Credit Rating Downgrades…

Credit Rating Downgrades…

Lots of news this week surrounding banks and how some have had their credit ratings downgraded by ratings agency, Moody’s.  These moves are a consequence of the on-going Eurozone crisis and weak economic performances.  Despite low interest rates and falling LIBOR (London InterBank Offered Rate), the impact on the costs of borrowing funds, for the banks that have been downgraded, will increase.  And of course, the increase will only be passed in one direction – the end consumer.

Royal Bank of Scotland, Barclays and HSBC were three banks in the UK among the downgrades, which ranged from one to three notches.  Moody’s also downgraded 28 Spanish banks, including giant Banco Santander.  Three were downgraded by one notch, 11 downgraded by two notches, 10 banks by three and six banks by four notches! 

The Council of Mortgage Lenders has reported that the number of first-time buyer loans dropped by 48% in April, compared to March.  They put this as a result of the Stamp Duty concession coming to an end.   According to the latest figures, 12,600 loans were advanced to first-time buyers in April with the average loan being £98,000 and first-time buyers typically borrowed 3.12 times their income (down from 3.34 in March).

According to, it’s cheaper to own than rent!  It now costs 14% more per month on average to rent a home compared to servicing a mortgage on an equivalent property, say the property website.

And finally…. AToM has been heavily involved in the local Set4Success initiative.  Working in partnership with Horsham District Council, Horsham Rotary Club, Horsham Schools and local businesses, Set4Success assists Horsham District’s young sportspeople with funding for training and competing.   It was great to see so many people at South Lodge recently as the sporting achievements of 21 young local sports people were celebrated, with special guest Sophia Warner, Paralympic sprint champion, presenting the Awards.  AToM are delighted to be a founding business sponsor of this charity.  Patrons include Chris Nash, Gemma Spofforth, Sarah-Jane Honeywell, Dave Benson-Philips, Lord Lytton and others!  To find out more or to see how you can get involved, visit