Tymit launches first app-enabled instalment credit card

Tymit, the London based fintech, has announced the launch of its revolutionary, fee-free instalment Visa credit card. Built to provide a rich, mobile app experience, the new card addresses the lack of transparency and control involved with traditional credit cards.

The Tymit card allows customers to plan their spending, see the true total cost of any transaction, and avoid unnecessary interest by spreading the cost of purchases over 3, 6, 12 or 24 months.

Interest is only calculated and applied to instalment transactions rather than the whole balance, saving customers a significant amount of money versus traditional credit cards. Purchases that are not put on an instalment plan default to be due in full the next month, with no interest charges or fees.

More than 53 million merchants worldwide accept Visa, Tymit Visa credit cardholders will have the option to pay in instalments at point of sale at any of these locations where Visa is accepted – enhancing the familiar Visa shopping experience.

The Tymit app gives customers complete control and transparency over their repayments, so they can plan purchases around their monthly budget. As soon as a transaction is made, an interest-bearing repayment schedule can be selected and easily adjusted. Using a built-in calculator function, customers can also simulate future purchases, gaining a clear understanding of the total interest that would be due.

The app also provides a wealth of data and features to help customers manage their finances. Real-time spending notifications, automatic purchase categorisation and reporting, transaction location maps and customer service chat can all be accessed from within a simple interface.

Advanced fraud protection is also included in the package: customers can block their card from within the mobile app, while advanced fraud prevention features use signals such as phone location to determine if your card could have been stolen.

Tymit co-founder and CEO, Martin Magnone, said: “Traditional credit cards haven’t really changed in decades. The big banks rely on old technology, and because they’ve had a monopoly for so long, they haven’t given a lot of thought to providing a great user experience. You see this in the usability of their websites and apps, but it goes beyond that.

“Traditional credit cards offer customers almost no control, and that can be dangerous. It’s virtually impossible to anticipate the total charges when you make a purchase – you only find out the real cost months later when you review your statements. And once you have a balance accruing interest, banks provide almost no help in planning repayments.

“The Tymit card and mobile app are different. They’ve been designed from the ground up to fit seamlessly together, providing a fast, intuitive interface that puts you in control and helps you make better decisions about your spending.”

The Tymit Visa credit card is issued by digital financial technology provider Wirecard and can be used anywhere in the world that accepts Visa. It charges no membership fee or foreign transaction fees, and is backed by cutting edge fraud prevention technology, so cardholders can buy with confidence at home, abroad and online.

The card will be rolled out to a select number of beta users from today, with waitlisted customers receiving invites soon after.

The Right Mortgage celebrate yet another successful bi-annual National Training Event

The team at The Right Mortgage & Protection Network have a lot to celebrate this week after, its 10th National Training Event yesterday.

The completely independent network for mortgage and protection brokers, lead and owned by its founding Directors; Martin Wilson, Amanda Wilson, Adam Stretton and Tania Stretton, hosted its second bi-annual National Training Event of the year at the National Motorcycle Museum in Solihull.

Speaking about the day Martin Wilson, CEO at The Right Mortgage said: “With this National Training Event being our 10th, and with 2020 just around the corner, we wanted to create a theme that would fit around helping our members face the new decade with a clear vision of what they want to gain from their business: hence the theme being ‘vision 2020’.

We’ve been expanding our offering to our clients over the past four years, and are proud to create an event that reflects the voice and feedback of all members of our network. Bring on 2020!”

An incredible 300+ members attended the event, and over 60 lenders and provider partners took part through stands, panels, unique roundtables, or, through the exciting introduction of forums which covered: mortgage, buildings and contents insurance, and protection.

The event closed with an insightful and thought-provoking guest keynote from Phil Calvert, who gave the audience tips on social media and sales that they could implement immediately after the event.

Yesterday’s event also marked the launch of the networks new email newsletter service for its members, allowing their members to access another form of assistance when it comes to their marketing.

The network already offers its members a comprehensive marketing suite to aid advisers in their online marketing efforts.

Those who attended the event had the opportunity to enjoy a variety of games and challenges; including the Vault game, which allowed attendees to test their reactions, whilst supporting Macmillan Cancer Support through taking part.

The network hold a number of other workshops and training events throughout the year. The network’s next National Training Event will take place on Thursday 4th June 2020.

