Reveals Home Insurance Theft Claims Are Highest In November has revealed that November is a month to be feared amongst the British public, as the darker nights and the approach of Christmas means burglars are out in force.

Summer has come to an end marking the official start of long winter nights. However, with less daylight, is warning people to beware as the cover of darkness can prove a tempting offer for opportunistic thieves to target vulnerable homes.

Research released by reveals that the most home insurance theft claims are made in the month of November, accounting for 9.1 per cent of home insurance theft claims*. This marks a huge 20% increasewhen compared with the month of April where burglary claims were at their lowest**.

With the average cost of a burglary at £3,500***, its vital homeowners take all the preventative measures they can to avoid becoming a victim. urges people to check their home insurance policies to make sure they are fully covered in the event of a burglary as dark winter nights could prompt an increase in claims as a result of break-ins.

Commenting, Sean O’ Callaghan Detective Superintendent of Essex Police, said: “The onset of darker evenings, marked by changing clocks, always signals a change of tactics by police towards preventing burglaries. The cover of darkness has obvious attractions to these criminals.

“In fact, in the month of November, 676 burglaries took place within the area of Essex**. It is important to remember that opportunists carry out most burglaries. As a resident you can make a few small changes to your property and your daily routine that can help to make your home safer, by putting would-be burglars off and making life very difficult for them.”

Detective Superintendent O’ Callaghan, continued: “Having your property burgled can be very upsetting, as not only do the victims have to deal with the psychological effects of having their home entered, but they also have to spend time dealing with insurance companies to try and get back the monetary value of any stolen items, whilst also coming to terms with the loss of any sentimental or irreplaceable items.”

Mark Gabriel Head of, Home Insurance, added: “Having adequate cover in place will minimise the financial impact and take the sting out of having to replace any of your stolen possessions.”

For more home theft prevention tips, or to learn more about home contents insurance visit

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Northern Rock Launches Competitive New Fixed Rate Cash e-ISAs

Northern Rock has launched three new online issues of its Fixed Rate Cash e-ISA to complement its competitive portfolio of internet-based savings accounts.

The e-ISA offers those who prefer to operate their accounts via the internet an online option for their tax-free savings. The e-ISA is a cash ISA set at a competitive fixed rate of interest over a choice of one, two or three years and can be opened with no minimum initial deposit.

Interest, which can be added to the account or paid into another account, is paid annually on the first business day following 5 August on minimum balances of £500 (balances which fall below this amount will earn Northern Rock’s prevailing rate of interest, 0.10% tax free pa /AER).

Strictly limited issues, the Fixed Rate Cash e-ISAs (issues 25, 26 and 27) allow transfers in from other providers and additional deposits can be made to the cash ISAs, within HM Revenue and Customs limits (£5,340 per tax-year from 6 April 2011) within 30 days after the product is withdrawn (excepting postal applications to transfer in from other banks and building society ISA accounts, which must be received while the product remains on sale).

To ensure funds are accepted into new accounts, Northern Rock must receive all funds within 30 days from the account opening date. Therefore, individuals must initiate any Cash ISA transfers in as soon as they receive their new Cash ISA details. After the 30 day period one may not be able to make any additional deposits into the Cash ISA. Subscriptions are not allowed to any other Cash ISAs in the same tax year(s) that one subscribes to this Cash ISA, even if the full annual allowance(s) haven’t been used.

Thirty days following the products withdrawal, no further deposits will be accepted and all three issues may be withdrawn without notice, once fully subscribed.

Minimum withdrawals of £1 by BACS and £250 by CHAPS can be made, subject to a charge equivalent to 60 days’ loss of interest on the amount withdrawn (Issue 25), 90 days’ loss of interest on the amount withdrawn (Issue 26), or 120 days’ loss of interest on the amount withdrawn (Issue 27). There is a £35 fee for transfers out via CHAPS.

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Standard Life Reveals Inflation Can Reduce A Retiree’s Purchasing Power By 68%

Standard Life, the savings and investment specialist, has warned that the effects of inflation can seriously damage one’s retirement wealth. New data released today shows that a 90-year-old who retired in 1981, when petrol cost 35p a litre, would have seen the purchasing power of a £10,000-a-year level pension income fall to just £3,207 today.

John Lawson, Head of Pensions Policy at Standard Life said: “Inflation can have a huge impact on the purchasing power of your retirement income. As people are living longer, retirement income needs to go that much further, with a 60-year-old man retiring today living on average for another 26


“Our research shows that 57% of people do recognise that an income keeping pace with inflation is attractive. But currently, and somewhat inevitably, the majority go for the higher starting income of a level annuity, leaving only 3% choosing an inflation linked annuity. This is perhaps understandable given that annuity rates have reached record lows and level annuities start at a higher rate than their inflation linked alternatives.

