Sterling rise, Woodford payout, and energy complaints
In our latest personal finance news roundup for Petersfield Community Radio, I talk about a rise in the value of Pound Sterling following the election result, and the other top stories this week.
Pound Sterling and UK company shares have surged in value following the election result which gave the Conservatives a clear majority in the House of Commons. Sterling rose by 1.9% to reach $1.34, its highest level since last May. The pound also rose to a three-and-a-half-year high against the Euro. The FTSE 100 index of leading UK company shares rose by 1.5% in early trading, with the more UK focused FTSE 250 was up by 4% to reach record highs. Investors are hopeful that the new Conservative majority will resolve Brexit uncertainty.
Investors in the Woodford Equity Income fund will receive their first payments on 20th January, as the fund is wound up by administrators. Investors are due to receive a letter on 13th January, confirming the size of this initial payment. Investments in Neil Woodford’s flagship fund have been frozen since the start of June, with its underlying assets falling in value by 18.6% in that time.
Citizens Advice has reported that inaccurate or late energy bills are the biggest trigger for consumer complaints against energy providers. Inaccurate bills account for 60% of complaints, with complaints handling making up 17% and phone line waiting times at 12%. In their latest customer service ratings, the consumer charity rated Breeze Energy top, with Nabuh Energy bottom.
A ‘perfect’ collection of whisky has been placed on public sale, believed to represent the largest public collection ever offered at auction. The collection of more than 3,900 bottles of single malt Scotch will be sold by the online auction house Whisky Auctioneer in 2020. This includes very rare bottles from The Macallan, Bowmore and Springbank distilleries. The collection could fetch a hammer price of £7m to £8m. It’s been placed for sale by the family of an American businessman who died in 2014.
Research suggests we’re a divided nation at Christmas, after finding that half of UK adults who travel to see family during the festive season prefer to arrange nearby accommodation or travel home the same night, than stay with relatives. The survey, commissioned by Hodge, found that 19% of those visiting loved ones at Christmas plan to stay in holiday lets, Airbnb, or hotels. Almost a third will travel home on the same evening. 45% of Brits celebrating away from home for the holiday season will stay with family and friends – but a similar amount have absolutely no intention whatsoever of staying over.