The Renault Symbioz is due to be revealed in the spring, via PAThe Renault Symbioz is due to be revealed in the spring, via PA

News Round-Up

Feb 9: 262,500 car finance complaints; Starmer defends green U-turn; Renault Symbioz

  • Here are the headlines for Friday, February 9

Time 6:44 am, February 9, 2024

Martin Lewis says 262,500 emails sent after car finance complaint tool launched

More than a quarter of a million complaint emails have been sent after just one day of a free motor finance reclaim tool going live, consumer champion Martin Lewis has said.

Writing on X, formerly Twitter, Lewis said: ‘Car finance reclaiming update. Staggeringly after just 1 full day of our free complaint tool being live… 262,500 complaint emails have been sent.’

The Financial Conduct Authority has launched a major investigation into whether people could be owed compensation for being charged too much for car loans, following a high number of complaints. Full story here

Starmer defends Labour’s green U-turn

Sir Keir Starmer is defending Labour’s U-turn on its pledge to spend £28bn a year on green projects.

The Labour leader said the party had been left with no choice other than to scale back the financial policy in the face of a ‘very broken’ economy presided over by the Tories.

Sir Keir announced yesterday that the figure would be adjusted to £23.7bn over the course of the next Parliament if his party won the next election.

Peers to debate proposed law to ban conversion therapy

A proposed law to ban sexual orientation and gender identity conversion practices will be considered in the House of Lords today.

Liberal Democrat Baroness Burt of Solihull has tabled the Conversion Therapy Prohibition Bill in a bid to press ahead with implementing a ban after government efforts stalled.

It would become an offence for any person to practise, or to offer to practise, conversion therapy in the UK.

Pensions Regulator staff to stage fresh strikes in dispute over pay

Workers at The Pensions Regulator (TPR) are to stage a series of fresh strikes in a dispute over pay.

Around 400 members of the Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) will walk out for 12 days between February 28 and March 20. The workers have already taken more than 10 weeks of action.

PCS general secretary Fran Heathcote said: ‘Our hard-working members are angry at being told TPR can’t afford to give them a pay rise to help them through the cost-of-living crisis but they can afford to pay £6m to consultants, splash out almost £200,000 on fees and expenses for its chairwoman and part-time board members, and spend more than £1m on other expenses, including accommodation.’

Minimum unit price for alcohol in Scotland to increase to 65p

The Scottish government is to increase the minimum price at which alcohol can be sold by 30%.

Deputy first minister Shona Robison said the hike in the minimum unit price from 50p to 65p shows Scotland remains ‘world leading’ in working to improve public health.

She announced the change as she warned health harms caused by alcohol are still a ‘significant issue in Scotland’. The change, which has to be approved by the Scottish Parliament, won’t take place until September 30.

Bank of England rate setter: It is ‘prudent’ to assume energy prices could rise

A Bank of England rate setter has said that without the downward pressure of energy, inflation will not return sustainably to the Bank’s 2% target.

Catherine Mann said that it was ‘prudent’ to think that there might be a larger risk of energy prices rising than falling, which could help to keep inflation higher.

She was one of two members of the monetary policy committee who last week voted for rates to increase from 5.25% to 5.5%. The majority of the nine-person committee, however, voted to keep them unchanged.

Heaters that ‘could explode, cause shock or start fires’ sold on TikTok and Temu

Electric heaters that could explode, cause electric shocks or start house fires are being sold on TikTok and Temu and promoted by influencers with millions of social media followers, consumer group Which? has warned.

The watchdog bought and tested eight electric heaters costing as little as £7.20 from TikTok Shop and Temu, finding that six were electrically unsafe.

Only one of the heaters Which? tested was both safe to use in the home and legal to be sold in the UK.

Props and costumes from The Crown sell for more than £1.6m

Props and costumes from TV series The Crown have sold at auction for more than £1.67m.

The top lot at the Bonhams auction was a 1987 Jaguar, used to depict the car driven by Diana, Princess of Wales, which went for almost four times its estimate at £70,250.

All 473 lots from the hit Netflix show were sold, with the proceeds going towards scholarships at the National Film and Television School.

The Renault Symbioz is due to be revealed in the spring, via PA

Renault expands SUV range with new Symbioz crossover

Renault is to introduce a new crossover that is being named the Symbioz.

Set to be revealed in the spring, the C-segment crossover will slot between the Captur and Arkana in Renault’s increasingly crowded SUV range.

Details are still limited, but Renault has said that the SUV will only be sold as a hybrid, and it’ll use the same 143bhp 1.6-litre petrol-electric powertrain as the Clio, Captur and Arkana.

Yesterday’s headlines on Car Dealer you might have missed

Market movements

The FTSE 100 closed 33.27 points down yesterday to end the day on 7,595.48. The Cac 40 was up 54.37 points at 7,665.63, the Dax was up 41.87 points at 16,963.83, and the Dow Jones was up 48.97 points at 38,726.33.

Weather outlook

Today will see frequent spells of sleet and snow in Scotland, especially in the north, says BBC Weather. Elsewhere in the UK will have a mix of showers and bright spells, turning drier in southern England and Wales.

Saturday will be cloudy with lingering snow in northern Scotland, turning to rain. There’ll be spells of rain for most in eastern England, with scattered showers and wintry sunshine elsewhere in the UK.

John Bowman's avatar

John has been with Car Dealer since 2013 after spending 25 years in the newspaper industry as a reporter then a sub-editor/assistant chief sub-editor on regional and national titles. John is chief sub-editor in the editorial department, working on Car Dealer, as well as handling social media.

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