Two UK Wind farm deal worth £104m agreed

A £104m deal has been agreed to buy two Scottish wind farm projects which have yet to start construction.

Greencoat UK Wind will purchase the Windy Rig and Twentyshilling schemes in Dumfries and Galloway from Statkraft upon completion.

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Work is expected to start shortly with target dates in 2021 for the turbines to become operational.

Greencoat chairman Tim Ingram said it was delighted to partner with Statkraft on the project.

“This transaction follows, and is very similar to, our recently announced Glen Kyllachy acquisition from Innogy, with acquisition completion occurring upon the successful commissioning of the wind farms,” he said.

Windy Rig – a 12-turbine project near Carsphairn – and Twentyshilling, which involves nine turbines near Sanquhar, are projects originally developed by Element Power which was acquired by Statkraft last year.

See the source imageGreencoat UK Wind is managed by renewable investment firm Greencoat Capital.

The company already has an extensive portfolio in the UK.

It either owns or has a stake in nearly a dozen wind farms in Scotland, including a 28.2% interest in the giant Clyde wind farm in South Lanarkshire.

In the Scottish Borders, it has a 51.6% stake in Drone Hill, Coldingham, and owns 100% of Carcant, near Heriot, and Langhope Rig, near Hawick.

Source: BBC News

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Selling or renting your property? First impression is key

House buyers and renters decide within few seconds whether your house is ‘the one’. Updating the front and inside of your property for instant first impression can help bring those buyers and renters in and have them hooked on your home.

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Basic updates that can give you the required first impression are;

  • Kerb appeal – make your property attractive from the road.  Mow the grass, move bins, clean windows, impressive front door with lighting’s/flower decor, and tidy the garden and surroundings.
  • De-clutter – clear out the junk and depersonalise the space. Ditch or store away personal stuffs, kids’ drawings, and unnecessary items. The main goal is for potential buyers or renters to envision themselves in your home, and they can’t do that if your stuff is everywhere they look. All signs of you should be gone and replace with special items and features that appeal to your target buyers or renters.See the source image
  • Fix or replace faulty items/workmanship – little things like switch, lighting’s, door handles, cabinet nobs, tiles, paint, wall paper can be a deal breaker.
  • Make small improvements that pack a punch – focus your attention on the kitchen, bathrooms, and flooring, you can boost a tired home’s overall appearance for less than you think.
  • Standout furniture and fittings – Where possible invest in furniture and fittings that will give lasting impression on your target buyers or renters. For example fire place, wardrobe, bath, light fittings. The aim is to have an item that gives a wow factor in almost every room.

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Meet the new Bank of England governor – Andrew Bailey

Andrew Bailey has been appointed as the next governor of the Bank of England.

Mr Bailey, aged 60, is currently chief executive of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the City watchdog.

He will become the 121st governor of the Bank of England on 16 March, taking over from Mark Carney, and will serve a full eight-year term.

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The search for the new governor began in April and Mr Bailey, who spent more than 30 years at the Bank, was seen as an early favourite for the job.

Who is Andrew Bailey?

Andrew John Bailey (born 30 March 1959) is a British central banker, who was Deputy Governor of the Bank of England from April 2013 to July 2016.
He had previously served as the bank’s chief cashier from January 2004 until April 2011. He is currently the chief executive officer of the Financial Conduct Authority.

Bailey attended Wyggeston Boys’ Grammar School, Leicester from where he went to Queens’ College, Cambridge, where he gained a BA in History and a PhD.

After university, Bailey became a research officer at the London School of Economics, before joining the Bank of England in 1985.

He has worked at the bank in a number of areas, most recently as executive director for banking services and as chief cashier, as well as head of the bank’s Special Resolution Unit (SRU). Previous roles include Governor’s private secretary, and head of the International Economic Analysis Division in Monetary Analysis.

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Since the onset of the financial crisis in August 2007 and until April 2011, Bailey was responsible for the bank’s special operations to resolve problems in the banking sector, and in 2009 was chairman and chief executive of Dunfermline Building Society Bridge Bank Ltd.

On 1 April 2013 Bailey became the chief executive of the new Prudential Regulation Authority and the first deputy governor of the Bank of England for Prudential Regulation.

