Blog Posts in 2013

Switch my Bank? – I’d rather not make a scene


I’m reading a fascinating book at the moment called “Watching the English” written by social researcher Kate Fox. Ms Fox’s studies focus on the ways that English people behave and over the course of a couple of hundred pages she draws out eloquently the defining characteristics of what it is to be English. Our painful ineptitude at social interaction and embarrassment about well… just about…

In Finance

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Are we there yet?


Now that we have notched up the sixth anniversary of the queues outside the Northern Rock, it would be nice to think that the end of this recession is in sight. After all, the world and his wife are pointing to all sorts of , economic indicators to suggest that whilst we might not be quite out of the woods yet, we are finally getting there. The government is telling us that things are improving, …

In Economy

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Wronga.com?


I suspect many people like myself were punching the air with joy when the new Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said he wanted to “compete out of existence” the likes of Wonga and other “PayDay Lenders” who charge very high interest rates for short term loans. I have always thought it bizarre that operators at this end of the market seemed to be allowed to do pretty well what they liked,…

In Finance | Current Affairs

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Mind your language


I’m not talking about swearing here. I’m talking about hype. I have just read an article penned by the Daily Mail in which it is claimed that house prices are “soaring”. Compared with the rather sluggish movement of house prices in recent times, the 4% growth that we have seen since the start of the year is indeed newsworthy. But is a 4% uplift “soaring”? I think not. If that were sustai…

In Current Affairs | Economy

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Sleep deprivation, motorway advertising and values


Occasionally in business you come across something that really strikes a chord. Such a thing happened to me at this year’s Building Society Conference, an event which inevitably brings late night chatting to folks in the bar, way too much rich food and, by day three, severe sleep deprivation. And so it was in a state of late-conference torpor that I wandered into a presentation by a lady na…

In Community

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