This week the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has said that tougher rules are need to protect investors who use crowdfunding platforms.

The FCA reviewed the market and found some weaknesses, including the difficulties investors have in comparing crowdfunding sites with each other due to “complex and often unclear product offerings”.
The regulator said that it was too difficult to assess the risks and returns of investments and suggested applying mortgage lending standards to loan-based platforms.

Crowdfunding platforms offer ordinary consumers equity in a new start-up or offers to lend them money. Around one in five crowdfunded businesses fail.

In mortgages, this was the week that HSBC pulled its “cheapest-ever” mortgage deal and raised the rates on its other mortgage products.

Many economic commentators have said that it could be a sign that the record low interest rates are about the rise.

Also, this week Halifax building society’s monthly house price index has found that UK property prices increased in November, 6% up on the same time last year.

The cost of the average home in the UK is £218,002.

This 6% rise is in contrast with the figures of rival building society Nationwide, who reported growth of 4.4%. Prices increased by 0.2% in October, and were up by 0.8% in the three months to the end of November compared with the previous quarter.

In pensions, it was reported this week that 2017 could be a tough year for final-salary pension schemes. A review of the sector by the Pension Protection Fund (PFF) said that many are simply “treading water”.

The future of final-salary schemes has been highlighted this year after the collapse of BHS and the readjusting of the pension schemes of Tata steelworkers.

The PPF said that the collective deficit was little changed and fluctuations since the Brexit referendum and the economy would create further problems.

In personal finance, the Money Advice Trust has said that less than a third of people it surveyed had a budget for Christmas, with a third borrowing to pay for the festive season.

The Trust said that people should plan for the festive season and that building up a savings buffer is key to paying for expensive times of the year. (Click here to listen to Seer Green Director, Siobhan Thomas discuss Christmas budgeting on BBC Radio Wales.)

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