On 26 January 2016, it was announced that Andrew Bailey will take over as CEO of the UK Financial Conduct Authority. He replaced Tracey McDermott, who became acting CEO after Martin Wheatley resigned following a vote of no confidence by George Osborne in July 2015.

On 3 June 2019, it was reported in The Times that Bailey was the favourite to replace Mark Carney as the new Governor of the Bank of England.

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Property Refurbishment: Should I improve or extend?

When undertaking property refurbishment, to make the decision of whether to improve or extend your existing property there are things you have to consider with cost being top of the list.  You will need to consider what your requirements really are.

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For example, here are some of the reasons why you may consider carrying out improvement and alteration, as opposed to building an extension – to:

  • Create a larger or open plan kitchen
  • Enlarge the dining room
  • Enlarge the living room or create an open plan living space
  • Create space for en-suite bathroom to the master bedroom
  • Create a utility room
  • Create a play room
  • Create more storage space
  • Create a grand entrance hall
  • Create additional bedroom

See the source imageMany properties may offer the space to achieve some of the above without the need to extend. Improvements and alterations may cost considerably less and could be carried out without the necessity of obtaining planning permission, although it is advisable to contact a professional builder or structural engineer to ascertain the structural implications when planning to remove dividing walls or chimney breasts, etc. Depending on the age of the property, and other factors associated with, for example, historic buildings, you may need to contact the planning office to ensure that you do not need planning permission to carry out the work.

If you are in two minds about extending or improving your property, it could be beneficial from a financial point of view to start off by making small non-structural improvements. This should in any case add value to your property and make it more desirable. It will also give you the opportunity to see if it meets with your requirements, and if it doesn’t you can then plan for the next option.

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Bank of England launches climate change stress test

The Bank of England has launched one of the most ambitious attempts to date to quantify the risk that climate change poses to the financial system.

Banks and insurers will face climate stress tests in a similar way to the financial stress tests they already do.

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It is a project that could ultimately result in banks and insurers having to hold more capital to do certain kinds of business.

And that could have profound effects on the way the economy is funded.

Bank officials told journalists that the value of every asset on the face of the planet will be affected by climate change. Where values change, there is financial risk and the bank wants to measure it – and then manage it.

Large banks and insurance groups will be asked to go through their balance sheets almost asset by asset to assess the risks posed by a range of climate scenarios.

The Bank of England recognises there are two types of financial risk posed by climate change. There are physical risks arising from weather related events – floods, droughts, fire, etc.

And then there are what it describes as transition risks. Things that happen as a result of adjusting to a low carbon economy – meat becoming more expensive, costs incurred in the mandatory insulation of homes.

Source: BBC News

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UK Mortgage Prisoner Action Group launches legal action over ‘unfair’ rates

Mortgage borrowers “unfairly trapped” on high interest rates when their lenders were nationalised are launching legal action against the companies they say are responsible.

Some 150,000 homeowners are said to have been overcharged for years, unable to switch to a cheaper deal after their mortgages were transferred.

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One man who says he paid an extra £32,000 said it was a “disgrace”.

The Treasury said it was working to “remove barriers” to cheaper deals.

Many of those affected – usually having taken out mortgages in the late 2000s with Northern Rock or Bradford & Bingley – have been paying more than 5% interest on their mortgages for the past 12 years.

In some cases, this amounts to more than double the cost of the best rates available on the market.

The group legal action is being taken against numerous companies.

Damon Parker, from law firm Harcus Parker, which is bringing the legal action on behalf of the UK Mortgage Prisoner Action Group, told the Victoria Derbyshire programme mortgage companies had a “duty” to offer customers a “fair rate”.

“And we say that our clients have been unfairly treated because they’re paying too much… at a time when every other mortgage customer is paying unprecedented low rates.”

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“It’s not fair to charge people just because they’re collateral damage caught up in a nationalisation.

“Some people have got into terrible financial situations. Some people have been repossessed.”

In March, the Financial Conduct Authority proposed loosening its affordability checks for those affected, saying it would “make it easier for customers to get a more affordable mortgage”.

But banks and building societies would still need to agree to take on these customers.

The Treasury said in a statement it had “worked with the Financial Conduct Authority to introduce new rules that remove barriers preventing some customers from accessing cheaper deals and continue to work on this matter”.

The group legal action, brought by the UK Mortgage Prisoner Action Group, is now looking to claim repayment of the extra interest.

Source: BBC News

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