UK Workers In State Of Pension Inertia

New research f r o m Prudential shows that nearly a third (30%) of Britain’s 8.8 million active occupational pension scheme members pay no attention to how their retirement savings are invested and 29% – more than 2.5 million scheme members – have never reviewed how their chosen pension fund is performing.

The pension provider’s study also shows that 48% of workers aged 25+ have their money invested in the ‘default’ fund of their company pension scheme.

Pension savers are failing to take an active role in managing their assets to produce the best possible retirement income. Around 29% admit they have never reviewed the progress of their selected pension funds.

Prudential warns that workers who do not regularly review the progress of their pension fund to deliver asset growth, or simply select the default fund offered by their employer without studying any other options available to them or seeking advice, could then risk limiting the value of their pension pot at retirement.

Andy Brown, director of investment funds at Prudential, said: “It’s worrying that so many people who pay into a company pension scheme appear to be in this state of inertia and aren’t taking an active role in the management of their pension savings.

“You routinely check your savings, utilities, insurance cover, mobile phone contract and broadband arrangements to make sure you’re getting the best f r o m them, and checking the performance of your pension should be no different.”

Prudential urges workers who have not reviewed their pension investments, especially during the stock market turbulence of the past two years, to review them now as a priority to ensure they are correctly positioned to take advantage of any market upturn.

Many pension scheme members are doing virtually nothing to ensure their pension funds are invested in the best place to maximise growth and maintain the right balance to protect fund values in the last few years before retirement.

When it comes to paying more money into company pension schemes, Prudential’s research found that 37% of people with a defined contribution pension have either made Additional Voluntary Contributions to their pension fund or increased the amount they pay in.

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NS&I Finds The Luckiest Premium Bonds Regions

NS&I has released a list of the luckiest regions for winning Premium Bonds prizes showing that those firstly in the South West, and then in the East Midlands, win more Premium Bonds prizes of £1000 or more, than the rest of the UK. Ranking as third luckiest was Wales, while the North East of England emerged as the least lucky of all the regions.

Sally Swait, Premium Bonds manager at NS&I, commented: “Each month ERNIE randomly generates the winning Premium Bonds numbers from his home in Blackpool, where all eligible Bonds – regardless of their age – have an equal chance of winning.

“The last year has seen the South West region receive the greatest luck in having their numbers come up, though all other regions were not without their own significant wins. As the numbers are generated randomly each month, we may very well see a change in the rankings of the luckiest regions in the UK next year.”

NS&I also discovered that there are currently more than 599,000 unclaimed Premium Bonds prizes across the UK, worth over £35 million.

The good news is that there is no time limit for claiming prizes. Premium Bonds results can be found by using the Premium Bonds draw prize checker or writing in to NS&I.

Premium Bonds are an investment where, instead of interest payments, investors have the chance to win tax-free prizes. They were officially launched by Harold Macmillan, Chancellor of the Exchequer, in his 1956 budget.

At the end of June 2009, more than 23 million people had a total of over £40 billion invested in Premium Bonds. There are currently more than one million tax-free prizes from £25 to £1 million being won each month.

Calculations for the luckiest regions data is based on the total value of prizes (£1000 and more) won by counties with at least 100,000 Premium Bond holdings. Information is for the period July 2008 – June 2009.

The current Premium Bonds prize fund rate is 1.0% tax-free. The current odds of each £1 Bond number winning any prize are 36,000 to 1, so with average luck, an investor with £30,000 in Premium Bonds could win 10 tax-free prizes a year.

All Premium Bonds prizes are free of UK Income Tax and Capital Gains Tax!

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Health Initiatives Gaining Momentum With UK Firms, Report Says

PruHealth, private medical insurer, has revealed as part of its new Workplace Health Report into the impact of health and wellbeing measures and culture in the workplace, that 89% of larger firms in the UK and 33% of SMEs offer health incentives for their employees.

Senior executives (75% of larger firms and 55% of SMEs) believe fostering a healthy lifestyle in the workplace is part of their role as a responsible employer. Furthermore, 83% of employees stated that an employer’s attitudes to health and wellbeing are an important factor when looking for a new role, which means providing a health and wellbeing programme has never been more important to help attract and retain quality.

