Debt Management Company Gregory Pennington Have Said That Now Is A More Important Time Than Ever For Consumers To Get Their Finances In Order And Tackle Any Existing Debt Problems

Following Bank of England Governor Mervyn King’s announcement that the British economy is entering a recession, debt management company Gregory Pennington have warned that financial hardship is likely to be widespread in the coming months, adding that the public should aim to get their finances in order and tackle any debts as a matter of priority.

Speaking at a business conference on Tuesday, Mervyn King told business leaders that the economy faces a “sharp and prolonged slowdown”, perpetuated by smaller take home salaries, soaring living costs and limited access to consumer credit.

“We now face a long, slow haul to restore lending to the real economy, and hence growth of our economy, to more normal conditions,” he also said.

On a more positive note, King said that some of the factors causing inflation had “shifted decisively”, putting less pressure on the Bank of England to actively control inflation and instead giving them time to address other factors, particularly the cost of consumer lending.

And addressing those concerned about many lenders’ reluctance to pass on the Bank of England’s recent base rate cut, King offered his assurance that the cuts would eventually have an effect, but said: “It will take time before the [bank bailout] leads to a resumption of normal levels of lending.”

A spokesperson for Gregory Pennington warned of the dangers that consumers face as a recession approaches. “One of the biggest dangers is unemployment. Since there will be less money flowing through the economy, businesses will suffer, and many will be forced to make job cuts as a result – which restarts the same cycle.

“We may also see the availability of credit take a further hit, as lenders will be wary that the borrowers may be at a higher risk of losing their jobs than usual. However, the Bank of England are doing their best to ensure that cash flow within banks improves, so it remains to be seen how lenders will react to that as things progress.

“What we can be sure of is that it’s essential for the public to address any financial problems they may have, particularly when it comes to debt. Debt is a burden at any time, but carrying debts during such an uncertain time for the economy can be very worrying.

“If borrowers miss payments, the creditors may pursue the whole debts, which can lead to court action and even bankruptcy if they are unable to comply.”

The Gregory Pennington spokesperson said that there a number of debt solutions that could help people repay their debts and limit the pressure on their finances as the economy enters a recession.

“For people with multiple debts, a debt consolidation loan can help,” she said. “Debt consolidation involves taking out a new loan to cover your existing debts, meaning you only have one creditor to repay.

“Payments can often be reduced by spreading them over a longer period, although you can pay more interest in the long run. Interest rates can also potentially be reduced, especially if you are consolidating high-APR debts such as credit cards – but be aware that if you have extended your repayment period, the additional interest incurred can reduce the benefit of a lower interest rate.

“For more unmanageable debts, a debt management plan may be your better option. If you do this through an expert debt adviser, they will assess how much you can realistically afford to repay each month. After that, they will negotiate with your creditors for lower monthly payments and possibly a freeze in interest or other charges.

“For more significant debts of £15,000 or more, an IVA (Individual Voluntary Arrangement) might be more appropriate. This involves making monthly payments over a period of five years, based on how much you can afford. Once that five-year period is over, your remaining debts will be considered settled.

“However be aware that an IVA requires approval from creditors responsible for at least 75% of your debts, and you may be required to release some of the equity tied up in your home in the fourth year of your IVA.

“Before you make any decisions, it’s important to seek independent debt help. A debt adviser will talk you through your situation and will be able to establish which debt solution is right for you.”

Via EPR Network
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Tracesmart Reassigns Its Identity Check Solution To Its New Central Interface

Tracesmart, renowned for helping organisations conduct identity checks for know your customer purposes, have announced that they are preparing to relocate their ID service – Smart ID Plus. The service will now be accessible directly from the company’s principal site Tracesmart Corporate. The relocation signals the beginning of a larger project which aims to centralise all of the company’s current and future online service offerings in order to streamline and improve the customer experience.

Utilised in both anti-money laundering and anti-fraud exercises, the service will lose its Smart ID Plus moniker and simply be known as ID, part of the Tracesmart Corporate range which includes the highly regarded data cleansing service. Users of the ID service will simply log in to the Tracesmart Corporate site where they will be greeted by the new central user interface. As well as access to the ID tool the interface will also provide access to other Tracesmart Corporate services and a variety of other functions including usage history and reports, system user guides and the option to purchase credits for their subscribed services.

Management of the technical changeover is being led by Paul Weathersby, Technical Director for Tracesmart, who has been planning the move for some time “Ensuring that our customers have an efficient and enjoyable experience when using our systems is one of our primary concerns. As such we [Tracesmart’s technical team] have been preparing to centralise our online service suite for some time – porting the ID services across to the Tracesmart Corporate site is the first step in this process. The new interface will be live shortly and months of preparation will ensure a smooth transition with no negative impact on the user experience or service functionality.”

The centralisation of Tracesmart’s online service suite will result in a single ‘shop front’ and access point for users once they are logged in. For example, from this hub Tracesmart clients will be able to trace people one minute, then seamlessly switch to conduct identity checks the next. It is anticipated that having the range of services side-by-side will raise interest in the whole of the Tracesmart range.

Commenting on the future improved and centralised online service suite Mike Trezise, Managing Director at Tracesmart, notes the impact it will have for their customers, “The central service portal will allow for improved customer experience and usability – a core motivation behind the majority of our technical enhancements. All of our online services will be available from this single access point, thus ensuring our customers stay up-to-date with our portfolio and remain fully informed about the services available to them.”

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Think Money Have Said That The Recent Drops In The LIBOR Could Mark The Beginning Of A Recovery In The Mortgage Market

Responding to the news that LIBOR fell on Wednesday following the European Central Bank (ECB) and the Swiss National Bank’s $254 billion (£145.7 billion) injection into the wholesale funding markets, financial solutions company Think Money ( commented that this could mark the start of a recovery in the mortgages and loans market, so long as the conditions remain in place for lenders to continue to do business.

Despite last week’s half-point base rate drop, which was aimed in part at encouraging lenders to offer lower interest rates on their mortgages and other credit products, three-month sterling LIBOR – the rate most banks base their mortgage rates on – has been slow to respond.

LIBOR reflects the willingness of financial institutions to lend money to each other – and therefore the amount of cash flow in the industry. As such, it affects the levels of loans, mortgages and other forms of credit they are willing to offer to consumers. In short, the higher the LIBOR is, the more expensive it is to obtain the funds necessary for lending.

