Tag Archives: personal debt

How we lie to ourselves about debt

When I started my first job, I met with our finance officer. She was looking quite stressed, so I asked what was going on. She explained she was working out how much of our ‘bad debt’ to write off as an organisation. I was confused, naively.

Turns out, this is probably what most people know, but every year companies and organisations write off debt. They decide that even if someone owes them £50, they are likely never to get that money back –  in short, it costs them more to chase the debt, than they’d ever make getting it back.

But then, some enterprising people worked out that there was a market there. Now, companies can get some of that back. So rather than writing it off completely, and getting nothing back, they can sell that debt to a debt market, for around £5 (on average, 10% of the debt value).

Posted in Op-eds and Wales | Also tagged | 7 Comments

Lord (Archy) Kirkwood writes… the challenge of financial inclusion

It is a stark fact that while we are a global leader in financial services, financial exclusion is still rife: some two million adults in the UK don’t have a bank account and an estimated two million people took out a high-cost loan in 2012 as they were unable to access any other form of credit. Nine million have no access to mainstream credit, either because they are unbanked or are not able to access credit facilities through their bank. Meanwhile, the level of unsecured consumer credit has tripled in the past 20 years, reaching a staggering £160.4 billion in 2014 while only 41% of households have savings that could tide them over a period of crisis in their finances.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 7 Comments

Barclays and the Bank of England: BAD rate-rigging and GOOD rate-rigging

The Barclays rate-rigging scandal has conflated a number of issues — Bob Diamond’s bonus, ‘casino’ banking, failed regulators — making it hard to get behind the media’s shouty headlines to understand the issues which should really concern us. Here’s my brief show-your-working attempt, starting with what Barclays.

What Barclays did right: ‘fess up

LIBOR (London Inter Bank Offered Rate) is the rate at which banks in London lend money to each other for the short-term. It’s used as a proxy measure of market confidence in individual banks, as well as a benchmark for setting mortgage interest rates.

Barclays has admitted filing misleading …

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Daily View 2×2: 2 September 2009

Well, that’s it. August is over, nights are drawing in, it’s downhill to Christmas, and LDV’s daily 2×2 slot that’s more-or-less been on hold over the summer returns to its more-or-less 8am schedule to bring you two top news stories and two must-read blog posts from the world of Lib Demmery.

With just 120 days till the end of the year, 2nd September is the day the Great Fire of London broke out in 1666, the day Thomas Telford died in 1834, and Salma Hayek’s birthday. Happy birthday, Miss Hayek!

Two top stories

PM’s role in release of Megrahi

Gordon Brown

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