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Equilibrium's Finance and Investment News Roundup

This week's roundup includes news of a retail spending rebound in July, claims that customers are paying too much for banking services, a boost in UK tourism due to the falling pound and suggestions that many people would be unable to pay their rent or mortgage should they lose their job. 


Retail spending picked up in July

UK retail spending rebounded in July, marking the most sizeable rise in six months. Spending in the month stood 1.9% higher than in the same month a year earlier, and markedly up on the 0.2% growth recorded in June, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) revealed.

The BRC explained that good weather and sales promotions were the main reasons for the climb, which helped to counter concerns regarding the outcome of the European Union referendum, in which Britain voted to leave the bloc.

Helen Dickinson, Chief Executive of BRC, commented: "Little has materially changed for most UK households in the wake of June 23, so it is not surprising to us that sales are simply responding to their normal underlying drivers." 

CMA: Banking customers paying too much for services

Customers in the UK are paying too much for banking services and more should be done to boost competition in high street banking. This is according to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), which claimed older and larger banks should have to work harder to gain business, while also indicating newer banks are having difficulty in their attempts to grow.

In its report the CMA stated: "This means that many people are paying more than they should and are not benefiting from new services."

The CMA has also called on high street banks to launch a technological "revolution", which would involve the introduction by early 2018 of new phone-based apps that demonstrate to customers which banks may offer the best account. 

Pound drop 'boosts UK tourism'

Tourism in the UK has been boosted by the sharp drop experienced by the pound following Britain's decision to leave the EU, travel researcher ForwardKeys has found. It was shown that there were 4.3% more flight bookings to the UK in the 28 days following the vote compared to the same period last year.

ForwardKeys found that bookings from Europe climbed by 5%, from the US by 9.2% and from Hong Kong by 30.1%.

The organisation stated: "The most favourable exchange rate in decades is probably the major driver for the uptake in bookings to Britain." 

Job loss 'would lead to inability to pay rent'

Many people would struggle to pay their rent or mortgage if they were to lose their job. This is according to a study carried out by YouGov for Shelter. It was demonstrated that one in three families in England would not be able to make the payments for more than a month should they be made unemployed.

Shelter explained the main reasons for this inability to pay is a combination of low personal savings and high housing costs.