together with regular pension payments when you claim.

2. Defined benefit pension

If you have been working for a large organization or for the government/public sector, you most likely have a DB pension. Defined benefit pension is salary- related. The pension pays a secure income for a lifetime which increases every year. The amount of money you get in a DB pension is dictated by factors such as years you have contributed to the scheme as well as your salary during that period. In regards to salary, the pension calculation can consider the average career pay or your pay at retirement.

Claiming

You can claim your DB pension when you attain the normal retirement age (65 years) or earlier depending on the type of scheme although this may reduce the amount you get significantly.

When you claim your pension, you can take a portion tax-free. The pension scheme rules dictate the amount you take although you can take approximately 25% of the total pension benefits as a tax-free sum. As mentioned above, claiming can reduce the amount you receive significantly so if you must claim, it is recommendable to claim a lower amount.

You can also transfer your DB pension to a scheme that allows you more flexible access. Although this option is ideal when you want to access the pension sum at will to avoid taking out short-term loans like payday loans during emergencies, you give up some benefits by choosing this option.

You should speak to an FCA regulated financial adviser before making such a decision since some pension schemes may be scams.

3. Defined contribution pension

This type of pension scheme is built up after which a retirement income is drawn. The pension amount is dictated by how your investments perform, the charges you pay as well as the amount you/your employer contributes. Personal, workplace and stakeholder pension schemes are part of defined contribution pensions.

You can what you like with your defined contribution pension after reaching 55 years old. However, it is better to let your pension amount build up for you to have more money to spend during retirement. You should contribute optimally and allow your pension to build up until you retire.

The above guide summarises UK pension basics. Understanding the types of pensions and your choices among other information is important when you want to make better decisions for your retirement. Planning for the future early can help you avoid short-term loan problems which are common in the UK today. To learn more about pensions, you can seek financial advice from FCA-registered financial advisers like https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk who offer free retirement planning advice.

Is the Company Director of Swift Money Limited.
He oversees all day to day operations of the company and actively participates in providing information regarding the payday/short term loan industry.

Ministers Set Aside £800,000 for Hunting Down Illegal Loan Sharks

UK Ministers have pumped £800,000 into efforts aimed at cracking down on illegal loan sharks out to exploit the most vulnerable borrowers. Rogue lenders capitalising on desperate borrowers are going to face a fresh stringent crackdown. £100,000 of the money set aside was seized from dodgy firms. The £800k will be spent on efforts aimed at encouraging vulnerable borrowers to join credit unions instead of considering high-cost credit options.

A record £5.6 million will be availed to Illegal Money Lending Teams in the UK to fight unscrupulous lenders who target poor and desperate borrowers. The money is meant to help troubled borrowers get out of debt and stay away from lenders offering loans at ridiculously high interest rates.

An estimated 300,000 British households are indebted to illegal lenders. According to Treasury’s Economic Secretary, John Glen, “high-interest lenders are lowlife crooks who take advantage of the most vulnerable. The 300,000 Britons indebted to these illegal lenders must know we are on their side. This is why we are spending more to support the victims and fight the loan sharks.”

The news has been received positively by many including The Sun which already has a campaign pushing for a ceiling on the total cost of high-cost credit offered via rent-to-own products and doorstep loans.

In 2017, 7 million British households used high-cost credit like doorstep loans and rent-to-own products. Ministers have called on an extension of the payday loans cap to many other types of high-cost credit including credit cards.

Stella Creasy has been on record accusing high-cost lenders of “preying” on Britons who survive on insecure incomes. In a recent statement, she pleaded with ministers to borrow from the payday loan cap lessons and apply a similar cap to other loan products stating that Britain is drowning in debt.

The latest statistics indicate that there have been 380 prosecutions against illegal lenders since the IMLT (Illegal Money Lending Teams) was formed in 2004. The IMLT has written off 73 million pounds of illegal debt saving 28,000 poor borrowers from the jaws of loan sharks.

According to Peter Tutton, StepChange Debt Charity’s Head of Policy, the move by the ministers is welcome. In a recent statement, Tutton stated that the crackdown on illegal loan sharks needs to extend to the entire high-cost credit market to ease the harm experienced by many British households forced to take loans to survive. While reacting to the new efforts aimed at boosting the IMLT’s mandate, Tutton stated it is time for the UK government to seek creative and sustainable alternatives to help vulnerable households.