But on Wednesday, LIBOR fell from 6.249% to 6.21%, following around four weeks of continuous rises – not a huge drop, but one that could indicate that banks may be becoming more inclined to lend to each other, following the first cash injections from the Government’s bailout scheme.

A spokesperson for Think Money said: “This is a small but encouraging sign that the mortgage market may be on its way to improved levels of lending. What’s more, it’s evidence that the first stage of the Government’s bailout scheme may be working, which is good news for the economy in general.

“The main obstacle to mortgage lending over the past year has been lenders’ unwillingness to take risks. That’s the main factor behind the short supply of mortgages on the market, and the reason banks weren’t lending to each other, hence the high LIBOR.

“The aim of the bank bailout is to artificially increase cash flow within the financial markets, which should then give lenders an incentive to start doing more business with each other and with consumers – and it would appear that it has worked, for the time being at least.

“What we will now be looking out for is whether the LIBOR will continue to fall, and by how much. If it can drop to a figure somewhere near the 4.5% base rate, we may begin to see healthy levels of mortgage lending taking place once again. But the continued success of the banking bailout scheme will be central to ensuring this can occur.”

The spokesperson added that although market conditions are currently difficult, there are still plenty of mortgage deals available. “We haven’t seen a complete freeze in mortgage lending – just a tightening in lending criteria across the market. Lenders still need to be competitive to do business, so the deals are still very much there – it may just take longer to find the right deal.

“Despite the uncertainty in the housing market, now could be a good time for first-time buyers, since house prices are relatively low, and therefore mortgages are relatively cheap. If house prices do begin to rise again soon, it could prove to be a very good move financially.”

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Financial Solutions Provider Think Money Has Welcomed The Bank Of England’s Recent Move To Enhance Liquidity By Accepting A Broader Range Of Loans And Other Assets As Collateral For Loans To Banks

Responding to the Bank of England’s recent changes to its policy regarding collateral, mortgage provider Think Money welcomes the move and looks forward to the increased levels of liquidity it should provide.

On 3rd October 2008, the Bank of England announced that it would expand the range of assets it deems acceptable collateral for the loans it grants to financial institutions. The range, according to the Bank of England website, now includes ‘AAA-rated asset-backed securities of some corporate and consumer loans; and approved highly-rated, asset-backed commercial paper programmes, where the underlying assets would be eligible if securitised’.

This action, the website continues, ‘is addressed to the ongoing strains in term funding markets, and adds highly-rated corporate securitisations to the residential mortgage securities that are already eligible’.

“At Think Money, we welcome this change,” said a spokesperson for the financial solutions provider. “While some may feel alarmed that the Bank of England felt such a move necessary, it’s nonetheless reassuring to note that the institution is taking such action before the financial situation deteriorates further.

The current lack of liquidity is a cause of great concern for everyone in the UK, from individuals to banks, mortgage providers and other institutions. “Without a constant, reliable flow of credit, it can be difficult – if not impossible – to carry out their plans, whether it’s a case of a company pursuing a business opportunity or an individual securing a mortgage, remortgage or loan.

“So we’re encouraged to see the Bank taking decisive steps such as this. Banks and other financial institutions own massive amounts of debt these days, from mortgage debt to overdraft debt, so it’s both limiting and frustrating when they can’t use them as collateral, as it’s one of the cornerstones of today’s lending activities.”

According to the Market Notice published on October 3rd, The Bank of England ‘will continue to hold extended collateral three-month long-term repo open market operations (OMOs) weekly up to and including the scheduled long-term repo operation on 18 November’, which suggests that it sees no immediate end to today’s unusual market conditions.

Furthermore, it states that ‘The size of the funds offered at the Bank’s extended collateral long-term repo operation on Tuesday 7 October will be £40 billion’.

Yet despite the size of the operation, the spokesperson for the financial solutions company stressed, it’s important to note that this is no act of desperation. “In the light of the ‘bailout’ recently approved in the USA, it’s important to realise that this move by no means invites lenders to put forward‘toxic’ mortgage debts as collateral. The Bank of England may have broadened the range of assets it sees as acceptable, but it is not prepared to accept any form of collateral which isn’t of sufficiently high quality.”

Furthermore, the Bank of England is exercising a suitable degree of caution: “The Bank may be accepting a greater variety of assets as collateral,” the Think Money spokesperson concluded, “but it’s also valuing them correspondingly and offering, to quote the Financial Times, ‘as little as 60p in the pound for some foreign currency mortgage-backed securities’.”

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New M&S Money Survey Reveals Average Student Bedroom Contents Are Worth £1650

Following a new M&S Money survey which reveals that the contents of an average student bedroom are worth £1650, students heading to university are being urged to make sure they have appropriate insurance.

The poll of 2,000 students by M&S Money found that the average student bedroom contains:
– £718 worth of electrical gadgets and appliances
– £498 worth of clothing
– £224 worth of sports equipment
– £210 worth of text books

The huge value of a student’s bedroom is not surprising, with over half of students (53%) owning an MP3 player, 52% possessing a laptop and 42% enjoying movies on their own DVD player. The expense continues outside the bedroom, with a quarter of students owning a bike.

The survey also revealed that 14% of students have been burgled while at university and 22% of student cyclists have had their bikes stolen.

Despite this, only 16% of students have taken out their own insurance policy to cover their possessions whilst living in student accommodation. However, many people heading to university will not need to buy a stand-alone student policy and should check if their parents’ home insurance policy provides sufficient cover.

Steve Price, M&S Head of General Insurance, said: “Insurance may be the last thing on students’ minds as they prepare for the new academic year. It often feels like an unnecessary expense on top of everything else. Many students would be surprised to know that their valuables may already be covered – they just need to check whether their parents’ home insurance policy covers their property when away from home.”

Students whose parents have M&S Premier home contents insurance could even enjoy unlimited cover for their possessions when away from home. This covers events such as damage, flood or theft from halls. Students are also covered if their bike is stolen when they are at university, as long at it is left secured when unattended.

About M&S Money
M&S Money (originally called Marks & Spencer Financial Services) was founded in 1985 as the financial services division of Marks and Spencer Group plc. The company is now a top ten credit card provider and the second largest travel money retailer in the UK. M&S Money also offers insurance for homes, cars, travel, pets and weddings, as well as loans, savings and investments.