“People approaching retirement need to consider their own personal inflation rate may be higher in the future than that of the average person in the UK due to the types of products and services they will consume. After 10 years in retirement, a 60-year-old man who had purchased a RPI linked annuity with a fund of £100,000 could achieve a higher annual income than someone who had purchased a level annuity.”

An example provided by the data shows the purchasing power in today’s money of a £100,000 pension fund being used by a 60-year-old man retiring in October 2011 to purchase a level or RPI-linked annuity. Various rates of inflation are shown over a 30-year period. If inflation averaged 7% over a ten-year period, the then 70-year old man would begin to receive a higher annual retirement income than if he had purchased a level annuity.

Please note in this example the level annuity receives a higher starting income than the RPI-linked version. At year 10, with inflation at 7%, there is a crossover when the RPI-linked annuity annual income exceeds the level annuity annual income. At year 22, the total payments from the RPI-linked annuity exceed the total payments from the level annuity.

Lawson concluded: “Low inflation has persisted for the last 15 years or so, but there is no guarantee that it will continue. Rising world demand for food and fuel, without a similar increase in supply, has seen prices for the basics rocket. People retiring today need to consider that they will still need to pay for food, fuel and other essentials for a long time into the future and that these basic items are likely to cost a lot more in 10 year’s time than they do today.

“There are many options to consider at retirement which could minimise the impact of inflation on your income, so seeking financial advice is vital.”

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Business Monitor International Highlights The Risks Of Turkey’s Tough Stance Towards Israel

Business Monitor International (BMI) has released the latest special report, “Turkey: A Decisive Break from the West?” analysing Turkey’s profound transformation as it adopts an increasingly assertive role in the Middle East and Eastern Mediterranean.

With Turkey’s position as one the world’s most strategically important countries and a major emerging economy, its evolving political dynamics are of global importance. A shift in Turkey’s foreign policy and a move towards authoritarian rule is strainings its relationship with Israel and could, potentially, damage those with its NATO allies at a time when the attraction of EU membership – a cornerstone of government policy for close to a decade – is clearly waning. According to BMI, Turkey’s tough stance towards Israel is clearly aimed at winning support from Arab countries as the country’s leadership looks to establish its position as a key player in the Middle East. Although Turkey is unlikely to leave NATO, it will increasingly be viewed as an unreliable ally in European capitals.

On a global basis BMI recognises Turkey as best-positioned among the non-BRICemerging market economies to become a major power over the coming years, thanks to its large economy, population, and military, growing ties with the Middle East and Russia, and its critical strategic location between continents. The report analyses potential strategic partnerships of the future if Turkey was to move away from its traditional Western allies and compete more directly with Iran and Egypt.

Moreover, “Turkey: A Decisive Break From The West?” assesses the impact of a new foreign policy on already strained relationship with the European Union and the probability of Turkey’s potential EU accession in context of Ankara’s attempts to nurture greater political and economic influence in the Middle East and irreconcilable relationship with Cyprus.

BMI’s portfolio of products provides comprehensive analysis across Turkey’s industries and enables global investors, emerging market strategists and decision-makers across the corporate spectrum to assess and evaluate global political and economic risks and aid strategic planning activities over the short, medium and long term.

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Who Buys

The B2B search giant has been in the news recently as rumors are ripe that it will be acquired by another technology company. There are rumors that Masterseek lies in negotiation with Yandex, the Russian search engine giant, recently listed in Ney York Stock Engine for more than 5 billion USD. There has been no official announcement as yet either from Masterseek or from Yandex about this supposed acquisition of Masterseek by Yandex. But trade analysts believe that a partnership between these two companies will be mutually beneficial for their business interests and also to the share holders.

Masterseek has a market value of over $ 275 million in terms of equities and trade analyst believe that acquiring it will give the share holders of a company, $ 300 million dollars in profit. This has made it interesting as many IT companies, venture capitalist, both in US and outside the US, are competing to acquire it for increasing their share values and also for getting a firm grip in the US search engine market.

Masterseek founded in the year, 1999 in Denmark, by Rasmur Refer. Their current headquarters is at Ney York City in Wall Street. It is believed to handle ninety thousand B2B searches on a daily basis. Also, on 30 th of October, 2008, Masterseek announced that they have acquired the B2B search engine Accoona, which has been quite successful in the countries of US and China. It was initially launched in 2004 and at that time, the former US president, Bill Clinton was its spokesperson. This acquisition has helped Masterseek in improving profitability of the shareholders and since then it has attracted many potential buyers who are looking to enter the US market.