Why is it important to stop loan/credit rip-off

According to The Sun, no borrower should be forced to pay twice as much as they borrowed or more regardless of the type of loan product they are taking. Paying interest that is equal or more than the borrower amount is unethical in any standard.

This thinking is what inspired UK newspaper The Sun to launch a campaign pushing for a cap on the cost of doorstep loans and rent-to-own loans. The Sun is calling for a cap similar to that set on payday loans in 2015 where the total cost of loans can never exceed the loan amount.

Since the payday loan cap came into effect in the UK, the number of payday loan borrowers with unmanageable payday loan debt has decreased by over 50% according to  Citizens Advice which offers free, independent and confidential financial advice to anyone in need.

People earning the lowest incomes and living in the most poverty-stricken places are paying the steepest price for loans. Doorstep and rent-to-own loan lenders target individuals whose income isn’t enough to cover all the basic monthly household expenses. These high-cost loans are extended to individuals who have problems paying for utility bills and rent among other essential bills. The loans are also extended to borrowers who want to buy household goods like furniture.

Although the loans seem helpful, they attract exorbitant interest rates amounting to 1,500% in some cases. It is scandalous for anyone to have to borrow money for subsistence and then be forced to pay three times the loan amount.

With the IMLT funded, there is enough momentum to deal with all high-cost lenders in the UK conclusively.

Is the Company Director of Swift Money Limited.
He oversees all day to day operations of the company and actively participates in providing information regarding the payday/short term loan industry.

The FCA is Preparing For Cryptocurrencies Adoption

Traditional financial institutions in the UK and most countries in the world haven’t been very supportive of cryptocurrencies in the past several years. However, 2018 has seen a widespread “change of heart”. Institutions that were thought to be against cryptocurrency adoption and integration are now softening their stand.

The FCA is one of those institutions that have begun making significant steps towards positive cryptocurrency regulation. In March 2018, The FCA, in conjunction with the Bank of England launched a cryptocurrency taskforce aimed at regulating and fostering the rapidly expanding sector. The regulator also launched a fintech sandbox meant to boost fintech development by attracting tech companies from all over the world.

According to the FCA’s 2018/2019 business plan, [1] the regulator will give a detailed report on cryptocurrencies late 2018. However, the FCA has already released a guideline for financial institutions interested in launching cryptocurrency derivative offerings.

There has been a longstanding apathetic attitude about Bitcoin among other Cryptocurrencies from traditional financial institutions like the BOE (Bank of England).

BOE governor, Mark Carney has been on record condemning Bitcoin in an address he made in February 2018 at Regent University. [2] In his remarks, Carney stated that Bitcoin had failed miserably as a store of value and medium of exchange.

Some renowned economists have also been on record saying it was unlikely that traditional financial institutions would “warm up” to Cryptocurrencies. One such economist is John Van Reenen, Professor of Economics at MIT.

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However, the latest move by the FCA suggests otherwise. There is a strong indication that the regulator is taking steps that will see England become the most attractive destination for Blockchain start-ups and tech companies. [3]

Volatility has been the primary concern about Cryptocurrencies globally. However, these concerns seem to be reduced currently given the interest generated by the sector in the past year. The FCA seems to be following in the footsteps of American exchange operators. The CBOE (Chicago Board Options Exchange) and the CME (Chicago Mercantile Exchange) were the 1st to float Bitcoin Future contracts. The move boosted Bitcoin’s price to peak at $20,000 a week later before a price correction.

This wouldn’t have been possible if the CFTC hadn’t authorised the move to launch cryptocurrency futures options. The CFTC has gone further and promised regulatory guidelines which are expected to boost cryptocurrency ICOs and Blockchain technology.

Cryptocurrency trading options

Similarly, the FCA has acknowledged demand for cryptocurrency derivatives in the UK. [4] The regulator has issued a statement to companies launching cryptocurrency derivatives. Although there is no cryptocurrency regulation in the UK currency, the FCA requires firms interested in offering contracts for differences, future and crypto options to follow the existing FCA regulations.