In November 2004, Marks & Spencer sold M&S Money to HSBC, one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organisations with over 9,500 offices in 85 countries and territories. The business continues to operate under the M&S Money brand, with an executive committee comprising an equal number of representatives from HSBC and Marks & Spencer.

The company employs 1,200 staff at its headquarters in Chester, delivering personal financial services to its customers, reflecting the core values of Marks & Spencer – quality, value, service, innovation and trust.

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Cash Doctors Have Been Exemplified As One Of The Only Australian Lenders That Play By The Rules

As of Thursday 31 July 2008, a 48% interest rate capping legislation was made effective in Queensland.

According to Today Tonight’s report 28th of October, most payday lenders are not applying to the new legislation and use loop holes to keep interest rates on their short-term loans as high as possible.

Keeping within strict compliance of the new legislation, Cash Doctors, the dominant short term online lender in Australia, launched a new product on 1 July – 24/7 loans for its members – a world first.

The revolutionary Cash Doctors product allows members to apply, be approved and actually access cash within 2-3 minutes, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from anywhere in Australia.

The innovative new financial product is both convenient for consumers and compliant with interest rate capping legislation.

When clients first join Cash Doctors, they are approved for a year’s worth of cash advances. They can however, only access $100 – $600 at any one time. If the client’s capacity to repay is affected by changes in employment, income or accommodation expenses further advances are reduced or prohibited.

The product is a great alternative to the large unchecked credit card limits that lead consumers into overspending and indebtedness.

Cash Doctors CEO Nick Auchincloss says it takes convenience and responsible lending to new levels, “We’re always looking to innovate in line with our mission to help people have more money and live freely in both the short and long run. This product helps members get a prescribed amount of cash around the clock, but only allows them to take a little at a time as long as their circumstances have not changed. We’ve managed to improve convenience while maintaining our extremely responsible lending practices.”

“Short term lending is getting more attention lately and unfortunately Cash Doctors is often bundled in with other industry participants, when we’re actually doing things very differently.”

“Some consumer and government groups rightly criticise payday lenders for lending to vulnerable people, causing debt spirals, poor disclosure, charging excessively and hidden costs. We do none of these things. Our clients are all employed, every loan is carefully underwritten and our transparency and fairness of our lending policies is second to none.”

“Now we’re delighted to be there for our members every hour of every day, any day of the year, giving them what they need within 2-3 minutes. Months of work have gone into this and the feedback from clients so far is terrific.”

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People In Debt Should Review Their Financial Situation As Soon As Possible And If Necessary Seek Professional Debt Advice

The deteriorating state of the economy should lead borrowers to review their finances as a matter of urgency, say debt experts Debt Advisers Direct, following the Autumn forecast from the Ernst & Young ITEM Club.

“Released on 20th October, the Ernst & Young ITEM Club Autumn forecast ‘sees an economy that has deteriorated dramatically in the last quarter and is now in recession’,” said a spokesperson for Debt Advisers Direct. “The good news, however, is that the recession is expected to be both short and shallow, with GDP rising – even if only by 1% – in 2010.”

“Even so, the impact of today’s economic downturn will be profound,” the spokesperson continued. “By definition, even a ‘shallow’ recession involves a shrinking of the nation’s economy, with the inevitable consequences: lower spending, higher unemployment, greater uncertainty about the future, etc.

“On an individual level, the threat of a reduced monthly income is likely to lead many to review their financial situation. This isn’t to say that economic gloom is a good thing, but everyone needs to stop and take stock of their finances from time to time, and reports such as this can provide a much-needed incentive to do so.

“It’s important for everyone – even people with no debts and significant savings – but for the millions of UK consumers in debt, it’s particularly vital. Many people in the UK have grown used to spending more and more of their monthly budget on debt repayments. In many cases, those repayments take up almost their entire disposable income, so if anything happens to their income, they could almost immediately face a whole range of consequences, from legal action to bailiffs and County Court Judgments (CCJs) – to say nothing of the damage to their credit rating.

“The important thing, of course, is to take action before it’s too late. Seeking professional debt advice is normally the best way to start – any borrower could have a wide range of debt solutions available to them, so it’s vital they talk to a professional organisation which understands every option and can provide impartial debt advice, tailored to their individual circumstances.”

An Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) or debt consolidation loan, for example, could help someone cope with a reduced income – yet neither debt solution would make sense for someone who’s fairly sure they might lose their income (or a significant part of it) in the near future.

“A borrower who is working, but whose job seems to be at risk, may be better off with a flexible debt solution such as a debt management plan: if their income drops, they can ask a professional debt management company to talk to their creditors on their behalf, renegotiating their debt repayments as and when it becomes necessary.”

Different borrowers, in other words, will need to adopt different strategies to deal with their debts. “There’s no ‘silver bullet’ for debt. Debt management plans, debt consolidation loans, debt consolidation remortgages, IVAs, even bankruptcy – each has its place, but the debt solution that’s right for one person can be completely inappropriate for another. The key thing is to take the time to get the right debt advice before making any commitments.”

Via EPR Network
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I Just Watched The Webcast From The FTC On “Operation Clean Sweep” And I Cant Help But Wonder Who Is Really Behind This?

For all of you who have not seen this I recommend checking it out and then reading this release. It can be found at the FTC’s website at:

Let me start by saying that I agree that a company that lies to a consumer, or does not perform services at all, should be held responsible and liable for their actions. However to attack an entire industry based on a few “Bad Apples” is wrong and illegal see the below legal definition of libel.

An untruthful statement about a person, published in writing or through broadcast media, that injures the person’s reputation or standing in the community. Because libel is a tort (a civil wrong), the injured person can bring a lawsuit against the person who made the false statement. Libel is a form of defamation, as is slander (an untruthful statement that is spoken, but not published in writing or broadcast through the media).

Now tell me if it’s just me, or is the FTC is on a “Witch Hunt”?

Before we answer that question lets take a few points from the FTC’s comments and how they compare to the legal facts.

1) Lydia Parnes repeatedly mentions that “No company can legally remove accurate and timely information from a credit report”

While Lydia Parnes is correct She fails to provide a complete explanation that according to the FCRA a consumer or company hired by a consumer may have unverifiable information removed. Please read the below taken from Section 611 5 A of the FCRA

(5) Treatment of Inaccurate or Unverifiable Information
(A) In general. If, after any reinvestigation under paragraph (1) of any information disputed by a consumer, an item of the information is found to be inaccurate or incomplete or cannot be verified, the consumer reporting agency shall–(i) promptly delete that item of information from the file of the consumer, or modify that item of information, as appropriate, based on the results of the investigation;

2) Lydia Parnes repeatedly mentions that “Negative information can be reported for up to seven years, and some Bankruptcies can be reported for up to ten years.”