Firms also believe health initiatives can help increase staff morale, improve productivity and reduce absenteeism as a ‘halo’ effect of a healthier workforce. Additionally benefits of encouraging a healthy culture in the workplace are also evident, with 51% of larger firms and 38% of SMEs experiencing a drop in absenteeism since introducing wellbeing initiatives.

With sickness and absence costing UK plc £20 billion a year larger firms with over 250 employees are actively encouraging a healthier and happier workforce as part of their responsibility as employers. As well as introducing initiatives, 81% of senior management are leading by example and engaging in healthy behaviour in the workplace, like sponsoring employees’ charity fun runs (55%), taking part in exercise classes and sports teams at work (49%) or eating healthily in the office (35%).

With economies of scale proving a barrier for some companies, only 33% of SMEs offer health initiatives to staff. However, 47% of SME senior executives said they are setting a good example through healthy behavior and taking part in exercise classes and sports teams at work.

PruHealth’s Vitality incentive programme enables smaller companies to provide a full ‘blue-chip’ range of healthy activities for employees as part of their corporate private health insurance, enabling companies of all sizes to benefit from a healthier workforce.”

About PruHealth
PruHealth was launched in October 2004 as a joint venture between Prudential and Discovery Holdings from South Africa to provide private health insurance. Since launch, PruHealth has grown quickly. PruHealth medical insurance now covers over 190,000 lives and in a sample of its individual customers, one third said they had changed their behaviour for the better because of its Vitality reward scheme which encourages policyholders to look after their health.

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M&S Money Has Announced That Its 10% Cashback Reward Offer To Customers Who Take Out A Personal Loan Is Being Extended Until 7th September 2009

The offer, which was originally due to end on 11th August, is now being made available to all customers who take out a personal loan for a repayment period of between 36 months up to seven years. This gives customers a refund of 10% of the interest they have paid once their final repayment has been made.

When the cashback reward is taken into account, the typical rate of 8.7% APR on a£10,000 loan over a 36 month period is equivalent to a rate 7.9% p.a.

Monthly repayment £319.48 total interest £1,501.28 total amount repayable£11,501.28. The cashback reward is not available on refinanced loans, loans repaid early or loans terminated by M&S Money.

The extended offer is also available with the M&S Car Buying Plan, which means that the cashback reward offer is likely to be of particular value customers who are considering buying a new vehicle at the start of September. The M&S Car Buying Plan also allows customers to defer a fixed percentage of their loan, as well as giving them several options at the end of the term. Customers can keep the car and carry on making monthly payments until the whole of the loan is repaid, keep the car and pay off the remainder of the loan with a lump sum or sell the car and use the money to pay off the remainder of the loan.

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The Cost Of University For This Year’s Recent A-Level Graduates Could Be As High As £25 Billion – Almost £3 Billion More Than Last Year

The Children’s Mutual has reported the cost of university for this year’s recent A-level graduates could be as high as £25 billion – almost £3 billion more than last year. The Children’s Mutual warns that thousands of young adults celebrating their A-Level results and their parents may remain unaware of this rising cost.

The Cost Of University For This Year’s Recent A-Level Graduates Could Be As High As £25 Billion - Almost £3 Billion More Than Last Year

According to the leading Child Trust Fund provider, the average student needs to find about £42,000 to fund three years at university, but this doesn’t take into account the costs of any further training they might want to do after their degree. Currently 87% of young people in the UK are receiving financial help from their parents and help towards university costs is something many students expect and parents expect to give*. Increases in year-on-year university costs also mean this bill will rise in future years.

One way parents of future scholars can help mitigate the rising costs is by saving regularly from when their children are very small. The Child Trust Fund (CTF) was created by the Government to provide every eligible child with a nest egg when they turn 18, with parents, friends and family all encouraged to help save. Launched in 2002, more than 4.4 million children now have a CTF account. Topping up a child’s CTF on a monthly basis could result in a significant lump sum when the child turns 18, perfect for helping with university costs.

