PERSONAL FINANCE NEWS

NEW MOBILE APP FOR INVESTORS
Hargreaves Lansdown has released a new smartphone app, allowing investors to view their Isa, Sipp and other investments on both iPhone and Android systems. Ofcom figures show that 27 per cent of UK adults now own a smartphone.“The age of connected computing is with us,” says Richard Hunter, head of equities at Hargreaves Lansdown. “Hargreaves Lansdown launched its mobile device app to meet the increasing demand for high quality mobile access and trading on the move.”

TEACHING OLD DOGS NEW TRICKS
Research by Pay Your Way reveals that only one in three people could correctly identify what an APR was. Seven per cent were unable to recognise any payment terms, such as Pin, ATM and Bacs, when asked to identify them. Older consumers admitted to being less confident when it comes to online banking, but surprisingly the over-55s were the most confident of all the age groups making contactless payments using their card – 55 per cent were confident doing so, compared to just 39 per cent of those under 35.

HIGH SPENDING FOR THE UNDER-50
The Big Money Index report from AXA shows that under-50s are cutting back on saving and borrowing more to fund their lifestyles. The report indicates that financial optimism in the UK is increasing among the under-50s, although this is still notably far off the levels at the beginning of 2010. However, for those nearing retirement, confidence in their financial future remains bleak, especially for the group defined by the report as “under-funded seniors”, whose optimism is nearing rock bottom.

LET OUT A ROOM TO CUT THE MORTGAGE
First Direct say that by renting out a spare room for just five years, homeowners with an offset mortgage could shave more than two years off their mortgage. “Now is the perfect time for offset mortgage holders to rent out their spare room, save money and reduce the term of their mortgage,” says a report from the lender. “By using monthly rent to make mortgage overpayments, the typical homeowner could shave 29 months off their mortgage and save over £1,028 in interest in just five years.”