views

PERSONAL FINANCE NEWS

MORTGAGES FOR FIRST-TIME BUYERS
The Yorkshire Building Society this week launched a new range of mortgages for first time buyers. The products have no up-front product fees and £500 cashback. You can also borrow up to 85 per cent of the value of the property. Borrowers will also get a free standard valuation and free legal service. The two-year fixed rate is 5.19 per cent, while the three-year rate is 5.49 per cent and 5.79 per cent for the five-year product. These mortgages are available both online and from branches of the Yorkshire Building Society, which is the second largest building society in the UK.

MINIMUM COUNTER WITHDRAWALS
Alliance & Leicester this week announced that it would be hiking the minimum amount that its basic bank account customers can withdraw over the counter to £300 from July. Other customers of the bank will face a minimum over the counter withdrawal of £30. The move has angered consumer groups and charities helping elderly people. Other banks are also considering following in Alliance & Leicester’s footsteps. Nationwide is planning to raise it to £100 for those with basic bank accounts while HSBC does not allow any such withdrawal for these customers.

SPENDING ON CREDIT FALLS IN MARCH
Fresh data from the Finance & Leasing Association (FLA) released yesterday showed that spending in March on loans, store cards and credit cards was down on the same month in 2009. Loan credit fell by 33 per cent, while store cards dropped 20 per cent and credit cards were down 3 per cent. Meanwhile, credit for car sales grew by 31 per cent. The FLA said that the government therefore needs to think carefully before implementing further regulation, which could leave consumers with less choice from legitimate lenders and force some into the arms of loan sharks.