David White, Chief Executive of The Children’s Mutual, said: “University can be as much of a millstone as it is a milestone. While parents will be pleased about their children’s successes as they receive their A-level results and many look forward to university, the high costs involved can be a real financial strain to a huge number of students and their parents. For families planning to support their children through university, finding a lump sum to cover the costs can be very difficult. Often, parents are left with no other option but to dip into their savings or remortgage their house. This can have a serious impact on their own financial future.

“From 2020 all 18 year-olds will have access to their maturing Child Trust Funds as they enter adulthood and the money saved in these could make a real difference to both future university students and their parents.”

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Gold Recycling Service To Exchange Unwanted Jewellery For Cash

H.Samuel has announced the launch of its new Gold Recycling service. With over 140 years experience selling watches, jewellery and gifts, H.Samuel, is now offering consumers the opportunity to recycle their unwanted white, yellow and rose gold jewellery for cash through a reputable and secure retailer.

Gold Recycling Service To Exchange Unwanted Jewellery For Cash

The popular high street jeweller’s Gold Recycling scheme offers competitive rates for precious gold jewellery from 9 carat up to 22 carat, free postage and free valuations combined with the assurance of security. All jewellery sent to the Gold Recycling service is insured to the value of £500, unpacked in a secure area, valued by trained jewellers and there is no obligation on the customer to accept any offers made.

This means that consumers can send their necklaces, bracelets, chains, pendants, lockets, crosses, crucifixes, etc to H.Samuel, safe in the knowledge that they will be offered competitive prices and receive swift payment or their goods will be returned to them for free.

The service is simple and easy to use. Any customer looking to recycle their gold simply has to visit the website and then follow four easy steps.

Customers simply fill in their details and a Gold Recycling pack will be sent to them for free. Customers who don’t have an internet connection can call the Gold Recycling helpline on 0845 609 2000 to request a pack.

When a customer receives their Gold Recycling Pack, they just have to complete the enclosed form and place the gold into the protective packaging provided. The items are then posted using the prepaid special delivery envelope. Postage is free and the package is insured for up to £500.

H.Samuel will then contact the customer with a valuation by phone or email. The customer can then either accept or reject the offer. If the customer accepts the valuation, a cheque will be sent to them within a few days.

H.Samuel will buy gold in any condition, even if it is tangled, broken or has missing stones. This even applies to rings (not stone-set), earrings (singles or pairs), loose earring backs and body jewellery, cufflinks, tie pins etc, hallmarked and un-hallmarked gold, and gold which has been purchased abroad. There is no need for customers to clean or sort items before sending.

Gold Recycling at H.Samuel is perfect for consumers who want to exchange gold for cash with a trustworthy and secure service.

The new H Samuel Gold Recycling service is unfortunately unable to accept: gold plated jewellery, platinum, silver, stone set jewellery (eg. diamond rings), coins, bars, ingots, sovereigns and kruggerands, watches, new items or items that appear new (eg, price tagged) or dental gold.

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MidCountry Bank Supports 2009 Effort To Save Eternal Flame At National WWI Museum

With the possibility that the National World War I Museum’s eternal flame could be extinguished due to government budget cuts, MidCountry Bank, through its military banking division, Pioneer Services, has stepped up for the second year in a row with a sizeable financial contribution to keep the flame burning atop the Liberty Memorial in Kansas City, Mo.

MidCountry Bank Supports 2009 Effort To Save Eternal Flame At National WWI Museum

“The eternal flame remains a symbol of our gratitude for those who made the ultimate sacrifice,” said Tom Holcom, president of Pioneer Services. “Since we work exclusively with the military community, we could not just sit back and let the flame be extinguished, especially after our organization’s successful efforts to save the flame last year,” said Holcom. “The WWI Museum is the only museum in America that preserves the legacy of those who served in the Great War and MidCountry Bank and Pioneer Services are committed to doing whatever we can to help ensure that legacy is honored.”

In 2008, budget cuts threatened to extinguish the eternal flame except on special holidays. At the time, MidCountry Bank and Pioneer Services initiated the “Save the Flame” campaign, an international awareness and fundraising effort that successfully raised more than $68,000 in just four weeks. The two organizations donated an initial $5,000 to keep the flame lit during the fundraising campaign from Memorial Day to July 4, 2008, contributing a total of $22,500 in matching funds to the widely-publicized campaign. The efforts were profiled in USA Today, Stars and Stripes, and through extensive broadcast coverage.