While Lydia Parnes is again correct these items “can” be reported for those periods of time. However no where in the FCRA does it stipulate that they “must” be reported for those periods of time. As a matter of fact no where in the FCRA does it state that any information must be reported ever. In the United States of America the credit reporting system is voluntary.

3) Lydia Parnes now presents a Mr. Daniel Duke from Texas. Daniel proceeds to tell his tale of woe, It is filled with inconsistencies and libel. Daniel Duke first states that he called a Credit Repair company and they offered to provide service for the amount of $1200. Daniel now says so I sent them $900. Does anyone else see the problem here? Daniel is upset some time later when the company will not release the work because $300 is still due. Daniel also says in his comments that Mortgage Brokers and Banks are no help but he closes his statement with “So even your Mortgage Broker will help you allot” Daniel Duke also commits libel by making a statement that “Every one of those are probably crooks” Referring to the 10,000 Credit Repair companies that his bank told him existed in the State of Texas.

While we sympathize with any consumer that has been victimized, We feel that Lydia Parnes and the FTC purposely allowed this consumer to publicly stone an entire industry based on his opinions. What Daniel Duke, Lydia Parnes, and the FTC failed to discuss were the facts surrounding Daniel Duke’s complaint. Did the company provide Mr. Duke with a contract? What services did the company offer to provide Mr. Duke? And most importantly, what were Mr. Dukes responsibilities under the contract? We already know that according to Mr. Duke he only sent in a partial payment to the company. Did Mr. Duke not do something else on his part to cause the failure of the company’s credit repair efforts? (We are not taking sides however if you are going to make allegations publicly you should provide facts)

4) Lydia Parnes now offers to take questions, A woman from Oklahoma calls in that is in the Credit Repair business, asking how she can separate her company from the “Bad Companies”, and if there is any resource available that the FTC can recommend, for consumers to find reputable Credit Repair Companies. Lydia Parnes says “The FTC does not endorse any Credit Repair company or any other Type of Company for that matter” and immediately after saying that Lydia Parnes endorses Not for Profit Credit Counseling companies. And then Lydia Parnes allows Mr. Daniel Duke an angry consumer with what appears to be an agenda in my opinion jump in to say: “Most of us in the real world have real jobs that we do for a living. And that’s why I think that Non profitable corporations are the only way to go. They are not doing it because that’s their source of livelihood. How up front and honest and how fair to the consumers can you be when that’s your money to make money off them. So I’m playing the Devil’s advocate if your charging somebody to help them you’re probably more interested in yourself than you are helping them.”

In my opinion Lydia Parnes and the FTC allowed Mr. Daniel Duke to not only commit libel against every legitimate credit repair company but every other legitimate business in the United States of America that works for a profit.

5) Lydia Parnes continues to take questions from callers but continues to avoid any topic that may present a positive image of Credit Repair companies.

In closing may I suggest to Lydia Parnes, the FTC, and Mr. Daniel Duke who clearly stated that negative items in his report were not accurate, A new plan “Operation Accurate Credit Report” because after all the real culprit in this whole mess plaguing or Nation are these so called “Big Three” Credit Reporting Agencies. It’s no big secret that it is the Credit Reporting Agency that is responsible for maintaining accurate and verifiable reports for each consumer. See section 607 (b) of the FCRA:

(b) Accuracy of report. Whenever a consumer reporting agency prepares a consumer report it shall follow reasonable procedures to assure maximum possible accuracy of the information concerning the individual about whom the report relates.

Now according to the US PIRG (US Public Interest Research Group) 79% of all Credit Reports contain errors see it here:

The fact is that every day legitimate credit repair companies have already launched “Operation Accurate Credit Report” by performing the valuable service to consumers that even though can do it for themselves do not possess the knowledge to be successful. These companies help the client Dispute Inaccurate, outdated, and unverifiable information. The amount of red tape these consumers must go through to get this done often causes them to give up. A legitimate credit repair company understands the process and knows what steps are required. In addition to Dispute services legitimate companies provide credit education to consumers, and advice on adding positive credit to the consumers file.

For more information on Credit Repair visit us at

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Think Money Have Said That Potential Further Base Rate Cuts Suggested By Some Economists Could Greatly Benefit The Loans Market

Financial solutions company Think Money have said that borrowers and homeowners stand to gain from the Bank of England’s potential measures to tackle the economic crisis, but warned that tighter lending criteria may remain in place to avoid any repeat of the past year’s trouble in the loan markets.

According to The Telegraph, two leading economists have said that the Bank of England may need to cut base rates to as little as 2% or even 1% in order to tackle the forthcoming economic crisis. That would make the base rate its lowest since the Bank of England was established in 1694.

Roger Bootle, managing director of Capital Economics and a former Treasury adviser, said: “It is critical to get rates lower – if the medicine is not working you have to use a stronger dose,” he said. “[The Bank] needs to get rates down far and fast.

“They need to be pretty bold. The lowest rates have ever gone is two per cent. They could easily go lower than that now – why not? After all, the Federal Reserve dropped [US] rates to one per cent.”

Meanwhile, Alan Clarke of BNP Paribas said that he expects the base rate to reach 2.5%, although it might be even lower. “One per cent or lower is not impossible,” he added. “The important trigger is the labour market: unemployment over, say, eight per cent would be a disaster.”

Although a base rate cut would theoretically help to lower interest rates on loans, a spokesperson for Think Money said that the situation is not always that clear-cut.

“Any drop in the base rate potentially makes loans cheaper, because it reduces the amount of interest the lenders have to pay the Bank of England for borrowing the necessary funds,” she said. “Therefore, lenders can offer loans to consumers at a lower rate while still making a similar profit.

“However, the main obstacle to that is LIBOR (London Inter-Bank Offered Rate), a measure of the rate at which banks are lending to each other. Ordinarily this shouldn’t be too different to the base rate, but currently it’s almost 2% higher – which means that some funds for loans and mortgages are still quite expensive to lenders.

“Drops in the base rate can encourage a lower LIBOR, but currently the uncertainty in the loans market is keeping the rate high, as well as prompting lenders to maintain their tight lending criteria. Both of these need to ease up before the loans market can return to normal – which is why extreme base rate drops to only 1% or 2% might be needed.”

