Virtual Dress-Down Fridays: Our donation to Cash for Kids & SAMH

It’s now been over six months since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the UK and our entire office became virtual. Our office still remains closed, however we’ve continued to stay open throughout this period with the full team 100% working from home.

We have continued to pay our donations every Friday for virtual dress-down Fridays. Although, the dress-down clothes may have become more relaxed while working from home – with PJs, gym gear and vests all making an appearance.

Our first total from March until June was £600 which we donated to CHAS and NHS Charities Together. From donations from June to September, we can now announce our colleagues have raised an amazing £630!

We’ve decided to split these between two very worthwhile charities – Cash For Kids and SAMH (Scottish Association for Mental Health).

Cash for Kids

Cash for Kids is a grant-giving charity helping the children that need it most across the UK.

Their mission is to improve the lives of disadvantaged children and young people in communities who are affected by poverty, illness, neglect or have additional needs.

Cash for Kids work with grass-roots organisations that aim to make a difference to young lives, directly supporting families who often have nowhere else to go.

Collectively Cash for Kids raised over £20.9 million in 2019, supporting more than 1 million children.

SAMH (Scottish Association for Mental Health)

SAMH work in over 60 communities with adults and young people providing mental health social care support, services in primary care, schools and further education, among others.  These services together with their national programme work in See Me, respect me, suicide prevention and active living; inform their policy and campaign work to influence positive social change.

COVID-19: What would a negative interest rate mean for your mortgage?

The Bank of England has recently written to all banks and building societies to check whether they could pass on negative interest rates if the bank cut the current base rate of 0.1%.

According to the chairman of Natwest Howard Davies, Britain’s banks are not ready for negative interest rates, with technical and contractual issues aplenty.

The Bank of England governor, Andrew Bailey, also stated that he did not know whether high street bank computer systems could cope with minus figures.

But the main highlight for those who are looking to buy a house, remortgage or switch rate need to know that a negative interest rate doesn’t automatically translate to mortgage rates of similar levels.

Is your mortgage rate due to expire?

Mortgage rates are currently low, but it does look like they could be increasing. In fact figures published by the latest Moneyfacts UK Mortgage Trends Treasury Report show that some mortgage rates have increased for the third consecutive month*.

Homeowners looking to remortgage should speak to a mortgage broker who will be able to provide information and advice on the best options available for individual circumstances.

Don’t hang about, speak with a specialist who can analyse what’s best for your mortgage. Speak to an expert adviser today call 01224 316200 or fill in our online enquiry form.


COVID-19: Mortgage Payment Holidays ending 31st October

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has stated that COVID mortgage payment holidays in the UK will not extend past the 31 October 2020 and any financial support past that point will be marked on credit files.

The FCA has emphasised that both a payment holiday and partial payment holiday are temporary, and the outstanding amount will need to be paid back at a later date. Interest will also continue to build during this time and repayments may be higher after the payment holiday according to the FCA.

Mortgage payment holidays have proved a vital lifeline for existing homeowners who have financially suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, if you did take a mortgage payment holiday, please ensure:

  • Your direct debit was not cancelled.
  • There are sufficient funds in your account ready for collection.
  • If you are concerned about affordability, contact your lender immediately.

It is important to know that if you need financial support from your lender after 31st October, it will be marked on your credit file. Homeowners should only utilise the mortgage payment holiday if it is necessary.

For existing homeowners, now could also be a good time to think about remortgaging. Guidance from UK Finance states that homeowners remortgaging with the same lender (known as a product transfer) will be able to do so even if they have a payment holiday in place. Existing customers who have been furloughed will also be eligible for product transfers.

Speak to an expert mortgage adviser today – call 01224 316 200 or fill in our online enquiry form.

Stoptober & Go Sober for October

As the nights get longer and weather gets that bit colder, we start thinking about Halloween, Bonfire Night and Christmas; they aren’t that far away now! October offers two options with Stoptober and Go Sober for October. So if you want to quit smoking or drink less, this month has got you covered! Sober October encourages people to go booze-free in October to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support, who need your support now more than ever.  In the UK lung cancer accounted for 21% of all cancer cases in 2017 and is the most common cause of cancer death [2]. Stoptober encourages people to stop smoking. Stopping smoking is one of the best things you’ll ever do for your health. When you stop, you give your lungs the chance to repair and you’ll be able to breathe easier. There are lots of other benefits too – and they start almost immediately.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): advice for smokers and vapers

COVID-19 is a respiratory viral infection that affects the lungs and airways. If you smoke tobacco, you generally have an increased risk of contracting a respiratory infection and more severe symptoms once infected.  [1]

How does it affect my life insurance?

You can benefit from participating in these events. If you quit smoking and/or drinking you may be able to save money on your protection policies in addition to the health benefits of your new lifestyle. While you can’t predict what happens you can predict how you can cope financially in the aftermath of an accident, illness or death. Don’t leave talking to a specialist about protection too long – if the unexpected should happen, being prepared is the key to being protected. Call 01224 316200 or fill in our online enquiry form to speak to our protection specialists today.