Since its dedication in 1926, the memorial has been a Kansas City and national monument, looking over the downtown skyline. The National World War I Museum, which opened in 2006, was built beneath the existing Liberty Memorial. It is designated by Congress as the nation’s official WWI Museum .

MidCountry Bank’s military banking division recently committed $5,000 to keep the WWI eternal flame burning through 2010. The companies continue to manage the campaign’s fundraising and awareness Web site,, promoting the need for continued assistance and to facilitate donations.

MidCountry Financial Corp. is a financial services holding company with subsidiaries that deliver high-quality and diversified financial services to targeted markets.

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Tracker Rate Mortgages Gain In Popularity

So far this year, fixed rate mortgages have been by far the most popular choice of deal as borrowers have sought the security of a fixed rate during the recession.


However, August has seen an increase in interest for tracker rates which are linked directly to the Bank of England Rate. Earlier this month, the Bank of England announced it was keeping rates on hold at an all-time low of 0.5%. It then published its Quarterly Inflation Report and predicted that rates would remain at their record low for some time to come.

Richard Morea, Technical Manager at L&C said, “With signs that interest rates could remain at 0.5% into 2010, many borrowers are deciding that they are willing to take the risk of having a variable mortgage rate, in order to benefit from low interest rates. Tracker mortgages are not for everyone though – if you’re on a tight budget and are worried about being able to afford a rise in mortgage payments, then a fixed rate mortgage is still a good bet.”

London & Country (L&C) is the UK’s leading no-fee mortgage broker. Based in Bath, it provides whole of market advice via telephone and post to clients nationwide. As well as residential mortgages, it also specialises in the Buy-to-Let and adverse-credit sectors.

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Saxo Bank, The Online Specialist In Trading And Investment, Maintains Profitability In First Half Of 2009

Saxo Bank, the online specialist in trading and investment, has reported its half year results showing that clients’ collateral deposits and assets under management in total exceeded DKK 25 billion and, in a very difficult year, profit before tax reached DKK 55 million.

Saxo Bank, The Online Specialist In Trading And Investment, Maintains Profitability In First Half Of 2009

Operating costs increased primarily due to new office openings, product launches, as well as contributions to the Danish State Guarantee Scheme and with unchanged income, profit before tax declined from the same period in 2008.

– Pre-tax profits of DKK 55 million (DKK 162 million).
– Operating income of DKK 969 million (DKK 969 million).
– EBITDA of DKK 128 million (DKK 221 million).
– Clients’ collateral deposits increased to more than DKK 11 billion (DKK 8 billion).
– Assets under management in the Asset Management department exceeded DKK 14 billion (DKK 0).
– The solvency ratio for Saxo Bank Group was 18.9% (10.1%).

In a joint statement, Saxo Bank co-CEOs and co-founders, Kim Fournais and Lars Seier Christensen, commented: “We did expect 2009 to be a difficult year. However, the results reassure us that we took the right decision when we chose to steer the Bank into a new phase based on a more flexible structure before the financial crisis took hold. We also find it encouraging that the Bank managed to strengthen and optimise its entire value chain, product offering and geographical footprint during what were six very challenging months for the financial markets as a whole. And, equally importantly is of course, that our new Asset Management department got off to a good start with DKK 14 billion in assets under management, a number that since has grown to DKK 16 billion”.

During the first half of 2009, Saxo Bank introduced a number of enhancements to its award-winning online trading platform, the most significant of which were related to Commodity CFD’s and FX options. In addition to a broader product offering, the Bank widened its geographical footprint and established its presence in Milan, Madrid and Prague, and acquired two Dutch broker houses and a Tokyo-based provider of FX services. In May, Saxo Bank became the first Danish bank to receive regulatory approval to operate a regional office in the Dubai International Financial Centre.

About Saxo Bank
Saxo Bank is an online trading and investment specialist, enabling Forex Trading for clients, CFDs, Stocks, Futures, Options and other derivatives, as well as providing portfolio management via SaxoWebTrader and SaxoTrader, the leading online trading platforms.

