Welcome to the first of our brand new monthly updates, bringing you the very latest news, developments and insight from DFP and the financial planning community.
Your Mortgage Questions Answered…
Firstly, we hope you and your families remain safe and well, and are able to make the most of the easing of the government’s restrictions. With many people now returning to work, and many more working from home, the green shoots of economic recovery look as though they’re starting to sprout. In fact, the housing market was one of the first to reopen back in May, with ‘socially distanced viewings’ becoming emblematic of our ‘new normal’.
In April, we introduced you to Sharon Kennedy, our Mortgage and Protection Specialist. Sharon’s been working extremely hard, engrossing herself in all things DFP, meeting clients - both existing and new, and helping people get the mortgage and protection products they need during these testing and unfamiliar times. She’s also, kindly, found the time to answer some of your more common, mortgage-related queries, such as:
- ‘Can I get a mortgage / re-mortgage if I’m self-employed?’
- ‘How much can I borrow?’
- ‘Fixed rate mortgage or variable rate mortgage: which is right for me?’
To find out what Sharon had to say in response to these questions, and many more, check out our exclusive blog.
In the news…
In the midst of the financial turmoil induced by COVID-19, gone slightly under the radar have been two significant appointments in the world of finance. In mid-March, Andrew Bailey replaced Canadian, Mark Carney, as the Governor of the Bank of England. Inheriting the role at the height of the crisis, one of Governor Bailey’s first decisions was to “pump £200bn into the market for UK government bonds under a policy known as quantitative easing (QE).”
Under his stewardship, the Bank of England has also slashed interest rates to record lows (0.1%) and, last week, increased QE to £745bn. In a recent interview with Sky News, Governor Bailey discussed how crucial the bank’s interventions have been to the UK’s financial stability. “We basically had a pretty near meltdown of some of the core financial markets,” he said. “I think we would have a situation where in the worst element, the government would have struggled to fund itself in the short run.”
Governor Bailey, though, is no stranger to baptisms of fire. His previous role was as boss of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), a position he started in the midst of a slump in the value of the pound in the days following the Brexit referendum. His full time successor at the FCA (Christopher Woolard has been in interim charge for most of 2020) was appointed this week by the Chancellor.
Rishi Sunak announced that the current Chief Executive of the London Stock Exchange, Nikhil Rathi, has been given the FCA job on a permanent basis. In a statement, the Chancellor said he felt “confident that Nikhil will bring the ambitious vision and leadership the organisation demands.”
In mortgage news, Nationwide, the UK's biggest building society, has tripled its minimum required deposit for first-time buyers. Nationwide put the decision down to what it called an ‘uncertain mortgage market’. It’s another indicator of the impact this pandemic could have on first-time buyers. Fortunately, specialist help is on hand for first-time buyers as they come to terms with the changes in the market. If this affects you, or someone you know, give DFP a call and get the support and advice you need to get your foot on the post-COVID property ladder.
This Month’s Featured Article…
Speaking of the FCA, this month’s featured article provides important advice from the regulator on how to protect yourself against investment scams, as well as useful tips on how to find out if you’re dealing with a reputable, authorised firm. Enjoy.
On a lighter note…
Drive-thru restaurants have reopened their hatches, golf course bunkers are once again littered with wayward tee shots, and high streets across the country are welcoming customers for the first time in months. Whilst we may still be someway away from match days at our favourite football club or tickets to music events like Lytham Festival, family days out in the sunshine (strictly in-keeping with all the latest protocols, of course) are virtues we can once again enjoy.
Whether you’re going for a day out with the grandchildren or meeting a friend for the first time in months, sunny summer walks call for one thing: ice cream. So, why not treat yourself and support local businesses with a trip to one of Lancashire’s ‘five best ice cream parlours’.