Belfast Telegraph

Bank profits from mortgage moves

Taxpayer-backed Lloyds Banking Group said moves to increase rates on new mortgages and borrowers switching from cheaper fixed-rate deals was driving higher profits on home loans. Lloyds, which is 41% owned by the Government, saw increased income in its retail banking arm during the third quarter thanks to greater mortgage margins.

More traffic on property website

Property website Rightmove has said it had benefited from the current uncertainty in the property market. The group said the number of pages viewed during July to September was 16% higher than in the same period of 2009, which had itself been a strong period for site traffic. August was its second busiest month ever, with record numbers of people viewing the site on two days during the month.

'Cold call' firm's licence removed

A firm which illegally cold-called consumers and misleadingly claimed it could help them get their debts written off has had its licence removed by the Office of Fair Trading. Basingstoke-based Compensation Professionals Network (CPN) was not a debt management company, but a lead generation firm, which gathers information on people looking for help with debt and then sells the information on to other businesses, such as debt management firms.

Consumers lend businesses £1m

Consumer have lent £1m to businesses just 10 weeks after a new online lending platform was launched. More than 1,600 people have used Funding Circle, a platform that enables individuals to lend directly to businesses, since August.

Wheat cost hike hits food prices

A sharp rise in the cost of wheat and corn led to the biggest increase in food prices for more than a year last month, an industry body has said. The British Retail Consortium warned that more increases were on the way due to higher VAT in January. It said food prices in October were 4.4% higher than a year ago.