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With The Bank Of England Rate Remaining At An All-Time Low Of 0.5% In August, Now Could Be A Good Time For Many Borrowers To Consider An Offset Mortgage

An offset mortgage works by using savings you have to reduce the amount you owe on your mortgage and therefore the amount of mortgage interest you pay. For example, if you have an outstanding mortgage of £120,000 and savings of £20,000, you would only pay interest on a mortgage of £100,000. You don’t receive interest on your savings, but that also means that you don’t pay tax on that interest.

This tax benefit, added to the fact that mortgage rates are typically higher than savings rates, means that you could save thousands of pounds in interest with an offset mortgage. Taking a mortgage rate of 3.99%, a basic rate taxpayer would need to earn at least 4.99% from a savings account to get the equivalent benefit. A higher rate taxpayer would need to earn 6.65%.

You could also cut years off your mortgage term by using the saving to make regular overpayments.

Richard Morea, Technical Manager at L&C said, “If you are frustrated with the low interest rates you are earning on your savings in the current market, then an offset mortgage is worth considering. They are not suitable for everyone, but if you have a decent amount of savings, offsetting them against your mortgage could save you thousands of pounds in interest.”

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The DebtBuster Corporation Recognized As Finalists In The Las Vegas Chamber Of Commerce Small Business Of The Year Competition

The DebtBuster Corporation (DebtBusters), the nations most trusted debt settlement firm, announced today that it has been recognized as one of three finalists in the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year competition. Small Business of the Year, awarded as part of the LVCC Annual Biz-E‘s honors a for-profit venture with 50 or fewer employees, demonstrates commitment to community stewardship and is active in the business community of Southern Nevada. The final event, and announcement of the winner will take place at The Rio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, NV the afternoon of September 17th, 2009.

The DebtBuster Corporation

David Fishman, the owner of The DebtBuster Corporation, gladly accepts the recognition as a finalist on behalf of his employees. “This is a great honor”, said Mr. Fishman who is also known as Dr. Debt, “we really couldn’t have done this without our great staff and our dedication to excellent customer service. Our goal is to assist everyone that needs help with credit card debt, regardless of whether or not they become our client”. Mr. Fishman went on to say that people who need debt relief, don’t generally ask for it until it’s too late. “Bankruptcy alternatives are available for most people”, said Mr. Fishman, “if you know where to look”.

About The DebtBuster Corporation
Formed in 1998 as subsidiary of the 20 year old commercial debt settlement firm, Arbitronix INC, The DebtBuster Corporation was created to assist consumers by negotiating their unsecured debt directly with creditors, often saving consumers thousands of dollars in the process. Accredited by the Better Business Bureau in 2002, DebtBusters is one of the few debt settlement firms in the country which has achieved an A+ BBB rating. Their dedication to customer service is unparalleled and their motto, “No Obligations. Only Answers.”, shows their willingness to help anyone who calls the Dr. Debt national helpline at 1-800-464-DEBT, regardless of whether or not the caller becomes a DebtBusters Client.

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Research Shows Car Thieves Targeting Top End Motors

LV= has revealed that the average car theft claim has increased in value by almost 40% this year compared to 2008 and is warning owners of expensive cars that thieves may be more likely to target their vehicles.

Research Shows Car Thieves Targeting Top End Motors

Between January and May 2009, data f r o m insurer LV= shows that the average claim rose by 38% compared to the same period last year. Compared to figures f r o m two years ago there is an increase of 44%, indicating a trend that thieves are deliberately targeting cars with a higher value. The average insurance rating of cars being stolen has gone f r o m group 10 to group 20.

As well as seeking out higher value cars thieves are also looking at the age of the car. The average age of stolen vehicles has fallen f r o m ten to eight years old since 2004. However it isn’t all bad news for drivers as the overall number of cars being stolen dropped by 11% between 2007 and 2008.

John O’Roarke, managing director of LV= car insurance, said: “Over the last few years there had been a significant decline in the numbers of cars being stolen but a sharp increase in the value of cars being targeted by thieves. Cars have better security measures on them than ever before so many opportunist thieves simply don’t bother anymore. It would appear that the cars that are being stolen are specifically targeted by thieves who will often break into the owner’s property to steal the keys. Many of these cars are then exported to be sold overseas. Owners of top-end vehicles, like Porsches, BMWs and Jaguars need to be even more vigilant to keep their cars safe.”

