Daily Archives: August 1, 2012

Kate Allen

As we have seen the UK’s mortgage market contracted slightly in 2011, driven primarily by the state-backed lenders. This comes despite considerable sums of new business being signed during the year by those banks.

According to the Council of Mortgage Lenders data, the UK’s biggest lender, Lloyds, lent £28bn in 2011, down only slightly from its 2010 total of £30bn. Yet its outstanding balances fell by £8.7bn. In simple terms, Lloyds isn’t pushing money out of the door at the same rate at which it is being paid in. You could call this the ‘churn rate’. Lloyds’ churn rate is slowing down, and it is not alone in this. Its fellow state-backed bank Royal Bank of Scotland shed a net £2.2bn, despite doing new business of £14.6bn during the year. Read more

The coalition’s drive to open access to official data was welcome, but  more needed to be done to make information comprehensible, according to a report by the House of Commons’ public accounts committee, which monitors the effectiveness of public spending.

Official willingness to publish data was not enough, the committee said, since the information provided could be rather impenetrable. Some of the data are published as very large files that cannot be opened using a conventional home computer. Other files are difficult to interpret or can be only understood with the aid of large glossaries.

“It is simply not good enough to dump large quantities of raw data into the public domain, “ said Margaret Hodge, who chairs the committee. “[Data] must be accessible, relevant and easy for us all to understand. Otherwise the public cannot use them.”

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