The Think Money spokesperson added that lending criteria is unlikely to ease to allow anywhere near the levels of lending seen during the economic boom. “Lenders will feel they have learnt their lesson from the economic crisis and will look to protect their loans business by keeping their lending criteria high.

“It’s possible that we could see numbers of secured loans return to near-normal levels, since the collateral attached to secured loans makes them a ‘safer’ type of loan from the lender’s point of view. But in terms of unsecured loans, credit cards, overdrafts etc., lenders will probably continue to pay close attention to borrowers’ credit history.”

But the spokesperson was also keen to emphasise that loans are still very much available, and the availability will only increase as the market recovers. “Some people assume that loans simply aren’t available anymore, but that’s not the case – it can just take a little longer to find the right deal.”

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Financial Solutions Think Money Welcome The Consumer Focus Energy Supply Probe

Financial solutions company Think Money ( have welcomed calls for energy providers to reconsider their prices following the Consumer Focus Energy Supply Probe’s findings about the industry, and added that many energy customers pushed towards debt by the rapid rises in energy prices stood to benefit from any agreement to reduce prices.

In their Energy Supply Probe, Consumer Focus, the new watchdog comprising Energywatch and the National Consumer Council, have called for “immediate action from energy companies to reduce their prices in line with falling oil prices”, adding: “This will be good not just for consumers, but for the whole economy.”

It is currently estimated by Consumer Focus that around 5 million British households are in fuel poverty – in which households spend 10% or more of their total income on domestic energy – with increasing numbers of people feeling the pressure of sharp rises in the prices of electricity and gas over the past year.

Wholesale oil prices have seen a huge drop in little over three months, down from around $147 per barrel in July to the current price of $66 per barrel. Drivers have experienced the benefits almost immediately, with the lowest unleaded petrol prices at 99.8 pence per litre at the time of writing, while airline’s fuel surcharges have also been cut, according to the BBC.

But prices of gas and electricity, which are traditionally closely linked with prices of oil, have shown no such reduction in prices – leaving many consumers “wondering why they are left waiting”, in the words of Consumer Focus chief executive Ed Mayo.

According to Consumer Focus, gas prices have risen by 51% since the start of the year, while electricity bills are up by 28% – meaning the average annual household energy bill stands at £1,308.

A spokesperson for Think Money said: “The existence of the Energy Supply Probe is of great reassurance to the millions of billpayers who have been hit with severe rises in energy prices over the past year, particularly those facing debt problems.

“There has been some justification for the price rises – oil prices stood at $147 per barrel in July, and wholesale gas has also experienced massive rises – but with oil now standing at less than $67 per barrel, and with petrol prices coming down, it’s unclear why domestic energy prices have not also come down.

“Billpayers will hope that the Energy Supply Probe, combined with Consumer Focus’ calls for immediate price reductions, will be enough to ensure that their bills become much less of a burden in the coming months.”

But the Think Money spokesperson added that the potential for forthcoming price reductions did not make existing debt an any less serious issue.

“We have seen increasing numbers of people pushed into debt by rising energy bills over the past few months. Because energy is an essential cost, those people with low incomes have been unavoidably hit hard by energy price rises, and many are finding that they can no longer afford to pay their bills.

“The problem is made worse by higher levels of unemployment, and a lot of people who previously had no trouble paying their bills are finding that they are getting into debt because they simply don’t have the spare income.

“We advise anyone struggling with debt to tackle the issue head-on and seek expert debt advice as soon as possible.”

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LV= Has Announced That It Has Become An Official Sponsor Of Harlequins Rugby Club

LV=, the UK based insurance, investment and pensions group, has announced today that it has become an official sponsor of Harlequins Rugby Club, with a three year deal.

The deal signifies the strength of the club to attract a new investment, as well as LV=’s ability to continue to expand its business even during the current economic downturn.

In addition to branding rights on the team’s kit and perimeter boards, the West Stand of the club’s home ground, the Twickenham Stoop Stadium, has been renamed the LV= Stand’.

Harlequins play at the top level of English rugby, the Guinness Premiership, and also internationally in the Heineken Cup, which has started well for the team with a win in both of their first two matches, with a recent 42-21 home victory against Ulster.

LV= has sponsored the most prestigious title in domestic cricket, the LV= County Championship, as well as sponsoring a number of community and educational sponsorships local to its headquarters in Bournemouth, but this deal represents the first time that LV= has stepped into the world of rugby.

LV= Group Marketing Director David Radford says: “This is a great opportunity to take our brand in an exciting new direction. Harlequins has a strong heritage and a loyal following in rugby, which matches well with our business target audiences.”

Dean Richards, Harlequin’s Director of Rugby comments: “We’re delighted to welcome LV= as an official sponsor. The backing of a brand with a long tradition yet a bright, fresh appeal makes a good match for our club. We look forward to enjoying a successful first season together.”

About LV=
LV= is a trademark of Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society Limited (LVFS) and LV= is a trading style of the Liverpool Victoria group of companies.

LV= employs over 2,700 people, serves more than 2.5 million customers and members, and manages more than £7.7 billion on their behalf. LV= is the UK’s largest friendly society and a leading mutual financial services provider, aiming to help customers find freedom from financial worry by providing a wide range of reliable and good value financial products, including home insurance, car insurance and pet and travel insurancedirect to consumers.

LV also offers insurance products exclusively to brokers via the Highway and ABC Insurance brands.

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While drinking my morning coffee I came across another one of these one way stories bashing Credit Repair

Its a pretty hard thing to do, ruining my morning coffee that is, but ABC news got me today! From the way this story reads it would appear that someone over at ABC owns stock in Trans Union, Equifax, and Experian. The story can be found here

I planned on doing an upbeat release today seeing as the cost of a gallon of gas has went down below $3.00, But once again the Doom Sayers force me to defend our industry.

I must say that the most appauling anti-consumer comment I have ever seen was part of this article “It’s ironic. People who are too strapped to pay their bills somehow scrape together enough money to pay a credit repair company.” Wow Elisabeth Leamy of ABC thats pretty harsh. I will go as far to say that it is an UnAmerican comment and goes against that whole Pursuit of Happiness thing that my country, The United States of America, belives in. It almost seems as if ABC and Elisabeth Leamy are unaware of the fact that according to the US PIRG over 79% of Credit Reports contain errors.