“Our data indicates that motorists need to take extra care if they drive a car that maybe particularly attractive to thieves. Having an immobiliser or tracker device fitted, and ensuring the car is kept in a locked garage will not only keep your insurance premium down but will help towards keeping the car safe.”

The LV research also revealed that the three most likely UK cities for a car to be stolen f r o m are London, Manchester and Cardiff.

About LV=
LV= offers home and car insurance as well as pet and travel insurance direct to consumers by telephone f r o m its UK call centres in Bournemouth, Bristol and Croydon and online f r o m its website.

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NS&I Report Reveals Future Families Founded On Fortune

The new National Savings and Investments (NS&I) commissioned report, ‘Families, Finance and the Future’, suggests the existence of a new institution of British life – the ‘Financial Family’ – a collaborative unit of close friends and family marked by financial interdependence. It does not simply show a steady flow of cash down the generations, or the ‘sandwich generation’ arrangement observed in recent years, but also shows flows of money and advice, up and down the generations as well as between siblings.

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The costs of living and care for the elderly are recognised as rising, and the report suggests that the traditional family unit is shifting – yet family ties will be stronger than ever, and people will rely much more on financial networks. By 2029, there will be more cohabiting couples, and more single-person households than married couples living together** – so the Financial Family will be important even after the traditional family has declined.

According to the new survey research, the majority of people felt financially responsible for family members (54%), while 70% stated that current economic trouble meant families needed to support each other (70%).

Young people are more engaged with the Financial Family, with 50% of 16-24s identified as members of a Financial Family, compared to 30% of 25-34s and 20% of 35-44s. As this generation grows up, the Financial Family will become more and more widespread.

Technology will also mean that people are better equipped to share financial advice – but will also make it more important they do so. As the amount of information that tries to reach consumers increases, people will rely on the insights of their financial network to process this mass of information. This network is likely to revolve around the family as most people feel comfortable discussing financial matters (55%) with close friends and family, or sharing financial tips and advice (60%).

Barry Clark, Associate Director at the Future Foundation said: “We feel we’ve revealed a new way for people to look at British family life – and one that will become increasingly common. When we look at several demographic trends, like the rise of single-person households, the advance of technology and young people’s involvement in financial matters, we can expect the Financial Family to be a very important feature in the future. The Financial Family is here to stay.”

Tim Mack, Savings Spokesman at NS&I, said: “We started from an intuitive feeling that discussing money isn’t taboo any more, but the results far exceeded our expectations. The research shows that the discussion of finances, and our relationship with money, extends beyond the traditional family.”

About NS&I
NS&I is one of the largest UK investments and savings organisations, offering a range of savings accounts and investments products, including fixed rate savings bonds, fixed term investments, Premium Bonds, savings certificates, and ISAs to almost 27 million customers. Established in 1861.

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Survey Finds SEPA Still A Priority For UK Corporates

Experian, the global information services company, has revealed that while the majority (67%) of large UK-based organisations are primarily focused on enhancing business efficiency and reducing costs over the coming six months, payment regulation will also remain high on the corporate agenda.

Survey Finds SEPA Still A Priority For UK Corporates

According to a survey of payments professionals conducted at Experian’s Payment Strategies 2009 conference, complying with changes in payments regulation, such as the migration to the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) and the Payment Services Directive (PSD), remains a priority for 40% of large companies. The survey also found that finance companies are most focused on complying with upcoming payments regulation (53%), while 26% of the insurance companies questioned are making it a priority to become compliant by the end of the year.

Almost a third of corporates are planning to make use of the SEPA Direct Debit service in the next twelve months, indicating that they are far better informed about the SEPA initiative and its value to their businesses. Another Experian survey undertaken in 2008 revealed that 48% of corporates felt that there was insufficient information provided on the move to SEPA.

