Wages have fallen in real terms for the first time in three years, according to new figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS).

Inflation has had a knock-on effect on the figures, as although wages rose by 2.2% in the year to April 2017, inflation rose by more, leading to a fall of 0.4% in real terms.

The survey also found that the gender pay gap is narrowing. It now stands at 9.1%, the smallest since the ONS started collecting data on wages in 1997.

When average earnings weren’t adjusted for inflation, the survey found that wages had increased amongst the lowest earners. Wages rose by 3.5% for the lowest paid, full-time workers on last year.

People in London are paid the most, with an average weekly wage of £692, while Welsh workers took home an average of £500 a week.

In credit, record low interest rates have resulted in overall lending costs dropping following the financial crisis, but a new study has found that the average credit card interest rate has slowly increased.

New research from Moneyfacts, a money research group, has found that today’s average credit card interest (APR) of 23% is a record high. The average credit card interest rate in 2006 was 15.3%.

Moneyfacts is suggesting that the prevelance of introductory 0% deals being offered mean that credit card companies are then applying higher interest rates after the deals have expired to recoup lost interest.

In banking, the European Investment Bank has warned that, post Brexit, billions of Euros in British taxpayers’ money could remain locked in the EU bank for around 30 years.

The UK is a 16% shareholder in the Luxembourg-based European Investment Bank. It’s vice president, Alexander Stubb, said this week that the UK Government would not be fully repaid until 2054. Mr Stubb added that Brexit is a “travesty” and will result in no winners.

The UK also has £3.1billion of capital at the bank and a recent House of Lords report found that the UK’s investment could be worth £8.9billion, considering reserves and profits. Britain is not the only shareholder in the bank, as all 28 EU nations are shareholders, but the UK is the largest alongside Germany, France and Italy.

In mortgages, a treasury minister has backed a petition calling for rent payments to be taken into account as part of mortgage eligibility checks.

Stephen Barclay agreed that the fact that rent is paid on time by tenants, as well as other financial factors, should all be taken into account by mortgage lenders and credit agencies.

The petition was organised by Jamie Pogson, who said he had paid around £70,000 in rent, on time, but yet was still struggling to qualify for a mortgage.

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