See it here:

It sounds like ABC and Elisabeth Leamy would like to have us belive that seeking help from a professional is out of the question and illegal. Well, if that is the case, why do we have a law called the CROA?

See it here:

As a matter of fact I would like to quote the opening sentence of the CROA for the benefit of ABC and Elisabeth Leamy:

“(a) Findings.–The Congress makes the following findings:

(1) Consumers have a vital interest in establishing and maintaining their credit worthiness and credit standing in order to obtain and use credit. As a result, consumers who have experienced credit problems may seek assistance from credit repair organizations which offer to improve the credit standing of such consumers.”

Wow did everyone read the same thing I did? Sounds to me like the United States Congress says that consumers who have experienced credit problems may use credit repair. And all this from the FTC website! But wait a minute, ABC and Elisabeth Leamy just told us that the FTC says there are no legit Credit Repair Companies out there. So why would they put this on the FTC website? Perhaps ABC and Elisabeth Leamy should get the facts together and write an unbiased report on both sides of the story.

Oh and by the way ABC and Elisabeth Leamy if your reading this, by some miracle of god. Please read this press release, sent to all major news feeds, and tell me that we are all bad then.

I will once again, for the benefit of ABC and Elisabeth Leamy, announce that if you have been victimized by one of these Bad Credit Repair companies you can get free help from us. All you need to provide us with is a copy of the complaint filed with the FTC and local authorities if applicable, and we will work with you for free. Tell me ABC and Elisabeth Leamy, do those sound like the words of a non-legit company?

I am going to end this release with some final quotes from the FCRA, this should give ABC and Elisabeth Leamy a beter idea of how the laws regarding credit reporting really work.

Quotes from the FCRA
“There is a need to insure that consumer reporting agencies exercise their grave responsibilities with fairness, impartiality, and a respect for the consumer’s right to privacy.”

“(b) Accuracy of report. Whenever a consumer reporting agency prepares a consumer report it shall follow reasonable procedures to assure maximum possible accuracy of the information concerning the individual about whom the report relates.”

“(E) a statement that a consumer reporting agency is not required to remove accurate derogatory information from the file of a consumer, unless the information is outdated under section 605 or cannot be verified”

“(5) Treatment of Inaccurate or Unverifiable Information
(A) In general. If, after any reinvestigation under paragraph (1) of any information disputed by a consumer, an item of the information is found to be inaccurate or incomplete or cannot be verified, the consumer reporting agency shall–

(i) promptly delete that item of information from the file of the consumer,or modify that item of information, as appropriate, based on the resultsof the reinvestigation; and 

(ii) promptly notify the furnisher of that information that the information has been modified or deleted from the file of the consumer.

(B) Requirements Relating to Reinsertion of Previously Deleted Material
(i) Certification of accuracy of information. If any information is deleted from a consumer’s file pursuant to subparagraph (A), the information may not be reinserted in the file by the consumer reporting agency unless the person who furnishes the information certifies that the information is complete and accurate.
(ii) Notice to consumer. If any information that has been deleted from a consumer’s file pursuant to subparagraph (A) is reinserted in the file, the consumer reporting agency shall notify the consumer of the reinsertionin writing not later than 5 business days after the reinsertion or, if authorized by the consumer for that purpose, by any other means available to the agency.”

Thank You and God Bless America

For more on laws relating to Credit Reporting and Repair

To See actual results from our work in the past

To See our service agreement…

To See our home page Credit Repair.

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Lloyds TSB have reported that while many Britons have taken action to clear their debt, they are saving less money

Lloyds TSB Consumer Banking released a new report revealing that over half of UK adults have taken action to clear their debt, but despite gathering economic gloom, almost two in five Britons (37%) are saving less money.The ‘Financial Face of Britain’ report reveals the nation’s savings and spending habits, debt levels and tests Briton’s overall financial know-how.

The in-depth study, of over 5,000 adults*, shows a distinct change in financial behaviour as the credit crunch bites. But whilst spending levels have been curbed, the current financial crisis has hit consumer’s appetite to save at a time when acash reserve is vital.

The report reveals a third of people have changed their spending habits in the last six months and spent less to cope with the credit crunch, with almost 40% of under 35s reporting that they have been cutting back.

People have also reassessed their finances, with over half (55%) of UK adults taking action to clear their debt. Almost one in three (32%) have increased the amount they pay off each month, with a fifth (19%) focusing on paying off more of their debt which is on higher interest rates, such as store cards.

But, almost two in five (37%) are saving less, particularly the older age group; with 43% of 45-54 year olds currently neglecting their savings. While the younger generation are bucking this trend, with almost a third (32%) of under 25s currently putting more money to one side. But when it comes to long term savings, almost three quarters (74%) of under 25s do not have a pension and are not saving enough to secure their future.

Worryingly, one in five people have less than £500 in their savings, with four out of ten families having less than £500 available to them should disaster strike, making many consumers vulnerable to financial difficulty during these uncertain times.

In addition, over two million families are also failing to put enough money aside to secure their child/children’s future and the average family savings balance of£7,542 is considerably lower then the national average (£12,703) for a single person.

Consumers are aware that they need to save more but many people want more guidance and support to kick start the savings habit. Research shows that the majority of consumers are looking for advice and guidance on how to save more money and how to make long term savings.

Ian Larkin, managing director, Lloyds TSB Consumer Banking said: “It has never been more important to save. Economic conditions are set to become more challenging and a healthy savings balance could prove to be a financial lifeline for some families during the economic storm.

“But, with rising bills it’s becoming harder to put money on one side. We all understand the need to save but what consumers told us they need is more guidance and advice on how to save more when their finances are being squeezed. To tackle this, we are launching a nationwide programme to help get Britain saving, which is going to be packed full of advice on how to boost your savings balance and make saving a habit.”

About Lloyds TSB:

Lloyds TSB offers customers a wide range of current accounts, savings accounts,insurance, loans and credit cards, designed to meet different customers’ needs. Lloyds TSB Bank plc and Lloyds TSB Scotland plc are authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority and signatories to the Banking Codes.

Lloyds TSB Bank plc Registered Office: 25 Gresham Street, London EC2V 7HN. Registered in England and Wales no. 2065.

*Research conducted by ICM with 5000 UK adults between 29th July – 4th August 2008.