“It is correct that we are open for bids but are in no hurry as we can make an alternative IPO as early as Q1 or Q2 2012,” says Rasmus Refer, the CEO of Masterseek. Experts in the financial environment had estimated that Masterseek can get a market capitalization of up to 450 million USD at an IPO on Nasdaq. So, they are in no hurry to get into a deal with any company, they are looking at their options and thinking if they should consider bids for acquisition or strengthen their business module through IPO. Due to the recent success of Linkelin IPO, we think that they might go for an IPO if they do not get any favorable offers. In all conditions and circumstances, we do feel that their share holders are bound to make a decent amount of profit in the long run.

If any company or venture capitalists want to buy Masterseek, they will need to offer a business deal that the management at Masterseek cannot resist and we feel that Yandex does have the ability at this moment to offer such a deal. Due to the success of their IPO recently they have a lot of surplus cash and they have hinted that they are looking at acquisitions option to capitalize on it.

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Admiral Reveals Road Rage Causes One In Ten Motorists To Attack Others

Admiral has revealed that Britain is a nation of irate motorists with nearly three quarters admitting they get angry with other motorists when they’re behind the wheel, according to a new study into road rage. Even more worrying, more than one in ten have followed another driver and a similar number have even attacked another driver as a result of road rage.

The poll of 3,000 UK motorists by car insurance specialist Admiral has revealed while 72% of drivers admit they feel road rage, more than three quarters (76%) act by shouting at other drivers and more than half (52%) make offensive gestures.

It’s not just your stereotypical aggressive male drivers who see red behind the wheel. The results reveal road rage affects both genders and, although women are more likely to feel angry when driving, it is men who are the most likely to shout or gesticulate at motorists who annoy them.

Admiral managing director Sue Longthorn said: “Sadly road rage doesn’t just manifest itself in shouting and gesticulating. More than one in ten (13%) of the drivers we questioned said they have followed a driver that has annoyed them while nearly one in ten (9%) admitted they have attacked another driver. The same number (9%) said they have been attacked by another driver themselves.

“It’s bad enough letting yourself be annoyed by other road users, but following them or even worse, attacking them is crazy. You have to ask yourself is it worth getting that upset at other drivers? Will getting angry achieve anything other than raising your blood pressure?”

It seems the roads have become more hostile places than they were five years ago. Nearly half (47%) of those polled said they think other drivers are more angry than they were five years ago. However, drivers certainly aren’t as critical when looking at their own driving habits; less than a fifth (18%) feel they are angrier when driving now than 5 years ago.

Longthorn added: “Vehicles can bring out the darker side of our personalities. Many of us will know someone who is mild mannered most of the time, but who, inside the confines of their car, can become easily enraged by another driver’s, sometimes harmless, actions.”

This view is backed up by Admiral’s research which found that two fifths (42%) of drivers wouldn’t consider themselves to be an angry person but do get angry and frustrated when driving.

Admiral found what gets motorists’ blood boiling the most is when other drivers drive too close or cut them off. General rudeness of other road users, driving too slowly and people who get distracted are three other instigators of road rage in motorists.

More than half of those polled also said they are much more likely to get road rage if they’re in a rush, driving on inner city roads, in traffic jams or at roundabouts.

However, it’s not all bad news. Although a large proportion of motorists do see red when driving, three fifths (63%) said they think it is wrong to show road rage and almost one in seven (68%) said they feel guilty when they do.

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Saxo Bank Reveals Leaders And Laggards Of The Q3 Earnings Season

Saxo Bank has released a new video examining the leaders and laggards of the Q3 earnings season.

With more than 20 percent of the benchmark S&P 500 companies having reported their results, the new video with Peter Garnry, Equity Strategist at Saxo Bank, not only looks at the leaders and laggards of the season but also what common threads, if any, there are across sectors.

The new equity video particularly focuses on the far reaching consequences of the Eurozone crisis on banking and financial entities plus the apparent invincibility (at least for now) of companies in the energy and technology sectors to the slowing economic growth of several key economies around the globe.

Peter Garny said: “We have said several times that we’re in favour of technology and energy stocks and this earnings season so far has proven that those two sectors are the fastest growing in terms of sales and profits.

“Going forward, we’re still positive on energy and technology stocks and relying on those two sectors due to their flexibility in terms of their operating model; they generate a lot of free cash flow and they have a very flexible balance sheet because they have a very low debt-to-equity ratio and the prices are very favourable.”

In the video he also looks at the biggest earnings surprise so far from Caterpillar, which is benefitting largely from a mining boom driven primarily by China’s demand for industrial metals and other mined materials used in manufacturing.

Peter likens the overall lack of expression and visibility concerning 2012 earnings outlooks as akin to radio silence with very few companies daring to speak up, and some actually even avoiding guidance on the fourth quarter despite relatively reliable revenues.

