HBOS has become the first major lender to argue the industry needs access to data on council tax arrears to make better judgements about credit risk of individual borrowers.
Such arrears are often the first sign of financial difficulty, the bank says, and relevant data should be included in data set to be shared between banks to ensure customers cannot overborrow, writes The Times
HBOS also wants access to student debt data – a move that is likely to be even more controversial as MPs and others are already rejecting both calls.
The Daily Telegraph chooses to focus on HBOS chief executive James Crosby’s statement that the bank does not see a crisis of lending. Instead the UK is set for a ‘soft landing’ because the credit cycle has not changed along with a sharp rise in interest rates and unemployment, Crosby says.
”Mr Crosby said because there were no signs that large numbers of people were about to lose their jobs, most of its consumers would be able to afford their debts,” the Telegraph writes.
A PANEL OF economists and finance people used by The Times to get a steer on Monetary Policy Committee decisions has overwhelmingly voted for a rate reduction today – suggesting the real MPC will do the same, the paper writes.
The paper notes the last time such unanimity was seen was ahead of a rates increase in mid-2003, then followed by a similar move on the part of the MPC.
The lone vote on The Times’ panel this time round has come because of fears energy inflation is still too high to ignore, despite other evidence the economy is flagging.
AS A BIGGER HOLE LOOMS in Gordon Brown’s kitty, the Better Regulation Task Force has brought in the National Accounting Office to sweep over the Home Office as well as transport and culture departments in an effort to cut back on red tap – and save the government not inconsiderable sums in the process, reports the FT
It is the first time the NAO has been asked to tackle entire departments in this way, the FT adds, but Task Force chairman David Arculus has the backing of both Brown and Blair in his efforts to cut some £100bn worth of regulatory burden on businesses as the result of Whitehall actions.
Another issue is the UK’s presidency of the EU, where efforts to stem red tape coming out of Brussels will partly depend on the UK government’s own successes at home, the paper writes.
If you have any comments you would like to add to this story or would like to speak to its author about a similar subject, telephone Jonathan Boyd on 020 7484 9769 or email [email protected].IFAonline
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