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Barclaycard Has Unveiled A New Logo And Visual Identity

Barclaycard has revealed the new logo that will be part of the company’s new virtual identity which will be introduced across all Barclaycard’s products, services and operations around the world over the next 12 months. It is a break from the logos used by Barclaycard during the last four decades, which had been designed to be seen on the traditional plastic card.

Antony Jenkins, Barclaycard’s CEO, said: “Barclaycard is leading a revolution which will bring people and businesses together to allow payments to be made in the easiest and most convenient way possible. Our new identity expresses where we see the future, freeing the chip on the credit card from the constraints of the plastic around it, making the way people pay for things simpler.”

Rhidian Taylor, Barclaycard’s head of brand management, added: “Our current logo and look have worked well for us as a UK credit card company, but they do not reflect the global payments company we have become. We needed to create a modern and distinctive look which signals where we are going as opposed to where we have been.”

The new identity has been developed in conjunction with consultancy The Brand Union and has been the subject of extensive research with consumers in the UK, US, Germany, Spain, India and the UAE. The new symbol depicts a world that is calm and confident on the outside, whilst warm and vibrant on the inside. In creating a symbol that is separated from the brand name, the new logo works better online and on some emerging payment tools such as mobile phones.

Customers will start to see the new identity being introduced gradually across Barclaycard’s products and businesses from October. Credit cards and stationery will be replaced in the normal course of events or as existing stock runs out to avoid extra expense. As credit cards last for up to three years, some will not see replacements with the new logo until 2011.

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New .mobi Website Developed,, For Investors On-The-Go

Often referred to as dotMobi, .mobi is a top-level domain committed to delivering the Internet to mobile devices through the Mobile Web.

Websites that use the .mobi extension are created specifically for mobile devices such as mobile phones and handheld computers to make them easy to browse and reduce download time. If you see a .mobi domain name, then the website on your phone will work. If you see a .com website today, it may work or you may download more content than your phone or budget is set to receive.

Now you can navigate on your cell phone as you search for the perfect website when you are on the go. Thanks to the .mobi concept, users will receive a smooth and enjoyable online experience.

.mobi sites are popping up on posters in subways and on .com sites of corporations advertising their .mobi sites and best of all in EXCLUSIVELY .mobi directories.

.mobi is backed by leading mobile operators, network and device manufacturers, and Internet content providers, including Ericsson, GSM Association, Hutchison 3, Microsoft, Nokia, Orascom Telecom, Samsung Electronics, Syniverse, T-Mobile, Telefonica Moviles, TIM, and Visa and Vodafone.

According to Ipsos Insight’s Latest “The Face of the Web Study”, Mobile Phones are on the brink of surpassing the PC as the major internet platform in many markets.

The study revealed that in the United States,“three in four households own a mobile phone.” Consumers are now demanding better access and a better experience when using their phones to access the internet. With 4 cell phones purchased to 1 pc sale, the number of people that access the internet with a cell phone is expected to increase significantly. To be apart of the .mobi revolution and join our team, please visit

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Despite the economic gloom, Wednesday’s base rate cut could stimulate the economy – and it does hint that the Monetary Policy Committee sees the threat of inflation as lessening, says financial solutions provider Think Money

Responding to the half-point cut to the Bank of England’s base rate, financial solutions company Think Money welcomed its already noticeable impact, and pointed to the implied likelihood of future cuts.

“There’s no question that we’re facing extraordinary issues today, both globally and nationally,” a Think Money spokesperson commented. “As a company, we were pleased to see the Bank of England taking this step – not just dropping the base rate, but dropping it by a substantial amount.

“Furthermore, we’re delighted to see major mortgage providers passing that reduction on to consumers. After so many months of negative news, this could make a big difference to many homeowners’ financial circumstances, as their variable rate mortgages drop from 7% to 6.5%.”

Anyone with a tracker mortgage, meanwhile, is sure to enjoy lower payments at once: The Times predicts immediate benefits for around 4 million people paying home loans that track the Bank’s base rate. ‘Those with a £150,000 mortgage’, it reports, ‘will see their interest-only repayments fall by £63 a month’.

“The same goes for other kinds of credit,” the spokesperson continued, “from secured loans to credit cards: people with tracker deals will certainly profit from the cut, and borrowers with SVR deals will be following their lenders’ reactions closely.”

New fixed-rate loans could also drop in price. “Now that the cost of credit has come down, lenders will be able to pass the savings on, giving their customers a better deal without placing their own profits in jeopardy – something which could have a profound impact on their stability at a time like this.

“Looking beyond the actual cut,” the spokesperson stressed, “it’s equally important to consider the implications – not just what the deal means, but what it says about the Bank of England’s assessment of our economy. First, the cut reveals how seriously it is taking today’s financial troubles. Second, it implies that the Bank is feeling more comfortable about inflation.”

As stated in the Bank’s news release about the rate cut: ‘The recent intensification of the financial crisis has augmented the downside risks to growth and thus has diminished further the upside risks to price stability’.

“In other words, today’s financial crisis has become more of a threat to the nation’s GDP – but on the plus side, slowing growth does tend to slow inflation too. The Bank may well have liked to postpone the base rate cut until inflation came down closer to the 2% target, but given the choice between letting the economy deteriorate and losing some ground in the fight against inflation, it chose the latter.”

As for the months ahead: “The latest BRC-Nielsen Shop Price Index (SPI) for the UK reveals that annual shop price inflation shrank to 3.6% in September, down from 3.8% in August. It’s encouraging to see inflation on the way down, particularly as it gives the MPC more leeway when it comes to future base rate decisions. Various influential bodies are calling for the Bank to make further cuts to the base rate – and there’s reason to hope it’ll be able to do that.”

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Sunwest Trust, which manages retirement funds for self-directed IRA investors, has continued to expand despite the uncertainty on Wall Street

Sunwest Trust, Inc. the New Mexico Company that acts as an escrow agent and self-directed IRA custodian, claims the self directed IRA funds placed with their firm are FDIC insured through local banks. Sunwest Trust further claims that it is financially sound and is not directly affected by the day-to-day volatility of the stock market. Since Sunwest Trust’s clients are self-directed, their investments are under each client’s direct control and are diversified in non-traditional assets, which are not directly indexed to the ups and downs of the stock market.

