Our Blog
Financial chart on ipad

This week’s roundup includes news of a record £94 billion dividend for shareholders of London-listed businesses, a warning over a new investment scam costing victims up to £26,000, calls for reliable tenants to have their rental payment history feature on their credit score and the prospect of millions of people facing financial difficulty due to missed bills.  

Shareholders on track for £94bn dividend 

Shareholders are on track to receive a record sum in dividend payouts from UK-listed companies this year, according to new data. Figures from Capita’s Dividend Monitor revealed those with stakes in businesses are set to receive £94 billion in payouts in 2017 

News of the record sum comes after payouts jumped to £28.5 billion in the three months to September, which was driven by larger payouts from London-listed mining companies. The previous annual record stood at £88.1 billion, paid out in 2014.  

Capita’s Dividend Monitor assesses data from firms listed on the London Stock Exchange’s main market, which has more than 1,500 companies.  

Justin Cooper, Chief Executive of Shareholder Solutions, part of Capita Asset Services, said: “We had high hopes for 2017, but the dividend [stream] is proving even richer than we expected, as the mining sector finds its footing again.” 

Authorities issue warning over growing investment scam  

A growing investment scam is leading to victims losing an average of almost £26,000 each, City of London Police has warned. Authorities said the criminal activity involves so-called binary options trading, where individuals can bet on share price or currency movements.  

As part of the scam, victims are encouraged to visit trading websites through adverts on social media, and police have warned that the fraudulent activity is affecting a wide range of people, not just those with financial backgrounds.  

In the first six months of 2017, nearly 700 victims lost £18 million, authorities said, with average losses of £25,916 per victim.  

Tenants ‘unfairly missing out on credit’  

Tenants’ regular rent payments should be recorded on their credit score to be used as proof to mortgage lenders that they are financially reliable, MPs have been told in Parliament.  

Currently, mortgage applicants are unable to rely on previous rent payments as proof that they would be safe to lend to when buying a home. It comes as the government has said that lenders should consider a range of factors when handing out mortgage deals.  

A petition signed by 147,307 individuals argued that paying rent on time should be recognised as evidence that mortgage payments can be met, while campaigners have argued that rent payment history should also feature on a tenant’s credit score.  

Steve Burrows, Managing Director of LateRent, which offers a service to landlords, said: “It is […] oddly out of step that tenants are unable to utilise rental payments as part of their credit profile - particularly as the government increasingly seeks to promote homeownership across the UK.” 

Millions miss bills due to financial woes 

More than four million people are in financial difficulty due to missed or domestic credit bills, a new study has revealed. Figures published by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which questioned 13,000 people, revealed 25.6 million consumers could be vulnerable to financial harm as a result of missing bills.  

These individuals, who are most likely to be aged between 25 and 34, have failed to pay bills in three or more of the past six months. As part of the survey, researchers explored whether consumers displayed at least one of a series of potential "issues", such as a lack of internet access or an overdraft, which meant that their finances would be at an increased risk if something went wrong.  

The Financial Lives research revealed there are a range of concerns among consumers at a time of slow wage growth. It concluded that 15 million people have low levels of resilience to a bill shock. What’s more, the results found that 100,000 had used an illegal money lender in the past 12 months.  

To find out more about investments and how Equilibrium can help you make the right choices, click the button below: