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EU Commission Fines Rate-Rigging Banks

EU Commission Fines Rate-Rigging Banks

EU Commission shocked that competing banks were in collusion

The European Commission has fined eight banks – including RBS – a total of £1.4 Billion (GBP) for forming illegal cartels to rig interest rates. The cartels operated in markets for financial derivatives, which are products used to manage the risk of interest rate movements.

A number of banks were engaged in the rigging of interest rate products intended to reflect the cost of interbank lending in euros, while another group fixed prices for products based on the Japanese yen.

The rates are used to set the price of Trillions of dollars (USD) of products, including mortgages.

Some were involved in both markets and more than one cartel, including RBS, which was fined a total of £325 Million (GBP). The fines are the first ever penalties for interest-rate rigging by the EU.

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New EU Rules Will Cause Mortgage Rate Confusion

New EU Rules Will Cause Mortgage Rate Confusion

European Ruling Set To Make Mortgage Rates Harder To Understand

New European rules could make mortgage rates even harder for customers to understand as Euro bureaucrats want to introduce a new way of calculating interest rates on residential property mortgage loans and experts are warning that this could be a recipe for confusion.

Under the new proposed EU directive, mortgage lenders would be expected to tell borrowers the maximum interest rate they have charged over the past 20 years, and display this figure on all of their literature.

However, industry experts say customers are already confused by the rates that lenders are forced to display, and that this will make it even harder for them to understand mortgage rates.

David Hollingworth from mortgage broker, London & Country, said:”I think that there is a chance that borrowers become overloaded with information and APR rates that mean little to them, and so risk them being ignored altogether, the extra information could lead to more customers failing to shop around and remaining on expensive standard variable rates (SVRs).

The EU credit directive concerning the mortgage change is expected to be approved later this year. It will compel lenders to display a new annual percentage rate (APR) on all of their literature. This will be calculated using the highest level that the lender’s SVR has reached in the previous 20 years.

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Weak Economy Gives 

International Property Investors Green Light

Weak Economy Gives International Property Investors Green LightThe surge in Central London property values has failed to deter overseas property buyers who are still actively purchasing available residential accommodation.

Ironically it is the weakness of Sterling (GBP) that has made residential property in the UK capital attractive to international property investors, helping to fuel strong demand for residential property in London from foreign investors, according to one residential estate agent.

As we previously reported in February international property investors are already targeting high rental yields from rental properties in the UK (read full story here)

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UK attracting Overseas Property Investors

UK attracting Overseas Property Investors

High Rental Yields Producing Property Profits

Chinese, Malaysian and Far East property investors are buying large swathes of investment properties in the UK as they are being drawn in by strong rental yields and weak economy as the price of Sterling (GBP) is overshadowed by the strong Yen.

This influx of Far Eastern property investors is driving the demand for new build investment properties in the UK’s major regional cities and their appetite for property profit is outpacing demand from Greek, Italian, German and other European property investors who are also keen to snap up property bargains.

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