“Most of the companies are unable to give investors any guidance on where they see even the fourth quarter going. A lot of the companies are reporting very close to zero visibility on how their sales are coming in and we saw that Pepsi Co. couldn’t even say anything about 2012; they deferred and said they would give guidance on 2012 in mid-December. That’s a consumer stable company – they have pretty stable sales so that says a lot about the environment we live in now.”

Peter concluded by saying the industrial sector will be one to watch over the next quarter, as well as re-affirming the strength of the energy and technology sectors.

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Business Monitor International Analyses Russia’s Record-Breaking Year Of Oil Production

Business Monitor International (BMI) has published its latest Russia Oil & Gas Report, which highlights the record-breaking year of oil production. Following a post-Soviet oil output high of 10.3mn barrels per day (b/d) in September 2011, Russia maintained its position ahead of Saudi Arabia as the world’s largest oil producer. Although oil production has risen rapidly in recent years, BMI evaluates whether Russia will be able to surpass the 11mn b/d mark any time soon.

According to BMI, Russia will remain the world’s largest gas exporter for the foreseeable future, but an increasing share of production will have to come from outside the country’s traditional gas heartland of West Siberia, with output from new fields offsetting declining volumes from existing areas.

The report provides key forecasts and in-depth analysis of the Russia oil and gas market including major indicators for oil, gas and LNG, covering reserves, production, consumption, refining capacity, prices, export volumes and values. The report includes full analysis of industry trends, prospects and projects, oil and gas infrastructure and changes in the regulatory environment. It also features a competitive landscape of the oil and gas sector focusing on key national and multinational companies in Russia.

Although Russia will continue to dominate oil supply in the region, backed by huge and under-exploited reserves, BMI expects Caspian states to increase their contribution significantly. The acceleration of new production capacity offshore Azerbaijan and, especially, Kazakhstan will cement the region’s importance to efforts to expand global oil output to meet rising demand from Emerging States.

BMI’s portfolio of products and services provides comprehensive analysis of the global oil and gas industry and enables industry professionals, strategists, sector analysts and investors to identify key market opportunities and avoid market risks wherever they operate.

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More Financial press releases Research Reveals Reasons For Lack Of Life Nsurance Cover In The UK

New research from has revealed that 50% of adults surveyed do not have a life policy in place, worryingly, of those without life insurance, 29% have children and 52% are married, meaning loved ones would be left financially disadvantaged should the worst happen.

31% of people do not to take out life insurance because they don’t benefit from it personally. In fact, people in the UK are so laid back about future planning for their loved ones, 34% of people say that covering their possessions is more important than covering their lives.

Moreover, 20% would prefer to spend their money on an annual holiday and 11% see covering their laptop as more of a priority.

The research suggests a shift in UK mentality with more people opting to live for the moment, rather than thinking ahead.

However with life insurance policies costing an average of just £22.29 a month, it’s not really affordability that should be questioned but people’s priorities.

Matthew Lloyd, Head of Life Insurance at, said: “It’s worrying that people are blaming cost for not having any life insurance when they spend so much money on other things, which are arguably less important than future planning for their loved ones.”

“With over 50% of people not having life insurance and 56% of their partners not having life insurance this shows a worrying future for peoples loved ones. The benefit of life insurance is peace of mind; knowing your family will be looked after financially.”

“An average life premium YTD is roughly 74p a day, which is loose change in many people’s pockets, however 34% people say they can’t afford it. Shopping around for the best deal available on comparison sites like is essential in finding the right policy at the right price.”

Via EPR Network
More Financial press releases Research Reveals How Households Reduce Energy Usage In Their Homes

New findings from* show that 45% of UK households are avoiding switching the lights on in their homes, in a desperate attempt to reduce energy usage and keep bills down.Surprisingly 3% of people eat by candle light which is great for the romantics in us, but not ideal on a daily basis.

The research also shows that 14% of people are sharing bathwater with their family, as householders turn to more extreme ways to keep the cost of their energy down.

Household bills have risen dramatically over the last few months** and 72% of UK householders are trying to save as much energy as possible. Following a summer of price rises, bad press and damning findings from Ofgem showing that energy suppliers are making a massive profit of £125*** for each average customer, people are now being forced to ration their energy usage.

In the Energy Summit, the Prime Minister, consumer groups, energy suppliers and industry regulator Ofgem for the first time agreed that consumers need more help to get the cost of their gas and electricity bills down and urged consumers to shop around.

As many UK residents face another cold winter with many struggling to pay their bills, 52% of people admit that they wear more clothes in winter to avoid putting the heating on. Worryingly, 70% of the 55+ age range group admit they already do this, and this is before the latest price hikes have taken affect.