Jonathan Williams, Director of Product Development and Strategy at Experian Payments, commented: “While most corporates involved in the migration to the pan-European Direct Debit scheme would admit that it has not been a smooth path to tread, SEPA does create direct business opportunities for these organisations. Those planning to make use of the initiative will benefit from greater efficiency in terms of consolidating their systems and rationalising the number of bank accounts they hold as well as having a common standard for direct debit transactions in Euro countries. Those corporates which need to make payments to and receive payments from the European Economic Area will benefit from this more standardised approach to payment transactions.”

He added: “Under SEPA, the use of BIC and IBAN to identify the bank and account of a payment beneficiary will become mandatory for all cross-border SEPA payments. Corporates need to be aware of the fact that failure to validate these details before making a payment will result in increased costs and poor customer service. They will need to make the necessary changes in the coming months to avoid these pitfalls which, if not addressed, could affect the profitability of their business.”

About Experian Payments
Experian Payments, develops global strategic payment software solutions and services to meet the requirements of the world’s leading banks and corporate organisations. Focussing on the specific challenges of data validation, including processes to convert IBAN, and the processing of international payments, Experian Payments’ platform-independent solutions help organisations control costs, reduce risks and improve customer service through the minimisation of payment errors. Experian Payments has over 1,000 customers across all sectors of industry and commerce. Experian Payments is a division of Experian.

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Homeowners Insurance Rate Quotes Explained

When it comes to saving money on insurance, consumers may want to utilize homeowners insurance quotes. Applying to receive homeowners insurance rate quotes is free, fast and easy to do. But homeowners must first learn just what homeowners insurance rate quotes are, and where they can find them.

Homeowners Insurance Rate Quotes Explained

According to a newly published article on, some shoppers who are unused to using quotes are surprised to learn the quote is not exactly what they pay.

“A homeowners insurance rate quote is an estimate from the insurance carrier to the potential policyholder. Shoppers should keep in mind that the quote is nonbinding; its purpose is to reflect the general price range that a person applying for coverage might pay,” the article, What Is a Homeowners Insurance Rate Quote? states. “However, the final premium the shopper ends up paying usually isn’t a drastic difference from the homeowners insurance rate quote they were offered.”

Time is of the essence: with rates rising across the country, homeowners can’t afford to stall saving money on their coverage any longer. The first step to saving money and finding home insurance quotes is to know where to look.

Homeowners can find quotes online, by talking face-to-face to an agent, or receiving them from insurance companies/offices/agents over the phone., however, recommends finding the insurance quotes online because of its ease and efficiency.

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Fake Injuries Are On The Increase

LV= car insurance has reported that GPs have seen an increase in the number of people feigning injury in order to claim compensation. The research conducted among GPs has revealed that 65% of doctors have seen an increase in the number of attempts to make a fraudulent injury claim over the past ten years, with almost one in four reporting a surge since the recession began.

Fake Injuries Are On The Increase

The LV= research reveals a 25% rise in personal injury claims over the past six years, costing the NHS £8m in consultation fees every year and the insurance industry nearly £2bn in compensation payments*.

The most commonly attempted personal injury fraud is whiplash, which has a significant impact on car insurance costs, estimated at 20% of everyone’s premium*. The insurance industry is working closely with the medical profession to ensure that legitimate claims are supported whilst weeding out any false claims.

Doctors have also reported cases of people trying to fake post-traumatic stress and depression as ways of fraudulently claiming compensation.

The UK has twice the number of whiplash injuries reported compared with the rest of Europe* and the medical profession is becoming more wary of people attempting to make fraudulent claims. 49% of GPs said they are now more likely to scrutinise patients ‘injuries’ where compensation could be gained, and 36% said they are now less likely to write a letter to support a claim.

Dr Harry Brunjes, Chairman of LV=’s medical advice provider, Premier Medical Group commented: “The medical profession always has been, but is increasingly sensitive to individuals who could potentially defraud their employer or insurer as a result of exaggeration or even fabrication of clinical signs and symptoms.”

Although the vast majority of GPs said the increase in faked injuries was driven by people trying to get compensation [AU1]other common reasons cited included people trying to get time off work (66%), the ‘blame’ culture that exists in the UK (70%), because they are hypochondriacs (13%) or simply because they want attention (31%).

