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Equilibrium's finance and investment news roundup

This week's roundup looks at the introduction of the new plastic £5 note into circulation in England and Wales, as well as rises in both fraudulent insurance claims and rental costs, while a little further afield we report on China's industrial output experiencing a significant rebound.

 

New plastic £5 note enters circulation

This week sees the introduction of the new plastic £5 note into circulation in England and Wales. However, the polymer note, which is designed to be significantly more durable than the previous version of the £5 note, will only be available from certain banks and cashpoints initially, with ATMs in Manchester, London, Birmingham, Hull, Leeds and Cardiff among the first to stock them.

It means that many people will likely have to wait up to a week before they are able to get their hands on the notes, which feature former Prime Minister Winston Churchill on the back.

The notes have been developed to better withstand daily use, such as being scrunched up in pockets, folded in wallets and even left in the washing machine. The old £5 notes can still be used until May 5 2017. 

Fraudulent insurance claims 'continue to rise'

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has reported a continued climb in the number of fraudulent insurance claims in the UK. According to the ABI, there were 130,000 such claims in 2015, which represented a climb of 6% on 2014's figures.

The number of fraudulent claims increased to 2,500 a week, with dishonest motor claims comprising more than 50% of the overall number. The fastest-growing area was found to be fraudulent claims for injury, such as 'slip and trip' claims.

James Dalton, Director of General Insurance Policy at the ABI, commented: "The chances of getting caught have never been greater, and the consequences, such as a prison sentence and difficulty in getting future insurance and other financial products, have never been more severe and long-lasting." 

'Continued climb' for UK rental costs

Renting costs in England and Wales have continued to rise, climbing 5.2% higher in July this year compared to the same month in 2015. This is according to a new survey conducted by Your Move, which found that the average monthly rent paid by private tenants has increased to £846.

It was shown that the most marked climb was in the South East of England with an annual rise of 14.9%, while London was found to have the highest average monthly rent of £1,273.

Director of Your Move Adrian Gill said: "The UK's vote to leave the European Union has not caused any immediate change in the rental market, although we must wait for longer term trends to develop." 

China's industrial output rebounds

Industrial output in China has experienced a significant rebound following increased government spending and a boom for both credit and property. The National Bureau of Statistics revealed that industrial output climbed 6.3% in August compared to the same month a year earlier, representing the fastest growth for five months.

The country's steel industry has experienced considerable growth in particular, while demand for important products such as cars and coal has also picked up.