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Faster bank transactions scheme
A new scheme promising faster bank transfers for telephone and internet transactions has gone live. The £300m Faster Payments Service has been developed by 13 banks and will allow customers to make one-off payments of up to £10,000 that will leave the account and reach the destination account on the same day. ... more

Pension life expectancy up
Many UK companies now assume future male pensioners will live until the age of 87, an increase of one year since 2006, according to research by accountancy firm KPMG. The assumed life expectancy has risen steadily from 83 in 2004, but KPMG warned that the Pensions Regulator wants employers and pension schemes to work on the basis that men will reach 89. ... more

CML predicts property price fall
The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) has forecast a 7% fall in house prices over the course of 2008. The organisation expects there to be 35% fewer transactions than in 2007 as falling prices and restrictions in bank lending meant people stayed put. ... more

Retail sales fall in April
Retail sales in the UK fell by 0.2% in April, representing the first back-to-back fall since January 2006, data from Office for National Statistics revealed. The rate was an improvement on the 0.4% fall in March, when figures were hit by wet weather and an unusually early Easter. ... more

Advance rail ticket launched
Train travellers pre-booking tickets will now receive an ‘advance ticket’ as part of a new scheme to simplify the ticketing system. The new ticket replaces a range of previous tariffs including Leisure Advance, Value Advance, Business Advance and Apex. ... more

Warning over UK food prices
The UK is more at risk of the impact of high food prices than many other countries, according to Ernst & Young’s Item Club. World food prices have soared in recent years, due partly to rising demand from China and land previously used for food production being use to produce crops for biofuel, as well as adverse weather conditions in large parts of the world. ... more

Body calls for tax consultation
The Chartered Institute of Taxation has called on the government to consult multinational companies on proposed tax changes and keep compliance burdens to a minimum if it wants them to remain based in the UK. The organisation believes inadequate pre-consultation on changes that have been made in successive Budgets and pre-Budget reports have forced international businesses to regularly rearran... more

Property sales to fall 40%
Property sales in the UK could fall by as much as 40% this year, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has warned. The organisation also predicted that house prices would fall by 5% in 2008, which in turn would cut consumer spending by 8%. ... more

FSB proposes fuel price plan
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has called for the government to pass on the extra revenue it receives through high oil prices to motorists by cutting the price of fuel. Accountancy firm Grant Thornton has calculated that for every $4 per barrel that oil exceeds the predicted price, the Treasury receives £1.5m every day and has made £450m in extra revenue in the 50 days since the Bu... more

Credit crunch hits Barclays
The impact of the credit crunch has forced Barclays to take a further £1bn writedown on assets and warn shareholders that profits for the first quarter of 2008 will be less than last year. But the bank stopped short of asking shareholders for additional cash through a rights issue, although it did keep this option open in a statement. ... more

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