Lisa Greenfield, energy analyst, said: “It’s worrying that energy prices keep rising, leaving many UK residents struggling to pay their bills. However it’s encouraging to see people adapting to this by consciously thinking about energy saving ways. Over 75% of people think about saving energy and the 55+ age group appear to be the most energy conscious.”

“We worry that people are taking extreme measures and are suffering in a bid to save energy, just by making simple changes like only using the dish washer when its full, turning your washing machine down to 30 degrees and not putting warm items in your fridge/freezer as it has to work harder to cool it down can save you money on an annual basis. However shopping around on a price comparison site and switching your tariff or supplier could save on average £248.”****

To get one-to-one advice from the Energy Saving Trust on how to cut your energy bills, those interested can join the live webcast on 27th Thursday, at 12.30pm. They can also get their energy questions answered on the site as well as view the energy price infographic.

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Gold Can Help You Overcome Financial Problems

Items made from gold and other precious metals such as silver and platinum could be some of the most valuable resources you have in these troubled financial times. Unlike stocks, bonds, mutual funds, 401Ks, real estate and other collectibles these items are actually gaining in value while everything else seems to be in decline.

Prices are Better than Ever

Gold is increasing in price both as a commodity and as a raw material for jewelry and other uses. In fact the demand for gold as a raw material is higher than ever so a wide variety of companies are paying more for it than ever before. This why it is now very easy to sell gold in Oceanside, NY, the buyers know that they can get a good price for it so they will purchase it.

This means that a person should be able to sell any sort of gold that he or she has in his or her home including scrap gold, bars, coins, jewelry, broken jewelry, chains, antiques and collectibles. It also means that it is now possible to sell even lower grade gold such as 10 karat items for a good price.

It is also easier than ever to sell gold long distance. There are several companies including Gold Cash that now pay a very high price for items sent in.

The higher prices also mean that it is easier than ever to pawn gold . Pawnbrokers are willing to loan more on it because the amount of the pawn loan is usually 60% of the item’s value. If the item is worth more you will receive more when you pawn it.

Anybody who is facing any sort of financial difficulty should check his or her home or safety deposit box for items made of precious metals like gold. This can include a wide variety of items including antiques, collectibles, coins and watchcases. Items that contain diamonds will be worth more than plain jewelry.

If you are unsure whether an item is made of gold bring it in or send it in. The professionals at companies like the Gold Standard will be happy to examine it free of charge and tell you what you have. That way you can put a little extra cash in your pocket or your bank account.

Remember you run now risk when you visit a pawnbroker or gold buyer they will keep your visit confidential and they might be able to help you with the extra funds that you need. We all know that extra money will come in handy these days.

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Standard Life Plc Joins Top 10% Of Companies In The World

Standard Life plc is pleased to announce it has earned a place in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index (DJSI World) for the first time, joining the ranks of the top 10% of sustainable companies in world.

This placement in the Index reflects a strong and steady increase in Standard Life’s sustainability credentials over the past few years. Membership of the DJSI World Index is widely recognised as being an impartial and definitive measure of sustainability. Membership shows a good performance across a wide range of sustainability measures. However, Standard Life’s score was particularly strong in the areas of stakeholder engagement, corporate citizenship and philanthropy, brand management, labour practice and for its environmental management system.

Last year Standard Life plc entered the Dow Jones Sustainability European Index for the first time. Several new initiatives over the last 12 months – to strengthen relationships with customers, further reduce Standard Life’s environmental impact and to invest in the community – have now earned it a place among the best in the world, alongside companies such as Roche, BMW, Pearsons and Swiss Re.

Graeme McEwan, Group Director of Communications at Standard Life, commented: “Sustainability is vital to Standard Life and something we take very seriously. So we are proud of this achievement – we’re one of only 16 companies in our sector, from across the world, to have made it into the 2011 World Index.

“One of our most improved areas was around customer relationship management. In the past year we have set up a website, Standard Life Listens, to provide a forum to exchange views and help our customers learn more about Standard Life. Listening and responding to customers is at the heart of our business strategy and our brand, so it’s great to achieve an improved score in this area.”

Having a trusted, differentiated and preferred brand is also vital to Standard Life. It is a strategic business imperative and the way the brand is being managed has also contributed to a strong sustainability score.

McEwan explained: “We support customers by regular analysis of their needs, the choices they make and how our products are working for them. Through this insight we are able to develop relevant and innovative products, and ensure we communicate their benefits in a way that our customers easily understand. This is something we are now doing across our group.”