Blockchain

Since cryptocurrencies appear to be an unstoppable force that still raises suspicion among traditional financial players, it is difficult to predict how the pending cryptocurrency review will unfold. However, the FCA is likely to focus on lucrative Blockchain technology applications.

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Legislators such as Matt Hancock have already been on record predicting an unmatched impact of the technology in the future. In recent remarks, Hancock highlighted how the British government has already set aside 10 million pounds to fund different Blockchain projects on energy and voting systems among other projects.

In his remarks, Hancock stated that the cryptocurrency task force will create an approach that matches the need for growth and innovation while managing the risks presented by the sector.

According to Nigel Green, Founder and C.E.O. of Financial consultancy firm deVere Group, the growth of cryptocurrencies in the recent past can only be expected to soar over the next 10 years as more businesses adopt the main cryptocurrencies into their activities to meet growing customer demands.

Green expects the FCA, being one of the most respected and influential financial regulators globally to be at the forefront of shaping as well as defining cryptocurrency policies for regulators globally. He also expects the FCA to define the thinking behind cryptocurrencies since most leading economies in the world are already paying close attention to the cryptocurrency market.

If the FCA follows the CFTC and SEC move, support for cryptocurrencies in the UK and Europe at large would surge. Positive news from the FCA would give the cryptocurrency market a much-needed boost. The regulator has come a long way from issuing cryptocurrency related warnings to investors to showing signs of adoption.

Is the Company Director of Swift Money Limited.
He oversees all day to day operations of the company and actively participates in providing information regarding the payday/short term loan industry.

Asda Shelves Controversial £99 Petrol Deposit

Supermarket chain Asda has shelved its controversial petrol deposit trial rolled out in three supermarkets in the UK. The move followed adverse news headlines in the recent past. Disgruntled customers have been voicing their displeasure for being charged £99 more after filling up using the supermarket’s pay-at-the- pump system. The system had been allowing Asda customers to pay for fuel upfront using their card without going into the kiosk.

According to BBC reports, Asda claims the £99 deposit was meant to be a holding charge to make sure customers have enough funds to pay for fuel. The scheme has now been suspended. Asda claims they just wanted to do what was best for their customers.

What went wrong?

The Asda petrol deposit was designed to help customers avoid overdraft facilities when paying for fuel in case a customer paid for fuel using their card, and they didn’t necessarily have funds available in the card. Although the trial deposit was designed to do good, it has faced widespread criticism from customers who were forced to pay the £99 deposit over and above the fuel purchased without any warning.

The trial deposit which was meant to be cancelled when the right fuel amount was paid faced serious delays because of coordination challenges between Visa, MasterCard and consumer banks. The challenges left many Asda customers short of £99 temporarily.

According to a statement released by Asda, MasterCard and Visa intended to make sure Asda customers had enough funds in their card to pay for fuel and the £99 deposit would be refunded immediately to the customers through their bank.

Asda admitted to receiving few complaints about the process but went ahead to suspend the change sighting risks associated with harming their customer’s trust in them. Until the British retailer is given assurances that all banks will comply with the MasterCard and Visa rule change, it can’t continue with the petrol deposit trial.

High profile complaints

Asda may have received a few complaints, however; most were shared on social media (Facebook) and reported by mainstream media. One notable complaint was by Asda customer Jade Louise who blasted at the company furiously for being charged £99 after buying petrol worth £5 at an Asda located in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire. According to her complaint, her trial deposit was refunded three days later causing here huge inconveniences. Her complaint, which was in the form of a Facebook post, was shared more than 20,000 times. She attached her bank statement (a screenshot) to back up her claims and a post urging people not to fuel at Asda unless they are willing to wait for days without £99.

Part of her complaint blamed Asda for bringing a new system that allows the retailer to deduct £99 from a customer’s account for fuel as well as a second deduction for the fuel you have actually taken. According to Louise, she had tried contacting Asda and received unsatisfactory feedback from a manager who stated that the deduction was a trial. Louise among many other complainants expressed displeasure at the fact that £99 is deducted from your account and you can’t use the money for days until it is released back after the other payment is cleared. Most complaints were on execution.

Customers felt Asda could have communicated better using notices on petrol pumps to ensure customers were aware of the change in policy before facing a huge £99 pre-authorisation charge which wasn’t refunded in minutes.

