‘New year could see debt ‘tipping point”

December 29, 2006 at 5:00 am

The coming year could see hundreds of thousands of UK consumers suffering a debt “tipping point”, a leading debt campaigning charity has told the BBC.

Damon Gibbons, chair of campaign group Debt on our Doorstep, says that just relatively small increases in interest rates – within the range of some economist’s forecasts – could spell financial doom for many.

And this, in Mr Gibbons words, could create a damaging “snowball effect” for the whole economy.

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‘Barclaycard and Oyster launch combined travel and credit card’

December 15, 2006 at 9:43 am

Barclaycard and Oyster have signed a deal to roll out a combined travel and credit card next year. It is understood that the financial service company has signed a three-year deal with Oyster operator TranSys and Transport for London.

Barclaycard will conduct live trials on its Barclaycard and Connect Visa cards in London early next year with plans to roll out the technology across its customer base later in the year.

The new technology will enable cardholders to pay for transactions of under £10 via the contactless reader system in participating shops, while also extending access to Oyster top up services…….

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‘U.K. Banks to Fund Free Cash Machines in Poorer Areas’

December 13, 2006 at 9:41 am

Dec. 13 (Bloomberg) — U.K. banks including HSBC Holdings Plc agreed to pay a premium to companies that put automated teller machines in lower-income areas, making it possible to set up 600 new free ATMs.

Banks will pay a “30 percent to 50 percent premium per transaction” above their standard fee to operators who set up free machines and provide access to customers, a government group said in an e-mailed statement today.

The free cash machines are being put in to improve the financial services British banks offer to people living in lower- income areas following a government review of ATMs and related bank charges. U.K. lenders including Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc and Barclays Plc are under pressure from lawmakers to make banking services simpler and cheaper…….

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‘Online banking fraud ‘up 8,000%”

December 13, 2006 at 9:40 am

The UK has seen an 8,000% increase in fake internet banking scams in the past two years, the government’s financial watchdog has warned.

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) told peers it was “very concerned” about the growth in “phishing”.

Phishing involves using fake websites to lure people into revealing their bank account numbers.

The amount stolen is still relatively small but it is set to go up by 90% for the second year running, peers heard.

Between January and June 2005, the number of recorded phishing incidents was 312, the Lords science and technology committee was told……

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