PERSONAL FINANCE NEWS

YOUNG FEMALE DRIVERS WILL PAY MORE
The EU gender directive ruling, which is expected on 1 March this year, will decide whether or not it is legal for insurers to charge different premiums based on gender. Under the current rules, young female drivers pay less for their insurance than young men, based on the fact they are less likely to make expensive claims. If pushed through, the ruling is likely to result in further price rises for young female drivers as they absorb the difference between their current rates and those of their male counterparts.

ISA INVESTORS LOOKING TO AFRICA
New research from online stockbroker and fund supermarket Interactive Investor shows that ISA investors are looking further afield for income growth. Figures reveal that nearly a quarter (24 per cent) of investors plan to invest in new emerging markets such as Africa and Vietnam this year, a 52 per cent increase on 2010. The research also reveals that four in ten investors (41 per cent) expect to invest in established emerging markets in 2011 and 38 per cent plan to invest in natural resources and commodities.

BRITS ARE SAVING FOR A RAINY DAY
New research from Confused.com has revealed that as a nation we're saving for a rainy day rather than towards any particular goal. The comparison site found that of the 80 per cent of Brits who save each month, nearly a quarter (24 per cent) don't have a specific focus, whilst one fifth (22 per cent) are saving for the long term and retirement and another 20 per cent are saving for a deposit on a home. And somewhat shockingly, one percent admitted they are saving to leave their partner.

FALLING RATES STILL NOT AT 2008 LEVELS
Although rates for personal loans above £7,500 have been falling steadily since the start of the year, anyone looking to borrow less than this amount was still paying much more. The average rate for the top 10 personal loans at £3,000 is now 14.39 per cent, the lowest average since November 2009, and the average rate for loans at £5,000 is now 10.02 per cent, the lowest rate since June 2009. Despite these positive moves, the rates are still some way off pre-credit crunch levels.