Hello all, Sarah Fox-Clinch from sunny Bristol here again. Did anyone watch the University Challenge final the other night?  Gail Trimble basically won the thing on her own.  It’s great to see someone with such knowledge and intellect doing well.  Gail for Prime Minister please!

Our current Prime Minister on the other hand, has been working to try and get lenders to lend again.  If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again.

Step 1, ask banks to lend again.  Result = dual pricing.  The most competitive deals going through direct channels which only a handful of the public can actually access.  I.e. meeting the Governments request to bring out competitive, higher loan to value products however, only making them available to a select clientele.

Step 2, as you own a bank, make them start lending.

Step 3, as you have a large shareholding in other banks, agree to forgo interest payments on the shares in return for a promise to lend a bit more.

We’ll see.  At least they are trying something.

Rate-wise, nothing has really changed.  60% is still the buzz word and anything over this gets expensive.  Fixed rates are still the way to go.  Woolwich seem to be stepping back into the market with a nice 4 year deal.  80% 4 year fix at 4.99%.  Lovely.  Oh, I nearly forgot.  Good on the Coventry…again!  I do like them.  They have released a fantastic fixed rate for existing Coventry mortgage clients.  A 5 year fixed rate at 4.99% for anyone at 100% LTV or in negative equity.  This is a really nice touch from a lender who knows how to take care of their clients.

There will be an absence of financial news from me over the next few weeks as I am off backpacking round Thailand.  A country where the Prime Minister is so unpopular, he’s having to hide out in the holiday paradise of Hua Hin.  Lets hope Gordon Brown succeeds with his plans, or he may end up in the UK holiday paradise that is Weston Super Mare.

Sarah

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