The work of the Standard Life Charitable Trust (SLCT) – an independent charity established by Standard Life – also helped to increase Standard Life’s sustainability score. The vision of the trust is to benefit society by building capability and supporting independence. It is focused on supporting people most in need of developing skills to manage their finances. The Trust is currently working on three key projects; with the Royal British Legion to develop and deliver a new strategy that aims to improve financial capability within the Armed Forces; Shelter, the housing and homelessness charity, to fund three telephone advisers who can offer advice and support via Shelter’s helpline to anyone who is at risk of losing their home and Grand Central Savings, a Scottish Charity that offers financial services to people who are socially and financially excluded, by providing access to banking facilities and offering advice and assistance to people who cannot access or benefit from mainstream banking.

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PruHealth Partners With The National Trust To Organise Walking Festival

PruHealth and the National Trust have reported that more than 32 million people plan to head outdoors to enjoy an autumn family walk, new research has shown.*

Over 16 million (33%) say it’s the season’s beautiful colours that makes autumn walking so special.

To celebrate the season and to promote the virtues of being active, the National Trust is holding its first ever National Festival of Walking this October half-term, with at least 50,000 people expected to take part.

The National Trust has partnered with a leading health insurer PruHealth to organise around 1,000 events all over the country, from barefoot walks to silly walks, adventure walks to wildlife walks.

The festival is the perfect opportunity for the public to get outdoors and have fun, especially with 41% of adults saying they don’t spend enough time with their families. **

William Wake from the National Trust’s outdoors team said: “From leaf kicking to finding conkers and wrapping up warm, there is something simply delicious about an autumn walk.

“We’re asking people to tell us what they think makes autumn walks so special, to see if we can identify the perfect formula for a family outing this half term.”

Events are taking place at 180 sites in England, Wales and Northern Ireland from 22-30 October.

There will also be more than 800 free walking routes available to download from the National Trust website at

People can also log their own favourite walks on an interactive map on the website, and join a debate on the best things about autumn walking on the National Trust’s Facebook pages or on Twitter using #walkfest from October 20.

Dr Katherine Tryon, Head of Clinical Vitality for PruHealth, added: “The Walking Festival is a great way to get active with the whole family, and there are walks to suit all fitness levels.

“Government guidelines*** recommend we walk 10,000 steps a day, and just thirty minutes of brisk walking each day can help reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, maintain a healthy weight, improve self-esteem and reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.

“The average walk at the National Trust is three to four miles, which is approximately 6,000-8,000 steps – well on the way to reaching the target while having a fun day out. When you’re healthy, you can get more out of life – come along and see.”

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Experian Data Shows Identity Fraud Attempts Double In First Half Of 2011

Experian, the global information services company, has released its latest Fraud Index which reveals that identity fraud attempts doubled in the first half of 2011, compared to Q4 in 2010. This pushed up the overall level of application fraud attempted against UK financial services firms for the third successive quarter. Experian also predicts a nine per cent increase in application fraud attempts during 2011*.

The analysis, published at Experian’s annual Identity & Fraud Forum, reveals that identity fraudsters were responsible for eight in every 10,000 applications made in Q2 2011 (April – June 2011), double the number of fraudulent applications recorded in the final quarter of 2010. This was driven by a 340% increase in current account identity fraud, from five to 22 in every 10,000 applications.

Experian’s analysis also highlights that 18 in every 10,000 applications for automotive finance, credit cards, insurance, loans, mortgages, current accounts and savings products made in the second quarter of 2011 were found to be fraudulent. These were five per cent higher than January to March 2011, and up nine per cent on the year.

Over the same period the number of first-party fraud attempts – where a genuine individual misrepresents their circumstances – remained constant at 10 in every 10,000 applications.

42 in every 10,000 applications for current accounts were detected as fraudulent between April and June 2011, up 20 per cent on the first three months of 2011 and 59 per cent higher than during Q2 2010. For the second quarter in a row, current accounts were the most targeted financial product by fraudsters.

Experian’s Fraud Index collects data from both the National Hunter and Insurance Hunterfraud prevention systems, which are managed by Experian on behalf of its clients. Both systems provide a way for financial organisations to protect against fraud by comparing applications with previously submitted ones and pinpointing inconsistencies.

Nick Mothershaw, Director of Identity & Fraud at Experian UK & Ireland, commented: “Identity fraud is back with a vengeance. Our analysis shows that we are witnessing a surge in the number of detected identity frauds, with current accounts the number one target in the UK. Fraudsters see the current account as an easier option, giving them a springboard for money laundering and from where they can also target more lucrative credit products such as mortgages, credit cards and loans.”

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Demand for Gold and Gold Jewelry Constantly Increasing

The demand for gold and gold jewelry is constantly increasing and that’s good news for average Americans who need extra cash. The reason it is good news for average people is that it means it will be easier than ever to sell gold in Oakland Gardens.

Even though the demand for investment or commodity gold and gold investments such as exchange traded funds is down the demand, for jewelry gold keeps increasing. It is really strong because people in India and China are buying more gold than ever. Much of the jewelry sold here is smelted down and sent over there. That’s good news for you because gold buyers can now afford to pay a better price than ever before.