Change in the rules

According to MasterCard correspondence with BBC, there had been a recent change in industry regulations in 2017 that required automated fuel pumps to pre- authorise a value matching the cost of a full tank of petrol. Before the change, motorists were only charged a £1 pre-authorisation from their accounts as a

confirmation that they were using a valid card. The new rules were meant to ensure customer didn’t fill up more fuel than they could afford which would usually result in overdraft charges.

The controversial £99 petrol deposit trial comes in the wake of an anticipated increase in fuel prices globally as the United States decided to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal. There is a looming increase in pump prices in the next few weeks.

There is also increasing concern about short term debt like overdraft loans in the UK.

Is the Company Director of Swift Money Limited.
He oversees all day to day operations of the company and actively participates in providing information regarding the payday/short term loan industry.

Provident Financial Breaks Gloom, Reports Strong Start to 2018

According to a trading update by Provident Financial, all the lender’s businesses are performing well. The update has put an end to the doorstep lender’s recent problems. The Bradford-based lender offers high-cost loans to some of the most vulnerable families in Britain. Reports of a strong start have put an end to recent financial woes.

According to the trading update, all three businesses of the group have started 2018 on a positive note. This announcement comes after Provident Financial tapped £300 million of fresh investment funding. The lender had failed to reorganise its debt collection business and announced two profit warnings in the recent past. Provident Financial had also had a challenging year for shareholders before making the positive announcement.

In August 2017, the then C.E.O. Peter Crook resigned after the lender announced a 2nd profit warning in a span of two months. The second profit warning was triggered by a decision to overhaul home-collection business by hiring 2,500 customer experience managers to replace self-employed debt collectors. In the wake of the news, there was a massive exit of self-employed agents that happened faster than Provident Financial had envisioned resulting in poor debt collection rates.

The lender also faced a massive fine of £2m and compensation amounting to £169 million in February 2018 paid to its Vanquish Bank Unit consumers after the FCA found the lender guilty of malpractice. The regulator discovered that Provident hadn’t informed its customers accordingly about the total cost of add-on product, Repayment Option Plan.

The FCA is also investigating Provident’s car finance business Moneybarn. The regulator is concerned on how the lender has been evaluating potential car buyers before issuing loans. Although Provident Financial’s debt collection business is still making losses, the business is set to become profitable in 2019.

The trading update also covered the level of debt collection after Christmas which happens to be the busiest and most profitable period for high-cost lenders. Provident Financial debt collection arm enjoyed considerable business during this period adding that Vanquis Bank had been delivering profits beyond

expectations and although Moneybarn business was affected by bad debts, the performance was modestly beyond expectations with customer numbers higher by 24% compared to the same period last year.

The improvement was experienced despite the lender tightening the criteria for choosing suitable borrowers. In remarks made to mark an end to the first quarter, Provident Financial C.E.O. Malcolm Le May stated that the financial and operational performance of Provident Financial is promising and the lender is on track to post 2018 results that match internal plans.

About Provident Financial: Brief overview

Provident Financial is a sub-prime lender or “doorstep lender” in the UK. The company specialises in home collected credit, online loans, credit cards and consumer car finance. The company is listed on the LSE.

Provident Financial conducts business under different brands. Vanquis does credit card business. Provident Personal Credit is a home credit operations company while Satsuma offers online instalment loans. Other brands include Moneybarn for car finance business and Glo for guarantor loans. Provident Financial’s home credit brand Provident Personal Credit lends to individuals in their homes via local agents. The company serves over a million home credit customers.

Provident Financial was established in 1880 to offer cheap credit to residents of West Yorkshire. The lender was listed on the LSE in 1962. The company formed Vanquis Bank in 2002 to issue/operate credit cards. Vanquis focuses on pre-paid credit card business. In 2013, Provident Financial started its online short-term loan business Satsuma Loans before acquiring Moneybarn a year later. The Moneybarn acquisition was meant to give the lender exposure to automobile finance business.

Provident Financial has had a fair share of challenges ranging from fines to reprimands for questionable lending practices to breaching regulatory requirements. The lender’s stock has dropped by over 60% in a single day (22nd August 2017) after issuing a 2nd profit warning, events which saw the resignation of the then C.E.O., cancelation of shareholder dividend, a warning alluding to the cancellation of the full-year dividend in 2017 and announcement of an ongoing investigation by the FCA.