“With the current economic scenario being what it is, clients are naturally concerned about the security of their retirement money,” says Terry White, CEO of Sunwest Trust. “Large financial institutions including banks and lending agencies failing at regular intervals make headlines in the print and electronic media quite often, thus creating a suspicion in the mind of the clients about the security of their investments,” White adds.

Sunwest Trust deposits the IRA funds received from its clients into FDIC-insured banks. Although Sunwest Trust, Inc. only requires a minimum account balance of $400, “with the recent passage of the Financial Rescue Legislation this month, Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) are now insured by the FDIC up to $250,000 until December 2009,” says White, CEO of Sunwest Trust, Inc., as he attempted to avert growing suspicion among customers on the fate of their deposits.

Sunwest Trust is currently serving 14,000 individuals and companies and covering assets to the tune of $1 billion. “In August, the company had a record-breaking month, in terms of opening new accounts, and September is not far behind. The achievements during both these months were higher than the previous record, which was set in April, 2007,” states Terry, projecting an attractive picture of the company’s achievements.

Company management has very high expectations for making the current year the greatest in its 21 years. The company also claims to have achieved a growth rate of 15% annually and to have provided high-quality services to its customers.

In the world of finance, fortunes are often made in down markets. One only needs to use foresight and fortitude to make the right decisions in time. Retirement plans can succeed with diversification plans. “The self directed IRA could well be one of the best ways to achieve success with post retirement investments,” adds White.

Although the stock market may fluctuate and credit may tighten, it doesn’t mean that the avenues for lucrative investments are all closed. Diversification continues to be paramount to a successful retirement plan, and having a self-directed IRA may be central in achieving this. For example, with real estate property values nearing all-time lows this may be an excellent time to purchase property as part of one’s IRA.

About Sunwest Trust, Inc.
Sunwest Trust is an independently owned private company which offers self-directed IRA custodian and escrow services. The company offers a huge range of financial services providing post retirement benefits, private mortgages, real estate contacts and other related fields for its clients. FDIC insured banks back the self directed IRA funds of their clients.

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Lloyds TSB has launched two new savings accounts in response to the demand for its savings products

Lloyds TSB has revealed the details of two brand new savings accounts, each offering customers the opportunity to earn up to 6% interest on their savings.

The first of the two new savings accounts, the Easy Saver 2012, tracks the Bank of England base rate until 31st December 2012 on a tiered rate up to 5.5 per cent*. The new account can be opened with a minimum balance of £1 and there are no penalties for withdrawals on the account. The account offers customers instant access to their savings and the tiered rate is designed to help consumers maintain their savings habit over the long term.

The one year term deposit rate is the second of Lloyds TSB’s new savings options. It allows customers to earn a guaranteed return of 6.00 per cent on investments of £2000 or more. The rate is guaranteed for the term of the deposit and customers can opt to earn interest on a monthly or annual basis, enabling them to use their savings interest to boost their monthly income.

Janet Pope, director of savings and investments at Lloyds TSB said: “In an uncertain economic environment, security is a top priority for savers. Our term deposit range** has proved extremely popular, as the guaranteed return gives customers the security to plan ahead, knowing exactly how much interest they will receive and when they will get it.”

Janet continued: “Whilst some savers may want to ring fence funds in a term deposit account, others want instant access to their cash. The Easy Saver 2012 encourages customers to build their nest egg over time, safe in the knowledge they can access funds at any point if they need it.”

The new Easy Saver 2012 account can be managed through any Lloyds TSB branch or via the telephone network. Existing Lloyds TSB customers can manage their account using internet banking and funds can be transferred instantly between savings and current accounts via the new mobile banking service.

Janet Pope continued: “We continue to see strong demand from customers for our deposit products as our savings range offers customers great rates combined with the accessibility of our 1,900 strong branch network and familiarity of a high street brand. Recently, we have seen a significant increase in deposits and in the last week alone, double the average numbers of term deposit accounts have been opened.”

About Lloyds TSB:
Lloyds TSB Bank plc and Lloyds TSB Scotland plc are authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority and signatories to the Banking Codes. Lloyds TSB offer a full range of financial services including savings and investments, current accounts and insurance. Lloyds TSB Bank plc Registered Office: 25 Gresham Street, London EC2V 7HN. Registered in England and Wales no. 2065.

* Based on the current Bank of England base rate of 4.5 per cent. Interest will be compounded annually to the account or can be taken as a monthly income.
** On the term deposit range. No withdrawals or additional deposits are allowed during the term of the deposit. The minimum opening balance is £2000 and the maximum balance is £1 million.


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Highway Insurance Group Acquired by LV

LV=, the UK based insurance, investment and pensions group, has announced its acquisition of the Highway Insurance Group, which includes Highway Insurance and Hero Insurance Services, further expanding the fast growing general insurance division of LV=.

The initial offer of 73.35p per share, which was recommended by the Highway Board, was made in August. Highway shareholders also received their interim dividend of 1.65p, payable at the start of October 2008. This gives an overall value of the entire issued share capital of Highway of £150m.

Fenchurch Advisory Partners acted as exclusive financial adviser to LV while Shore Capital Stockbrokers acted as corporate broker to LV=.

Mike Rogers, Group Chief Executive of LV= said: “We are pleased to have completed this deal quickly and we look forward to welcoming Highway into the LV= Group. This acquisition makes sound strategic sense and will assist us in our stated ambition to become a top five insurer in our chosen markets by 2012.”

He continued, “Highway is highly complementary to our existing general insurance operations and will provide a strong platform for growth. Putting the strengths of LV= and Highway together will enable us to compete even more effectively in the insurance broker market.”

Highway Insurance will become part of the LV= General Insurance business which is led by Managing Director John O’Roarke, who formerly headed up the Churchill and RBS Insurance businesses.

Andrew Gibson, Chief Executive of Highway, will be staying on in an advisory capacity until the end of the year, when he will be leaving to explore opportunities outside the LV= Group.

As LV= is a mutual organisation, owned by its members, Highway Insurance will be de-listed from the London Stock Exchange in due course.

About LV=:

LV= is a trademark of Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society Limited (LVFS) and LV= is a trading style of the Liverpool Victoria group of companies. LV= employs over 2,700 people, serves more than 2.5 million customers and members, and manages more than £7.7 billion on their behalf. LV= is the UK’s largest friendly society and a leading mutual financial services provider, providing home insurance and car insurance well as travel and pet insurance direct to consumers. It also offers insurance products exclusively to brokers via the Highway and ABC Insurance brands.

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