BoE Money & Credit figures – comment

Commenting on today’s Bank of England Money & Credit figures, John Phillips, national operations director, Just Mortgages said: “These figures – both the fresh data for September and the long-term trend – reinforce the impression that for the housing market the engine is ticking over but not really going anywhere.

“In two weeks’ time we’ll all be waking up to a new government. Whichever party – or parties – are in charge need to take action to get the market motoring.

“That includes getting some certainty over what’s happening with Brexit, but also real action to reform planning and taking a fresh look at the current high levels of Stamp Duty. This is causing real bottlenecks at the higher end of the market, but the impact goes much further and affects availability if suitable properties for families right across the value chain.”

The Money Statistics November 2019

Striking Numbers

  • £494.60: Median weekly full-time pay for employees aged 22-29
  • £390: Median monthly private rent in England for a single room with shared facilities
  • £35,950: Average student debt for the latest cohort to enter repayment
  • £50,581: Average first-time buyer house deposit
  • 1.8%: Increase in average real pay in the year to September 2019
  • £2,603: Average credit card debt per household in September 2019
  • 20.03%: Average credit card interest rate in September 2019
  • 0.88%: Average interest rate on a cash ISA in September 2019
  • £59,823: Average total debt per UK household in September 2019

Every Day in the UK

  • On average, a UK household spends £4.18 a day on water, electricity and gas.
  • Citizens Advice Bureaux in England and Wales dealt with 2,612 debt issues every day in the year to October 2019.
  • The number of UK mortgages with arrears of over 2.5% of the remaining balance fell by 20 a day.
  • Borrowers paid £140 million a day in interest in September 2019.
  • Net lending to individuals and housing associations in the UK grew by £137 million a day in September 2019.

Personal Debt in the UK

  • People in the UK owed £1,661 billion at the end of September 2019. This is up from £1,612 billion at the end of September 2018, an extra £930 per UK adult over the year.
  • The average total debt per household, including mortgages, was £59,823.
  • Per adult in the UK that’s an average debt of £31,485, around 111.4% of average earnings. This is up from a revised £31,407 a month earlier.

Young People

  • In England, the average student debt per borrower at the end of 2018-19 was £22,984. In Wales it was £15,441, in Northern Ireland £16,443 and in Scotland £10,904.
  • The average student debt for the latest cohorts to enter repayment was £35,950 in England (2019), £22,920 in Wales (2019), £23,550 in Northern Ireland (2018) and £13,800 in Scotland (2019).
  • 409,000 18-24-year olds (10.8%) were unemployed in July to September 2019. This was 10,000 fewer than in April to June 2019.
  • 800,000 (11.6%) of 16 to 24-year olds in the UK were not in education, employment or training (NEET) in July to September 2019, an increase of 43,000 over the last year.

Mortgages, Rent and Housing

  • Outstanding mortgage lending stood at £1.436 trillion at the end of September 2019. This is up from £1.393 trillion a year earlier.
  • That means that the estimated average outstanding mortgage for the 10.96 million households with mortgage debt was £130,978 in September 2019.
  • The average mortgage interest rate was 2.40% at the end of September. Based on this, households with mortgages would pay an average of £3,143 in mortgage interest over the year.
  • For new loans, the average mortgage interest rate was 2.02%. Using the latest figures from UK Finance, this means new mortgages would attract an average of £3,519 in interest over the year.
  • According to UK Finance, gross mortgage lending in September 2019 totalled an estimated £22.3 billion, 3.7% higher than in September 2018.

Savings and Pensions

  • The average interest rate for an instant access savings account, not including bonus interest payments, was 0.42% in September 2019. For a cash ISA, this was 0.88%.
  • In Q2 2019, households saved an average of 6.8% of their post-tax income, including benefits. This compares with a revised 5.9% in Q2 2018. From 2000 to 2015, the savings rate fluctuated mostly in the 6-10% range, with a post-crash peak of 12.9% in Q1 2010.
  • If someone on the average salary saved 6.8% of their income in an average instant access savings account for a year, they would receive £6.46 in interest after tax. If they saved it in an average cash ISA, they would receive £16.53.

