OFT tells firms to stop using misleading 'helpline' names

Businesses offering credit services must not mislead customers into believing they are a charity or government body by using names such as "helpline" or "debtline", the trading watchdog said today.

Money Insider: Balance transfers can be wise – but tread carefully

With the UK economy barely out of recession and unemployment at a 17-year high, you'd expect credit card providers to be treading a more cautious line to prevent bad debts and write-offs from eating into their profit margins.

OFT sets out new code of conduct

New guidance from the Office of Fair Trading could herald the end of unwanted emails, texts and answer-machine messages offering debt management advice or credit-rating help.

Yes Loans' licence revoked

Payday loan firm Yes Loans has had its licence revoked after using "deceitful and oppressive business practices", the trading watchdog said today.

Watchdog to probe payday lenders

Britain's payday lenders are to be investigated by the consumer watchdog amid fears they are preying on those in financial trouble.

Pawnbroker to target the Rolex brigade

The UK's largest pawnbroker, H&T, is targeting upmarket customers who have fallen on hard times, and is eyeing shops in affluent areas.

Biggest pawnbroker targets the affluent

The UK's largest pawnbroker, H&T, is targeting upmarket customers who have fallen on hard times, and is eyeing shops in affluent areas.

Unsecured debt falls for third year in a row

British families are struggling under £8,000-worth of debt – even after three years’ of paying off loans and plastic cards.

Britons pay off debts as austerity bites

Austerity Britain dug into its savings to pay for Christmas as shoppers left the plastic alone and paid off debts at the fastest rate for nearly 20 years in December.

Bank of England figures point to extended squeeze on spending

The prospect that Britain can borrow its way back to growth dimmed yesterday with official new data showing that consumer credit was flat last month, as the money supply notched up a record monthly decline.

Government refuses to cut high charges

An official review of credit has given the green light to excessive interest.

An independent girls’ school:
when parents can’t pay the fees grandparents or the schools themselves can offer help

Even the wealthy can be hit by a debt disaster

What happens when the school fees and BMW repayments can't be met? Neasa MacErlean on the middle-class poor

David Prosser: Why your country needs you to spend

Outlook: Margaret Thatcher famously used to compare the Government's stewardship of the public finances to a housewife's careful marshalling of the family budget. It was as daft a comparison then as it is today: the fact that governments have such good access to credit is hugely useful since it allows them to run deficits during tough times, providing the economy with a stabiliser (the corollary, of course, is that they need to run a surplus when the environment improves). Households, by contrast, get into difficulty quickly and often disastrously if they continue to rack up borrowing when their finances are squeezed.

Banks tell 'at risk' borrowers to spend less or lose their homes

Mortgage payments should be top priority for customers, say lenders
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General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

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Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
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Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
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Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
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Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
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