Although the price of gold in the newspaper is falling, the price in your neighborhood could still be going up. The buyers still want to buy your jewelry and they’re willing to pay good price for it. New stores are opening all over the New York area and the mail-in buyers are paying more than ever before.

This means that now is a great time to clean out your jewelry box, safe or safety deposit box. Why keep paying to store what you don’t want when you could sell it for cash?

The huge demand for this metal means that buyers are willing to purchase items they would not have looked at just a few years ago. They are willing to buy scrap gold, gold dust, broken jewelry, chains, even old watchcases. Any item you have that you think might be made of gold, silver or platinum could be worth money. They are also willing to purchase lower karat gold including items that are 10 karats or less.

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Northern Rock Staff Star In Latest Campaign To Help Bring Mortgages To Life

Northern Rock has placed its own staff in a starring role in its new mortgage campaign. The new campaign aims to build on the success of the helpful video guides available on its award winning mortgages website.

Two customer service agents from the lender’s Tyneside call centre are the first to have lent themselves to the latest campaign – ‘Mortgages Made For You’ – by appearing in video clips designed to bring their own warmth and personality to the business of mortgage lending.

The videos, which feature call centre workers Leanne and Joanne, along with some details about their own lives and circumstances, highlight not only that the bank’s staff are there to guide borrowers through every step of their mortgage journey, but also feature details of the lender’s popular incentives, Cashback, and free basic valuation and standard legal costs for all re-mortgage customers.

The move comes just months after the successful launch of the bank’s brand campaign, ‘Works for Me’, which features real Northern Rock customers pictured in their own homes, and is the latest improvement to a website which has won a string of accolades since its redesign last year.

Andy Tate, Customer and Commercial Director at Northern Rock said: “Buying a home can be stressful and daunting for anyone. Here at Northern Rock, we regularly receive great feedback from our customers about how friendly and warm our staff are to deal with, and how straightforward they help make the mortgage journey.

“So, building on ‘Works for Me’, which is all about letting our customers speak for us, we thought our dedicated colleagues in our branches and contact centre would provide the perfect next step. After all, they are the human face of Northern Rock, providing the first point of contact to all our customers.

“We hope our customers will find the most recent videos, and ‘Mortgages Made for You’, a welcome addition to the website.”

The videos can be viewed at along with more details on the bank’s current range of mortgages and other tools including a mortgages calculator.

Via EPR Network
More Financial press releases Research Reveals Smart Phone Users Risk Lives When Driving has revealed that UK drivers prioritise their social lives before saving lives on the road. Almost half 40% (38.95%) of motorists check their phones whilst driving, with 27% admitting to logging onto Facebook behind the wheel. The car insurance expert also found that nearly half (45%) will not start their journey unless they can see their phone; a lethal combination considering that drivers are four times more likely to crash when using a mobile phone.

The increasing popularity of Facebook and Twitter means that the ‘Twitch Factor’ is on the rise, with one fifth of motorists not being able to last more than 15 minutes without checking their phones. 15% of workaholic motorists take advantage of time stuck in traffic to catch up on their work calls or emails, and over one fifth (21%) update their status whilst caught behind a red light.

Surprisingly, although 75% of motorists are aware of the penalty for being on their phone behind the wheel, 60% of them still answer their phone when they’re driving. The ignorance of drivers suggests a harsher penalty should be introduced, withover 50% of motorists supporting this idea.

Adrian Walsh, Director of RoadSafe said: “It’s a frightening thought that people are checking their smartphones whilst driving. Many studies from across the world prove that drivers using phones are slower to respond than those who are just over the drink-drive limit. It is dangerous to use a phone – even hands free when driving.”

To encourage drivers to stop using their phones while on the road, have teamed up with the iPhone app ‘’.The app speaks email, SMS, Facebook and Twitter messages aloud allowing drivers to concentrate on the road and stop texting while driving.

Gareth Kloet, Head of Car Insurance at said: “Our research shows that although people are aware of the consequences involved, they struggle to tear themselves away from their mobile phones and social media. Using these devices while driving is incredible dangerous and app’s such as which are designed to protect drivers should be welcomed.”

For a free download of ‘’, customers can visit the driving apps page.

Via EPR Network
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Payday Loans Company Helps Build A Brighter Future For African Villagers Through Savings Scheme Sponsorship

Payday Express, a British provider of short-term consumer finance, is helping to promote the saving habit among hard-pressed villagers in Uganda and Kenya, through regular donations to the Build Africa charity.

Build Africa aims to establish a better long-term future for people in rural Uganda and Kenya by investing donations to build and develop schools and education, and by empowering adults to save their way out of poverty and make emergency finance accessible to community members.

