Thousands of homeowners in their 50s used high-interest equity release loans last year to unlock cash from their properties. But experts have warned that interest payments could erode the total value of the properties leaving retirees unable to downsize and with no inheritance to pass onto children.
The products are growing in popularity, but financial experts are concerned that people are accessing equity release too early and some are calling for the minimum age to be increased to 60 or higher. Although borrowers are given a table to show the exact amounts involved, many will not attach importance to this. It is only when they have died, and the family come along to find the inheritance is much reduced, that complaints will occur. Advisers encourage family members and potential beneficiaries to be involved from the outset to avoid this time-bomb. With longer life expectancies, the time available for debts to increase is longer than it used to be so debts will be higher.
Investigations into cryptocurrency firms by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) have surged by three-quarters this year, as the agency tightens the rein on the crypto sector. According to research from Pinsent Masons, an international legal firm, active investigations into cryptocurrency firms have surged to 87 companies in 2019 from just 50 a year prior. The rise in investigations reflects the FCA’s increasingly hands-on and no-nonsense approach to enforcing the law in the cryptocurrency market. For cryptocurrency businesses acting lawfully these statistics will be encouraging – they want bad actors pushed out. The FCA’s crackdown on businesses operating on its regulatory perimeter will instil a degree of confidence that products reaching consumers are less likely to be scams. Still, crypto scams are incredibly prevalent, often ramping up within bull cycles as more eyes get drawn to the sector. It’s become such an issue on Twitter that the platform recently launched a new policy to help shut down what they term, “money flipping schemes.” This particular scam urges unsuspecting investors to send a relatively small amount of crypto in return for a much larger reward; with scammers often using a fake celebrity account as bait. Incredibly, an estimate from the city of London police suggests that investors lose around £74,000 per day due to various cryptocurrency rackets.
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