Spending and Loans

  • In the year to September 2019, consumer credit increased by 3.1% according to the Bank of England, while outstanding levels of credit card borrowing fell by 0.1%, a reversal pf the direction of change since 2018. This may be due to the FCA’s new rules on persistent credit card debt.
  • In Q2 2019, households in the UK spent £115.96 million a day on water, electricity and gas, or £4.18 per household per day. On a seasonally adjusted basis, this was 5.0% more than the revised figure for Q1 2019.
  • The average interest rate on credit card lending bearing interest was 20.03% in October 2019. This is 19.28% above the Bank of England Base Rate of 0.75%.

Financial Inclusion

  • According to the FCA, in the UK in 2017 there were 1.3 million people who did not have a bank account.
  • According to ONS, there were 11,065 bank and building society branches in the UK in 2018. This was a reduction of 2,280 branches (17%) since 2012.
  • According to the 2019 Access to Cash Review, 2.2 million people use only cash in their daily transactions.

The Bigger Picture

  • The UK economy grew by 0.3% in the three months to September 2019, according to the latest estimates from the Office of National Statistics.
  • The CPI (Consumer Prices Index) increased by 1.5% in the year to October 2019, 0.2% lower than for the year to September 2019.
  • The highest rates of inflation over the 12 months to October 2019 were for alcoholic beverages and tobacco (3.5%), communication (3.4%), and restaurants and hotels (3.2%). The lowest was for housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels (0.3%.)

About The Money Charity:

The Money Charity is the UK’s financial capability charity. Our vision is that everyone has the ability to be on top of their money as a part of everyday life. We empower people across the UK to build the skills, knowledge, attitudes and behaviours to make the most of their money throughout their lives.

Amigo Holdings announces interim results for the six months ended 30 September 2019

Amigo Holdings PLC, (Amigo), the leading provider of guarantor loans in the UK, announces results for the six-month period ended 30 September 2019.

Financial Highlights

  • Net loan book of £730.7m, an 8.8% increase (H1 FY19: £671.7m) underpinned by strong customer growth of 17.9%
  • Growth in revenue to £145.4m, an increase of 11.8% (H1 FY19: £130.1m)
  • Cost of funds improved to 4.3% (H1 FY19: 5.2%) following increased securitisation and open market repurchases of senior secured notes
  • Impairment:revenue ratio within guidance at 31.1% (H1 FY19: 23.3%)
  • Cost:income ratio increased to 28.0% due to accelerated investment and a provision for complaints (H1 FY19: 17.9%). Excluding the provision for complaints, operating cost:income ratio of 20.8% was within guidance (H1 FY19: 17.8%)
  • Reported profit after tax for the period of £37.0m, a decrease of 1.9%
  • Adjusted profit after tax £35.8m (H1 FY19: £47.2m)
  • Proposed interim dividend of 3.1p
  • Full year guidance for key operating metrics remains unchanged

Operational highlights

  • Strengthened credit policy resulted in lower relending
  • Focus on new customers led to high levels of customer growth
  • Received FCA feedback on Guarantor Lending
  • Action plans initiated to address capacity constraints in Collections
  • Outsource partnership extended to support Collections activity
  • Strong growth in Irish business with net loan book of €4.8m

Commenting on the half year results, Hamish Paton, CEO of Amigo, said: “The first half of the financial year has demonstrated continued demand for our guarantor loan product with solid growth in customer numbers. We are making encouraging progress as we roll out the operational and strategic initiatives outlined in August. While it will take some time to see the full benefits, we are pleased with the positive start we have made.

“Amigo holds a leading position in the guarantor loans market and our product makes a real difference to the lives of our borrowers, many of whom cannot access credit from mainstream providers. We are determined to use that position to be a role model in a growing sector, working alongside our regulators, to be at the forefront of best practice and achieve the best outcome for our customers.”

Amigo Loans Regulatory Update

Amigo announces that it has received the outcome of the FCA’s Guarantor Understanding Multi Firm Work (the “Review”).

The aim of the Review was for the FCA to understand better the role of the guarantor. The feedback received from the FCA has not raised concerns with the guarantor loan product itself nor made comments about the underlying business model at Amigo.

The Review focused on the information made available to potential guarantors and how sufficient this is to ensure potential guarantors reach an informed decision ahead of becoming a guarantor.

