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November in review: a snapshot of the finance stories you need to know

ClearScore brings you the finance stories you need to know from November.

This month’s top story was, of course, George Osborne’s spending review. The biggest surprise was undoubtedly the full U-turn on the proposed reduction of tax credits, a move which will be welcomed by thousands of families across the country. There was also good news for those looking to get on the housing ladder with a commitment to build 400,000 new homes in England and the offer of an interest free loan of up to 40% for first time buyers in London under the help to buy scheme.

While Mr Osbourne was grappling with the nation’s finances, new research revealed that compared to most countries, the nation is pretty good at managing their own. Lloyds Bank has found that increasing numbers of people are successfully managing their loans and credit with 84% of people saying they are confident or very confident that they can pay off their loans.

This confidence looks well placed, as a major global study finds that the UK is leading the way in financial literacy levels. Standard & Poor’s research, which interviewed 150,000 people across 140 countries, found that the UK is the 6th most financially literate country in the world. Curious how good your own financial literacy skills are? City AM has a great five question quiz to test your financial know-how.

Please do remember, though, if you find that your own personal debts are getting the best of you in the run up to Christmas, the Money Advice Service is there to help with free advice and tolls to help you budget and manage your money.

This month we have seen yet more data breaches from well known brands, with customers of Hilton Worldwide having card numbers and expiry dates stolen and Amazon resetting customer passwords after a potential breach.

These incidents show that no retailer can be 100% secure so it is understandable that this year Black Friday has caused a lot of security concerns for many consumers. Cyber attacks by online retailers spiked by 25% leading up to Black Friday according to anti-fraud company ThreatMatrix. Retailers were also on high alert for a malware virus called Modpos malware which can steal card payment details in digital tills.

If you are ever worried about shopping online securely, it is worth remembering that using credit cards rather than debit cards give you much better legal protection on larger purchases. You should also make sure to regularly check your credit report (you can do so for free with us!) and if you see any items on it that look suspicious you should report them immediately to Action Fraud.


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