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Equilibrium's Finance and Investment News Roundup

After another busy week that has seen Theresa May confirmed as the next Prime Minister, we report on Ms May's battle to oversee Brexit, figures showing that UK retail spending slowed in June and claims that unarranged overdrafts can be more expensive than payday loans, as well as low house price growth in June.

 

Theresa May: Brexit means Brexit

Following her victory in the Conservative leadership contest and confirmation that she will become the next Prime Minister, Theresa May has asserted that "Brexit means Brexit", despite her backing the 'Remain' campaign ahead of the European Union (EU) referendum.

Ms May faces a difficult challenge as she looks to oversee Britain's leaving of the EU, but has said that the move must go ahead. However, she also asserted that exit proceedings should not begin until Britain is in the right position to begin negotiations. These negotiations will begin once Article 50 of the EU's Lisbon Treaty is invoked.  

Retail spending 'slowed in June due to uncertainty over EU referendum'

Uncertainty over the outcome of the EU referendum, coupled with poor weather, resulted in a slowing of UK consumer spending in June. This is according to a new survey from the British Retail Consortium, which revealed spending climbed by just 0.2% in the month compared with the same period last year, and represented a significant dip on the growth of 1.4% recorded in May.

The bad weather led to clothing and footwear sales being negatively affected, with clothing recording its slowest growth since December 2009.

David McCorquodale, Head of Retail at accountancy firm KPMG, the survey's sponsor, commented: "While the ramifications from the Brexit vote may well affect consumer confidence, retailers will be hoping the long-promised heatwave and potential stay-at-home holidays will be enough to drive shoppers back to the high-streets." 

Unarranged overdrafts 'can be more expensive than payday loans'

Which? has claimed that borrowing money on an unarranged overdraft from a bank could end up being more expensive than taking out a payday loan. The consumer group noted that a person who goes overdrawn without previous agreement to do so with their bank could face charges of up to £90.

In comparison, the maximum charge anyone who borrows £100 for 28 days from a payday loan company now stands at £22.40.

Alex Neill, Director of Policy and Campaigns at Which?, has called on the Financial Conduct Authority to take action on the matter of overdrafts, as it did with payday loans. 

June house price growth 'lowest in a year'

Annual house price growth stood at its lowest level for a year in June, new figures from Halifax have shown. The findings revealed that the growth fell to 8.4% for the month, in the period before the outcome of the EU referendum.

It was also shown that the quarterly rate of growth was 1.2%, which is the slowest recorded since December 2014.

Martin Ellis, Housing Economist at Halifax, said: "House prices continue to increase, albeit at a slower rate, but this precedes the EU referendum result, therefore it is far too early to determine any impact since."