As expected, the Review identified areas where our customer journey could be enhanced, including increasing the explanation of key information provided to potential guarantors and increasing disclosure on the likelihood that guarantors could be called to make payments.

Amigo has sought to stay ahead of regulation and is reassured that a number of the action points raised in the Review are already in the process of being changed. We will prioritise efforts to adopt the relevant operational changes as soon as reasonably possible.

Amigo believes implementing these enhancements will not fundamentally alter the attractiveness of the guarantor loan product relative to higher cost alternatives for our borrowers, nor will it deter willing guarantors from supporting deserving friends and family to allow them to be financially included.

Hamish Paton, CEO of Amigo, said: “We are grateful for the significant amount of time and effort that the FCA has committed to the Review and we take on board all of the improvements they have identified. These will be good for customers and other stakeholders, and further reinforce our strategy of doing the right thing for all our borrowers and guarantors.”

The Co-operative Bank launches new ‘Loans Marketplace’ proposition

The Co-operative Bank today launches a new ‘Loans Marketplace’ solution – a service that enables consumers to search for a personal loan quote, with a variety of repayment terms, from a panel of UK loan providers subject to the individual’s personal circumstances.

The Co-operative Bank with Freedom Finance has become the first UK high street bank to provide a suite of tailored loans that reflect the status of the customer. Through proprietary technology and machine learning, the fintech platform allows consumers to carry out a single ‘soft search’ of unsecured personal loan options which will not negatively affect their credit profile. Loans will currently be available from £1,000 to £25,000 and over a term of 1-7 years, with interest rates ranging between 3.1% APR to a maximum rate capped at 39.9% APR. Successful applicants could receive funds the same day.

The panel of loan lenders has been curated by The Co-operative Bank and excludes payday lenders to align with its customer-led Ethical Policy.

Tracey Harrop, Product Lead for Unsecured Lending at The Co-operative Bank said “We have entered into this relationship with Freedom Finance to create our Loans Marketplace and provide consumers with access to lending options from a broad range of loan providers. We know many of our customers seek finance to help them afford key purchases or consolidate existing debt and with Loans Marketplace they will be able to complete one soft search of our select panel of lenders to find personal loan options most suited to their needs without negatively affecting their credit profile.”

Both Freedom Finance and The Co-operative Bank will act as a credit broker and not a lender, as the Bank makes a true ‘re-insurgence’ in the personal loans market benefiting from an omni-channel support capability, meaning consumers can apply online, over the phone, or whilst visiting a Co-operative Bank branch.

Brian Brodie CEO of Freedom Finance comments: “Our highly personalised lending platform allows our partners to strengthen their offering in a highly competitive market, and we are delighted to have the opportunity to work hand-in-hand with a bank for the first time to co-create a personalised digital journey for its customers.

“Our service presents customers with loans they are eligible for, including actual repayment schedules, to help borrowers understand their commitment and make better informed decisions. It is exactly what the market needs in terms of outcomes and consumer education and we’re delighted to be working with such a highly trusted brand to deliver this.”

The panel includes a number of personal loan providers, some of which are other high street banks. All lenders on the panel are FCA registered and any loan search results, and loan rates returned are risk-based on the consumers’ personal circumstances.

The Bank and Freedom Finance will receive a commission based upon a successful loan and the amount borrowed. This commission will not directly or indirectly affect the total cost for credit payable by customers for their loan.

The Nottingham introduces ten-year fixed Retirement Interest Only mortgage

The Nottingham has further evidenced its commitment to later life lending by introducing a Retirement Interest Only mortgage fixed at 3.95% for ten years.

Its latest offering, which replaces the previous seven-year fixed product, comes with a free valuation and £995 fee.

The ten-year product has been added to a RIO range that includes shorter fixed term products with no fees, meaning choice for borrowers depending on their circumstances.

Nikki Warren-Dean, Head of Intermediary Sales for The Nottingham for Intermediaries, explained how the society continues to grow and reward its members with products built around them and maintains its desire to listen to, and act on, broker feedback.

She said: “We added Retirement Interest Only mortgages to our offering just six months ago and have already twice refreshed the range to ensure we are giving as much choice as possible for people in, or heading towards, retirement.

“The Nottingham is dedicated to helping people achieve their first property or move up the ladder, but also to supporting those who may be living in their last home too.