Martin Milliner, head of claims at LV= car insurance, said: “Clearly anyone who has a genuine injury as a result of an accident that wasn’t their fault, and loses out or can’t work as a result of it, is entitled to compensation. However anyone trying to get money for an injury that doesn’t exist is not only breaking the law but also wasting valuable NHS time and resources. We would urge any GP who has doubts about someone reporting an injury to investigate further to ensure that it is genuine.

“People may see making up an injury as a result of a car accident as a harmless crime and a quick way to make money, but if they are allowed to get away with it all car insurance premiums would be pushed up which is unfair on the honest motorist.” Anyone found guilty of making a fraudulent claim will also have a criminal record, could lose their job and could go to prison for three years or more, according to the official Sentencing Guidelines Council guidance.

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AAA Auto Insurance Services Review

A name that is trusted among most drivers is AAA Auto Insurance. And as one of the oldest American insurers, AAA also provides road side assistance in addition to offering auto insurance. For many drivers, AAA may be able to provide more affordable and quality services—a valuable commodity these days.

AAA Auto Insurance Services Review

A newly published article on, “AAA Auto Insurance: Not Just Great Coverage,” encourages drivers and motorists to evaluate the advantages of working with AAA, an all-service auto insurance provider.

Recent reports show more and more drivers are dropping their expensive auto insurance, suspending regular vehicle checks and tune-ups, and avoiding costly roadside assistance, in an effort to save money and make ends meet. But instead of paying several garages high bills, it may be more affordable to invest in one all-service company like AAA Auto Insurance.

Doing business with AAA Auto Insurance will provide drivers with the ability to properly insure their vehicles as well as receive multiple roadside services.

“[AAA Roadside Assistance] was implemented by AAA auto insurance in 1915 as a response to car breakdowns plaguing drivers all over the country. Nearly 100 years later, car breakdowns are still common and AAA boasts more than 30 million members to their program,” the article states.

Roadside assistance from AAA auto insurance includes:

• Battery service
• Tire service
• First aid for your car (minor adjustments, parts or supplies)
• Towing service
• Lock out service (in case you lock your keys in your car)
• Fuel delivery

In addition to insurance and roadside assistance, there are plenty of other services offered by AAA auto insurance. To learn more about AAA, contact your local branch and speak with a AAA auto insurance agent.

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Driving Record can Make or Break Car Insurance Quotes

Do you have a copy of your driving record? If not, maybe it’s time you got one. Knowing what your driving record looks like can help you be a more conscious driver on the road. And as any good insurance agent knows, cautious drivers are more likely to pay less for their car insurance, according to an article on

Driving Record can Make or Break Car Insurance Quotes

Hundreds of thousands of jobs across the country were cut again in the last month. Many households are living on a severely reduced income, and saving money seems to be becoming a full-time job all its own. But don’t drop your auto insurance policy to save money—instead, try to find a more affordable plan. And to do that, you should keep a copy of your driving record, to see where improvements can be made.

A responsible driver—whose goal is to keep their auto insurance as affordable as possible—checks their driving record at least every 2-3 years (more often if they know they have several violations in one year). The amount you pay for your car insurance policy will be affected by whether or not you have a clean driving record. As such, encourages drivers to seek a copy of their driving record—a move it says is more than a little convenient to drivers.

“Knowing how many violations are on it or whether you have an ideal driving record is valuable knowledge,” according to the article, ‘Reviewing Your Personal Driving Record.’ “If you’ve got a clean record, you should be sure to alert your car insurance agent so you can get a reduction on your auto insurance premium. On the flip side, if you find that you’ve got many violations on your driving record, you can proceed by taking steps to clean your record and/or learn better driving habits.”

A copy of your record can be found at your DMV, on the Web, or with your car insurance carrier. Having the knowledge provided by your record can be very useful when you are looking to lower your car insurance premium, or find more affordable rates by requesting auto insurance quotes.

Once you know what kind of driver your record reflects to your DMV and your car insurance carrier, you can start the search for more affordable car insurance by shopping online for car insurance quotes.

“If your current carrier is charging you too much for your policy—perhaps due to some infractions on your driving record—then you may want to consider finding a different policy, ask various car insurance agents, they may be able to help. Perhaps another carrier can offer you more affordable car insurance quotes and policies for your driving record,” suggests the article by

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