1

Is the annuity set to rebound?

3 Minutes' reading

The annuity was once the bedrock of British retirement planning and a natural (and obligatory) alternative for those without final salary pension schemes. After all, why wouldn't you want the insurance of a guaranteed lifelong income? Of course, in the last decade, this long-standing premise has been smashed to smithereens as a result of a rapid decline in annuity rates.

By Brendan Ashe
1 February 2018
1

How to stay safe online in 2018

3 Minutes' reading

As the world's dependence on technology escalates, so too do the twin threats of fraud and cybercrime. And Brits, in particular, seem to be affected, especially so by the latter.

A study released this week by cybersecurity firm Norton revealed that cybercrime – including phishing, ransomware, online fraud and hacking - accounted for over £130bn in losses for consumers in 2017; with Britain's share amounting to a staggering £4.6bn, and around 17 million of the victims hailing from these shores.

By Brendan Ashe
26 January 2018
1
Current Affairs

Will Open Banking revolutionise financial services?

4 Minutes' reading

This past weekend, a so-called revolution took place, as Open Banking was launched. As with most significant changes to the UK financial landscape, the enshrinement of Open Banking into law has been met with both acclaim and criticism in equal measure. On one hand, an alleged game-changer to give the customer more control of their finances, and facilitate convenient money saving on a variety of fronts. The counter-argument, meanwhile, is that it will pave the way for fraudsters to run amok.

By Brendan Ashe
18 January 2018
1

Lending Works turns four!

3 Minutes' reading

It all started one rainy Sunday morning in a small Farringdon office back in January 2014. After nearly 18 months of blood, sweat and tears on the part of our CEO and CFO, the Lending Works dream became a reality. A back-of-the-envelope idea had evolved, and now officially launched as a living, breathing company.

By Brendan Ashe
11 January 2018
1
Current Affairs

2017: the year that was

3 Minutes' reading

2017 is a year which we will look back on with great pride. In 2016, a lot of groundwork was laid. We expanded our team, bringing in high-class talent across various spheres to better enhance our model. Our coffers were boosted by an influx of investment. We launched a new website and brand.

By Brendan Ashe
20 December 2017
1
Current Affairs

Retirement and pensions: evolving with the times

3 Minutes' reading

The concept of retirement is one which many people believe is as old as the hills. Yet while there are glimmering traces of pensions being paid in the BC era (Augustus offered later-life funding to Roman soldiers), it is widely accepted that the pioneer of the pension was Otto von Bismarck. Better renowned for his military acumen, as German Chancellor he came up with the revolutionary idea of paying government pensions to disabled workers and older members of society back in 1881. The reason it was considered revolutionary was that, at the time, people simply did not retire.

By Brendan Ashe
14 December 2017
1
Current Affairs

Bitcoin: Bubble or paradigm shift?

3 Minutes' reading

This week, Bitcoin breached the $12,000 mark for the first time. The total value of all Bitcoins is now approaching $100bn. Nine years ago, this phenomenon didn’t even exist. As of now, it has rocketed from the remote fringes of finance into the global spotlight at breakneck speed. In 2017 alone, its value has risen tenfold. In fact, it has more than doubled in just the last couple of months.

So, what on earth is Bitcoin? And is it a bubble waiting to burst, or the dawn of a new, enduring era?

Understanding Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies

By Brendan Ashe
7 December 2017
1
Current Affairs

Should we change the way money is created?

3 Minutes' reading

The so-called ‘magic money tree’ was a hot topic of discussion in the build-up to June’s General Election. If politics isn’t for you, then the expression ‘money doesn’t grow on trees’ may have more resonance. Either way, it implies that money cannot simply be created from thin air. 

Yet while this may be true at individual or household level, in reality money is created every day. And lots of it, too.

By Brendan Ashe
1 December 2017
1
Current Affairs

The Autumn Budget: A job well done?

3 Minutes' reading

In recent times, the contents of a Budget speech have seldom been a watertight secret. Indeed, certain proposals aren’t leaked to the media by accident – it’s often a deliberate feeler on the part of the Chancellor of the Exchequer to gauge public opinion, and allow the opportunity to amend or retract if there is backlash.

By Brendan Ashe
23 November 2017
1

A preview of the Autumn Budget

3 Minutes' reading

The keys to Number 11 Downing Street are much coveted in British politics, and the role of Chancellor of the Exchequer is one which grants the chosen individual a great deal of power in shaping the future of the UK economy. But, as the countdown to this year's Autumn Budget intensifies, one has to wonder: who on earth would want to be Philip Hammond right now?

By Brendan Ashe
16 November 2017