“Taking that into account, and broker feedback, is why we decided to introduce a ten-year fixed rate RIO product to our mortgage range – to ensure we are well positioned to help people make the right decisions to suit their circumstances.”

The Nottingham’s current range of RIO mortgages (all with a 40% Loan To Value limit and all with a free valuation):

  • Two-year discount (2.75% off variable mortgage rate), 2.99%. No fees.
  • Two-year fixed, 3.40%. No fees.
  • Three-year fixed, 3.42%. No fees.
  • Five-year fixed, 3.55%. £995 fee.
  • Ten-year fixed, 3.95%. £995 fee.

RIO mortgages – which are available for both purchases and remortgaging – give people in later life the option to release funds, giving them more financial planning options or to enhance their retirement lifestyle.

They are interest-only, without a term, and have a minimum application age of 55. Redemption is at sale of the property following a life event such as the customer sadly passing away, going into care or selling the house. In the case of a joint mortgage, redemption will be when both applicants reach a life event.

Debt Collection Trade Body Launches New People Development Conference for 2020 National Apprenticeship Week

The Credit Services Association (CSA), the voice of the UK debt collection and debt purchase sectors, is launching a new Learning and Development Conference, hosted on 4 February 2020 in Leeds, which will focus on championing people development.

The conference will bring together learning and development managers, HR professionals, industry leaders, and in-house collection teams, as well as current CSA apprentices and their employers.

It is being launched to help share knowledge and insight on industry-related qualifications, as well as specific development and changes to apprenticeships. It coincides with the 13th annual National Apprenticeship week 2020 taking place between 3 and 7 February 2020.

Fiona Macaskill, Head of Learning and Development at the CSA, says the Association aims to give businesses the confidence and support to embrace professional development: “We want to encourage employers within the collections and wider financial services sector to see the value of championing people development – the value it can bring to the individual, the workforce and the business,” she explains. “Through the conference, we hope to give them meaningful advice on how to get the best out of their staff, and how to put the best in from a culture and leadership perspective.”

Part of the conference will reflect the theme of National Apprenticeship Week 2020 to ‘Look Beyond’ says Fiona: “We’ll continue to encourage employers to ‘look beyond’ traditional hiring routes to see the talent and diversity that can be brought into their workforce by employing apprentices; and we’ll also be promoting collections as a credible career path into Financial Services.”

The conference programme will offer a host of expert speakers from a number of disciplines with separate streams covering ‘Leadership and Culture’, ‘Apprenticeships and Professional Development’, Wellbeing and Mental Health in the Workplace’.

The CSA is a Registered Approved Apprenticeship Training Provider, providing collections and compliance and risk apprenticeships to the wider financial services community as well as government and the public sector. It’s Learning and Development department has also recently picked up a number of awards for its work in the sector including Excellence in Training at Credit Strategy’s Collections and Customer Services Awards, and a Skills Development Award at the Trade Association Forum’s Best Practice Awards 2019.

The CSA is currently delivering 200 apprenticeships across 75 organisations, including major industry players, well-known PLCs and government bodies, with the first successful learners completing their programme in Autumn 2019.

TDS Charitable Foundation Awards £293,000 of Funding

The TDS Charitable Foundation has published its 2018/2019 Annual Review, which revealed how the charity has distributed over £293,000 of grants to nine different organisations across England and Wales in the last financial year.

The Foundation, which is funded by donations from The Dispute Service (TDS) and operates in England and Wales, awards grants to encourage best practice in the management of private rented housing and education of landlords on their obligations. It also seeks to promote the rights and responsibilities of tenants.

To date, the Foundation has awarded £753,375 of funds to a range of different ventures.

Professor Martin Partington CBE QC, Chair of the TDS Charitable Foundation, said: “By contributing to the work being carried out by so many worthwhile organisations, we hope these projects will have a real impact and help more people understand not only how the PRS works but what their roles and responsibilities are.”

The charity opens up bidding rounds three times a year and welcomes applications that aim to advance education in housing rights and promote knowledge in conflict resolution and legal requirements of landlords and tenants.

In Scotland, The Dispute Service is a partner in the SafeDeposits Scotland Charitable Trust, which works towards similar goals in the Scottish private rented sector and is funded by donations from SafeDeposits Scotland, the country’s largest tenancy deposit scheme.