Peer-to-peer lending via the internet hits £250m

From 2012, however interesting model…..

Lending via three websites that link savers with borrowers – bypassing the banking system – has topped £250m.

The “new age” finance carries no protection for deposits, but is being tipped as a serious threat to traditional banks.

The peer-to-peer sites are led by Zopa, which has lent more than £200m since it started in 2005.

via BBC News – Peer-to-peer lending via the internet hits £250m.

PayPal Tests QR Codes In Shop Windows; Mobile Check-Ins At Stores For Personalized Service | TechCrunch

PayPal is rolling out a number of payments pilots this week in international markets, showcasing the company’s mobile payments technologies. We’ve seen PayPal test payments technologies before larger rollouts — the company recently did this with its in-store payments technology at Home Depot and a deal with McDonald’s.

via PayPal Tests QR Codes In Shop Windows; Mobile Check-Ins At Stores For Personalized Service | TechCrunch.

Scam plays on utility bill angle

Utility companies throughout the United States and Canada are warning their customers that scammers are calling residents and impersonating utility staff, claiming to be collecting on late bills.Here’s how the scam works. Your phone rings, and the person on the other end claims to be a representative from your local electric, water or gas company. You’re told that you need to pay immediately or your utilities will be disconnected.However, instead of accepting payment by credit card or check, the caller wants you to pay by prepaid debit card. The scammer instructs you to obtain a prepaid debit card and then call back.

via Scam plays on utility bill angle – southbendtribune.com.

Face of bankruptcy: older and deeper in debt, study finds – The Globe and Mail

Canadians who end up having to declare bankruptcy are increasingly older and deeper in debt, says a new study.A review of about 7,000 personal insolvency filings from 2011 and 2012 indicates that the typical insolvent person is a 43-year-old male with more than $61,000 in unsecured debt, according to Hoyes, Michalos & Associates Inc., an Ontario consumer proposal and trustee in bankruptcy firm.

via Face of bankruptcy: older and deeper in debt, study finds – The Globe and Mail.

Canadians Keeping Ahead of Their Debts, But Risks Remain – Canada Real Time – WSJ

Canadians keep getting new credit cards. And, despite all he worries about record-high household debt, they keep paying them off.Overall consumer credit, excluding mortgages, has grown robustly in the years since 2009, but delinquency and default rates have remained at low levels, according to credit-card data released Thursday by credit rater Equifax and Moody’s MCO +1.84% Analytics.

via Canadians Keeping Ahead of Their Debts, But Risks Remain – Canada Real Time – WSJ.

Freaky meat-eating sponge discovered – Technology & science – Science – OurAmazingPlanet | NBC News

A new carnivore shaped like a candelabra has been spotted in deep ocean waters off California’s Monterey Bay.

The meat-eating species was dubbed the “harp sponge,” so-called because its structure resembles a harp or lyre turned on its side.

via Freaky meat-eating sponge discovered – Technology & science – Science – OurAmazingPlanet | NBC News.

Meet the New Boss: Big Data – WSJ.com

When looking for workers to staff its call centers, Xerox Corp. XRX +0.90% used to pay lots of attention to applicants who had done the job before. Then, a computer program told the printer and outsourcing company that experience doesn’t matter.

The software said that what does matter in a good call-center worker—one who won’t quit before the company recoups its $5,000 investment in training—is personality. Data show that creative types tend to stick around for the necessary six months. Inquisitive people often don’t.

via Meet the New Boss: Big Data – WSJ.com.

Swedish minister ‘not alarmed’ by household debt levels | Reuters

Sweden does not need drastic steps to bring down household borrowing, the financial markets minister said on Tuesday, taking a more relaxed attitude than some central bankers who see consumer borrowing as a cause for not cutting interest rates.

Swedes have debts equal to about 170 percent of disposable income and several rate-setters have expressed concerns that the level is a risk to economic stability.

“Debt levels are high but not alarming,” Financial Markets Minister Peter Norman told Reuters.

via UPDATE 1-Swedish minister ‘not alarmed’ by household debt levels | Reuters.

New real-estate fad: the all-cash head fake – MarketWatch

Pay cash for your next home or get a mortgage? Some wealthy home buyers are choosing both.

It’s called delayed financing, in which buyers pay cash for a home and then take out a mortgage soon after closing. Rarely used even two years ago, experts say it has picked up over the past 12 months.

“It was an extremely unusual phenomenon, but it’s going on quite a bit now,” says Jack McCabe, an independent housing analyst in Deerfield Beach, Fla.

via New real-estate fad: the all-cash head fake – MarketWatch.

Household debt not biggest worry | Business | Reuters

Canada’s soaring consumer debt is backed by solid assets, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said on Thursday, saying he was more worried about economic problems outside the country.Canadian households now owe C$1.65 for every dollar earned, a record level that has raised alarm among policymakers. Much of the debt is in mortgages as consumers take advantage of nearly five years of low interest rates to buy homes.

via Harper says household debt not his biggest worry | Business | Reuters.

US regional growth: U-Haul Names Houston as Top 2012 U.S. Destination City

U-Haul International, Inc., today released the results of the annual 2012 U-Haul National Migration Trend Report, titled “The U-Haul 2012 Top 50 U.S. Destination Cities.” According to moving data reflective of nationwide statistics for calendar year 2012, families moving to Houston took the No. 1 spot again, for the fourth year in a row. For the third year in a row, Orlando, Fla. took the No. 2 spot; and Chicago and Las Vegas ranked No. 3 and 4 respectively, while San Antonio came in at No. 5, for the second year in a row. Austin, Texas; Brooklyn, N.Y.; Philadephia, Pa.; Kansas City, Mo. and Sacramento, Calif. rounded out the top 10.

via U-Haul: About: U-Haul Names Houston as Top 2012 U.S. Destination City.