A pioneering financial crime alert system will see 12 government and law enforcement agencies warn banks of the latest threats in a bid to safeguard the accounts of millions of customers.
The BBA, working with preferred technology partner BAE Systems Applied Intelligence, will launch the Financial Crime Alerts Service (FCAS) as part of a new approach to combat a wide range of financial crime threats. The new alert service will allow the sector to react more swiftly than ever to major incidents and allow industry financial crime professionals to spot emerging problems and threatening criminal trends.Read more
David Dooks, Statistics Director at the BBA, said:
“When customers feel more optimistic about the economic outlook they are much more likely to take on new borrowing.
“Today’s figures show that mortgage lending in August was up 15% on last year and that credit card spending remains robust. But I was particularly struck that after years of decline demand for unsecured personal loans is rising quite strongly again.
“Those products are often used to finance bigger purchase such as cars or major home improvements – the sort of spending we often put off until we feel confident about our financial circumstances.”Read more
Responding to the Which? report on customer satisfaction levels for bank accounts, a spokesman for the BBA said:
“Britain has a vibrant, competitive banking market – with more than 50 current account providers. There is more and more choice between these products, which reflects how we all bank in slightly different ways.Read more
Responding to the appointment of Lord Hill to lead the European Commission’s newly created Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union directorate-general, Anthony Browne, chief executive of the BBA, said:
“This is a good decision for Europe. We welcome the approach by President-elect Juncker to entrust key Commission portfolios to people with the right experience.
“This appointment should be good for customers and businesses as the Commission looks for ways to unlock the flow of finance to bolster jobs and growth across Europe.”Read more
Commenting on the Which? report on the credit industry, a spokesman for the BBA said:
“Britain has a competitive credit market with clear rules that rightly oblige lenders to set out interest charges and notify borrowers if rates change.Read more
Richard Woolhouse, the chief economist at the BBA, said:
“This is another set of good numbers that shows the UK consumer is putting the tough years behind them and feeling more confident about spending again.
“It’s also very striking how savvy customers have become in recent years. As much as 42% of all borrowing on cards now is interest free – up from 34% two years ago.
“This illustrates how many of us are cleverly using plastic to give us greater control about how we manage our finances without being charged to do so.”Read more
Commenting on the latest Bank of England monthly Bankstats, a BBA spokesman said:
“These figures show that the net lending picture for Britain’s smaller businesses has been positive for three consecutive months. It’s heartening that fewer firms see access to finance as an obstacle to their business aspirations.
“Banks are in the business of lending and this is good news for the economy. We encourage any business to consider applying for credit to help them grow, export or take on new staff.”Read more
Responding to the Which? report entitled ‘Consumers frustrated by unauthorised overdraft fees’ the BBA’s Executive Director of Retail, Eric Leenders, said:
“Across the board overdraft charges have plummeted since 2008, with estimated consumer savings of up to £928 million over the past five years.
“Banks are keen to help customers compare account charges in a variety of ways, from making charges easier to understand to providing useful online calculators and mobile apps. They also itemise charges on bank statements and use text alerts to communicate important account information instantly.
“We agree with Which? that the Government’s midata initiative is an important new way for customers to compare costs. From next April all the major banks will make information about customers’ current account use available to them in downloadable spreadsheets.”Read more
Commenting on the publication of the Bank of England’s Q2 Funding for Lending Scheme statistics and the BBA’s latest figures on lending to SMEs, BBA Executive Director of Business Finance Irene Graham said:
“BBA figures out today show that we are starting to see a pickup in borrowing by small and medium sized businesses. It is also encouraging to see that the Funding for Lending Scheme is continuing to be used to help businesses. Companies are also increasing their cash reserves, which suggests that the sector is in a healthy position.
“The majority of businesses who approach their bank for a loan are successful and if they are not there is a process in place that allows them to appeal the decision. We’d encourage business owners thinking about borrowing to approach their bank to learn about the range of financing options that are available.”Read more
Commenting on the SME Finance Monitor 2014 Q2 results, a BBA spokesman said:
“It’s encouraging that more smaller businesses are making a profit, building up cash and planning to grow. Only 8% now consider access to finance an obstacle to their future plans. The vast majority of businesses say that they’re happy with their financial situation, and those who are looking to borrow have continued to become more confident about getting finance this year.
“High street banks approve nearly 7 out of 10 applications for lending and with an appeals process in place for those who are declined finance, we’d encourage small businesses thinking about borrowing to approach their bank to discuss the range of financing options available.”Read more