The latest trading update signalling the end of the lender’s financial woes is a “breath of fresh air”. If Provident Financial manages to maintain the current momentum, the lender may be able to reclaim long-lost glory.

Is the Company Director of Swift Money Limited.
He oversees all day to day operations of the company and actively participates in providing information regarding the payday/short term loan industry.

The National Living Wage Has Had a Boost in 2018

The UK National Living Wage was officially increased as of April 1st, 2018. The increase has seen many UK workers earn a long-awaited pay boost. The increase was confirmed in the November budget by Philip Hammond. The boost is however reserved for UK workers aged 25 years and above. It is also below the current Real Living Wage, a wage that is independently calculated by the Living Wage Foundation, a voluntary scheme with thousands of employers involved (such as local authorities, retailers, and charities).

Definition: National Living Wage

The UK National Living Wage (formally referred to as National Minimum wage before 2016) refers to the amount of money any UK employee aged 25 years and above is legally entitled to earn. The wage has increased to £7.83 (from £7.50). The £0.33 per-hour increase was officially introduced on 1st April 2018.

The United Kingdom introduced a compulsory national living wage back in 2016. The Labour government set the first ever National Minimum Wage in 1998. Before that, there was no official wage rate in existence although trade unions in the UK have always fought hard for the rights of their workers.

Mr. Hammond wants to raise the National Living Wage consistently to £9 in the next two years (by 2020). The news has been welcomed by many UK workers although only workers with employers who are Real Living Wage scheme members stand to enjoy.

Definition: National minimum wage

The UK National Minimum Wage refers to the amount of money workers aged between school-leaving age and 24 years are entitled to. The amount can vary depending on factors such as age and whether a worker is a member of an apprenticeship scheme.

As of April 1, 2018, workers aged 21 to 24 years will earn a minimum of £7.38, up from £7.05. Workers aged 18 to 20 years will earn a minimum of £5.90, up from £5.60. Workers aged less than 18 years will earn £4.20, up from £4.05.

Apprentices who were entitled to £3.50 (if they are less than 19 years old) are now entitled to £3.70 as of 1st April 2018.

Binding limits

The proposed national wage limits are binding. Any UK worker who hasn’t been getting wages matching the new national limits has the right to complain to their employer immediately. If the employer fails to address the concern, the worker can escalate the complaint to the HMRC for further investigation and action.

Who doesn’t qualify for the National Living Wage or National Minimum Wage?

The new National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage limits aren’t applicable to voluntary workers, self-employed individuals, company directors as well as family members living in an employer’s home or those who do household chores.

Discrepancies by location and industry

It’s also important to note that the pay is the same regardless of location. The pay is the same for workers living everywhere including London. There are however differences in pay for workers in horticulture and agriculture.

Entitlement

All UK workers who were employed before 1st October 2013 are entitled to the wage set in their employment contracts. Entitlement to the National Minimum Wage or National Living Wage depends on a worker’s age as well as their membership to an apprenticeship scheme.

Definition: Real Living Wage

The Real Living Wage is a wage independently calculated yearly by Charity organisation, Living Wage Foundation. The wage aims to acknowledge the “real” or “actual” cost of living based on factors like fluctuating prices of groceries in the UK. The scheme has 3000 employers as members. The wage limit is set by Living Wage Foundation. Accredited employers include; construction companies, retailers, banks, NHS trusts, local authorities, and charities.

According to Living Wage Foundation, the Real Living Wage is £8.75 per hour everywhere except London. London’s Real Living Wage is £10.20 currently. The Real Living Wage is calculated yearly (every November). All accredited employers must commit to any increases. The rate applies to workers over 18 years of age in recognition that such workers have to face similar living expenses like everyone else.

Although companies aren’t legally entitled to pay their workers in line with national living or minimum wages, companies which are members of the Real Living Wage scheme automatically pledge to pay their workers as per the current Real Living Wage rates at any given time.

Is the Company Director of Swift Money Limited.
He oversees all day to day operations of the company and actively participates in providing information regarding the payday/short term loan industry.