Pinnacle Mortgage Centre - News, articles and cooperation


Bank of England reduce base rate to 0.25%


With the recent base rate change to 0.25%, you might be wondering what this means in real terms for you, and the direct impact it could have on the housing market, and indeed your mortgage.

First and foremost, the decision to decrease the base rate has primarily been taken due to the implications of the aftermath of “Brexit”. The economic outlook has suffered a short term downturn and the larger objective is to now look at stimulating the market that little bit more to get back on track with stable inflation and to improve growth and employment. A key element of this is to manipulate the base rate which should have a direct impact on the flow of money in the marketplace. By creating a lower bench mark of borrowing, this should influence lending rates to be lower, and more attractive, to the consumer. Greater borrowing will lead to larger spending, which in turn should stimulate the economy out of its perceived current lull.

In terms of the mortgage and property market the desired effect should be two fold, cheaper borrowing = greater demand = increased activity. Ultimately this sees property as a more affordable and attractive investment/opportunity and therefore retains a steady upward curve of price and demand. In real terms if you own a property then it should be worth more as this initiative takes place. If you are a first time buyer, then the incentive to borrow money at a cheaper rate could just be the trigger point for you to enter the market.

So what changes can we expect immediately? Firstly, the lenders will look to alter their standard variable rates in line with the change, as well as their tracker rates (set rates that track at a certain rate above the Bank of England base rate). I would also expect to see fixed rates begin to decrease in time, but at what level this is not known at this stage. The likelihood is that the greater changes will be made to those with more equity in their homes, but small amendments should be made across the board as the banks/building societies react to the cheaper cost of borrowing, and that will create even more attractive rates on offer for the borrowers out there.

One thing to note though is that this is not a permanent strategy, but over time we should see the volatility/uncertainty taken out of the market whilst the consumer gets used to the new cost of borrowing, and integrating this within their lifestyle. If, however, the recent changes are successful, then inflation will rise in a steadier manner, which will enable people to get used to new spending and manageable rising costs of living. This consistent borrowing and spending cannot last forever though and it will eventually begin to over saturate the market, at which this point some form of normality should resume and interest rates will begin to rise again in small increments to counteract this and reduce spending.

In the meantime watch this space as we should see unprecedented cheap rates, the likes of which have not been experienced before, and that can only be good news for anybody looking at a mortgage right now.

This article is by Pinnacle Mortgage Centre
Tel: 01702 831920

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Pinnacle’s guide to protecting yourself against fraud


It would be very easy for me to bombard you with tedious data regarding fraudulent activity, and as I’m a statistics man it is very tempting. However, I will provide an insight in to what we as individuals have to contend with on a day to day basis, and vitally what steps to take to protect yourself from becoming another victim of fraudulent activity.

Whilst fraud has existed for hundreds of years now in one form or another, as we as a society evolve it is natural that fraud evolves also. The scoundrels behind such activities stop at no lengths in enhancing tactics to ensure they can con and deceive their way to your hard earned assets. It is not too surprising though that as our defence and awareness increases, the crooks either come up with a new scam or simply revert back to a primitive trick. So what can you do to protect yourself and your loved ones from being another statistic?

To start, there is one simple principle, be vigilant. This can be easier said than done, but having scepticism in day to day life isn’t necessarily a bad thing. When it comes to fraud, paranoia can be the ideal solution. For me personally, I’ forever checking my pockets and bag are secure whenever I’m out, just to make sure I’m not an easy target to a pickpocket, or even reminding my wife to keep safe when she leaves for work each morning, or educating my family on how to remain vigilant. It may sound a little nuts, but being aware to potential risks can make the difference between being a victim or not.

You may have read in the national press over this past week the story about the gang of fraudsters who used vishing techniques with the objective of defrauding businesses and consumers alike. The tactic used here was to pretend they were calling from your bank, with the view of obtaining your secure information. Once gathered they would systematically fleece the victim of money, and in this instance this led to several business going bankrupt and families being torn apart. However, through sheer greed on the criminals’ part, coupled with the hard work of the authorities, the criminals involved where caught and sentenced. With this tactic anyone could have been a target, especially as corrupt bank employees were divulging personal client information to the fraudsters.

More sophisticated methods of fraud such as identity theft or investment fraud are still prevalent, whilst more basic fraud types such as pickpocketing, e-mail phishing, vishing, doorstep and ATM fraud / theft are still rife. As a route of prevention, if you do get an unexpected call, e-mail or letter from your bank, then contact the bank independently to verify this. Another key step to take is to keep up to date with common scams and typical warning signs.

Other best practices are to always keep personal information confidential. Change your passwords and PIN’s on a periodic basis. Securely dispose of unneeded documents. Regularly look over your bank statements for unknown / unusual transaction. Talk to and educate where needed your loved ones about fraud. Report any suspicions to your bank, or the authorities if need be. Regularly review your credit report, as this will show an overview of your accounts, allowing you to monitor everything looks as it should be. Most importantly, remain vigilant at all times, as you never know where, when and how you might be targeted in the future.

Whilst we specialise in mortgage and insurance advice, we take the necessary steps to protect us as a business and as individuals against any potential scenarios which are designed to defraud or damage us.

This article is by Pinnacle Mortgage Centre
Tel: 01702 831 920
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