Payday Express, a leading provider of fast payday loans in the UK has set up a monthly donation to Build Africa to sponsor the set-up of Build Africa village savings and loan associations (VSLAs).

These associations are set up and run as self-managed groups that work by pooling the savings of the group members. They offer members a safe haven for their money, which is in turn used to provide small loans for members, and helps maintain a welfare fund, offering short-notice emergency financial help to those who need it.

This month’s donation from the payday loan provider will go to support Umoja B VSLA group based in Kiryandongo District in Western Uganda.

Over the next year the funds donated each month by Payday Express will help Build Africa set up six VSLAs.

Payday Express administrator Kristina Winch said: “It feels good to work for a company with a strong focus on social responsibility. “We regularly donate money to various charities with our ‘pay a pound to dress down on Fridays’ programme, along with other ad hoc initiatives.

“But it’s great to be developing a long-term partnership with one charity that’s doing such a great job to help poor people improve their own futures.”

Operations manager Sarah Carroll added: “The work that Build Africa is doing with the VSLA projects to help poor families save and invest their way out of poverty is commendable, and we can’t wait for our donations to extend their reach into more communities.”

Via EPR Network
More Financial press releases Reveals Car Insurance Prices Rise By More Than 12% Year-On-Year has revealed that the price of car insurance has risen by more than 12% year on year.

According to the Watson Car Insurance Price Index, drivers have been lumbered with an average year-on-year rise of 12.3% in the cost of comprehensive motor insurance cover – this equates to a£92 jump in just 12 months.

The biggest annual price hikes affect postcodes in the North of England. As of quarter three 2011, Bradford has suffered a 27.5% year-on-year rise in the cost of average comprehensive cover and Oldham has fared even worse with a 27.9% year-on-year increase. Liverpool and Manchester have also seen insurance prices driven up significantly as has the Ilford area of Essex.

Third party, fire and theft (TPFT) customers have not gone unscathed however, suffering an annual rise of 19.9%, equating to an increase of £192 over 12 months.

This rise of 12.3% year-on-year is especially significant when compared to the Consumer Price Index – a measure of inflation – which currently stands at 4.5%, making the rises in car insurance prices almost three times as high as inflation in the UK. The national average comprehensive car insurance premium currently stands at£843.

Top five UK areas with the highest annual premium rises year-on-year, based on the Watson Car Insurance Price Index are Oldham (27.9%), Bradford (27.5%), Liverpool (26.8%), Manchester(26.6%) and Ilford (23.7%).

The five UK areas with the lowest annual premium rises year-on-year include Perth (0.3%), Kirkwall (0.8%), Motherwell (2.2%), Dumfries (2.4%) and Edinburgh (2.5%).

Despite the year-on-year hikes, there is some good news for drivers as the average price of a comprehensive car insurance policy fell by 1.6% in the third quarter of 2011: the first quarterly decrease for over three years.

Gareth Kloet, Head of Car Insurance for commented: “The year-on-year picture is quite worrying as some drivers are being hit with more than 25% increases. Car owners in the affected areas are going to have to be as savvy as ever to find the cheapest and best deals for them by shopping around.”

For a more detailed look at the latest index, interested parties can visit:

Over 4 million quotes are used in the construction of each quarter’s car insurance price index – this makes it the most comprehensive insurance index in the UK.

Via EPR Network
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SecureTrading Helps Companies Expand Abroad With Brace Of International Currency Solutions

SecureTrading helps companies expand abroad with brace of international currency solutions.

In an increasingly competitive domestic market, many UK retailers are seeking to expand overseas. Ecommerce Expo 2011 will see SecureTrading, the UK’s leading independent payment processor launch their Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC) and Sofortüberweisung solutions to assist customers expanding internationally.

DCC allows credit cards holders to have the cost of a transaction converted to their local currency when making a payment in a foreign currency, so they instantly know the price, therefore boosting their propensity to buy.

DCC also enables retailers to generate new revenue from transactions they are currently accepting, because they can earn commission on currency conversion.

Sofortüberweisung allows customers to pay merchants from their internet bank account, again with the benefit of dramatically reducing the risks of chargebacks. Sofortüberweisung is widely used in Austria, Belgium, Germany (51.4%* of all Germans prefer to use Sofortüberweisung) and to a lesser extent the Netherlands and the UK.

Tim Allitt, Head of Sales & Marketing, SecureTrading, said, “Successful expansion in one country can be a springboard for further success elsewhere and it’s key to provide the right methods of payment in particular markets. By launching Dynamic Currency Conversion and Sofortüberweisung, SecureTrading is demonstrating its international credentials and helping its customers grow in new markets by providing them with the correct tools to do business.”

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