Uk Somalis Uncomfortable After Kenya Attack

A logo hangs outside a branch of Barclays bank in London July 30, 2013. REUTERS/Toby Melville

Credit: Reuters/Toby Melville LONDON | Fri Oct 11, 2013 3:28pm BST LONDON (Reuters) – All but one of Britain’s major lenders have signed up to the government’s “Help to Buy” mortgage guarantee scheme after Barclays Plc said on Friday it would join the programme. Barclays said it was still working on the details of when it will launch offers under the scheme, and what types of loans will be covered. Britain’s mortgage guarantee plan, launched earlier this week, is designed to help people get on the property ladder with as little as a 5 percent deposit. The government hopes it will boost construction and the broader economy, as well as prove popular with the public before an election in 2015. Critics say it will do little more than raise prices, putting first-time homebuyers in an even trickier position and fuelling another housing bubble as the economy picks up speed Annual house price inflation in Britain is running at more than 6 percent, according to the Halifax index, with parts of London seeing double-digit gains. The government is willing to put 12 billion pounds of taxpayers’ money on the line, potentially supporting 130 billion pounds on new mortgage lending. But take-up may be far lower, particularly if the rates on offer – currently around 5 percent – don’t come down. RBS, Lloyds, HSBC and Santander UK are all already signed up for the scheme which, in exchange for a fee, will give banks greater protection against losses. Customer owned Nationwide, one of the few lenders already offering mortgages to buyers with small deposits, is the only big lender yet to commit. Under the scheme, lenders can choose to participate in three loan-to-value bands, but must then put all eligible loans they originate into the scheme. Most interest so far has been in the most risky 90-95 percent loan-to-value band. In addition, buyers have to pass strict affordability and stress tests, meaning many applicants may be turned down.

Nintendo UK: Lack of consumer understanding the reason for Wii U sales issues

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In an interview with MCV-UK , Nintendo UK marketing head Shelly Pearce said there were misconceptions about what the Wii U is when it launched last November, especially in marketing to mothers that the machine is indeed a new console and a new controller. In terms of the marketing work weve done against dads, there is now a pretty good understanding there, Pearce said. But many moms dont know what this is. Theyre buying what theyre advised to and going into shops, so we are relying a lot on retail to explain that this is a new piece of hardware. Pearce said the messaging issue has been the biggest hurdle for the Wii U, but Nintendo is encouraged by the fact that the Wii is still the format of choice for some households and is the No. 1 console for brand awareness in the UK. Late last month Nintendo revealed that it would using a media blitz to target customers who purchased a Wii through British retailer Tesco essentially the UK version of Walmart informing them about the Wii U. You can read that full Examiner report here. Through the insight from the Tesco deal that we know families are still playing and have not bought anything else yet. So its a great opportunity if we can get the job right in educating people, Pearce said. Pearce said she doesnt really believe price has been the underlying issue of the slow Wii U sales, and that this upcoming peak consumer season Nintendo should have an value advantage. Wii U will be at a slightly lower price than last year and comparatively it will look a little cheaper because of all the other consoles coming out that are more expensive, Pearce said. But value is the important message.

I cancelled my summer travel plans. I don’t want that experience again,” he said in a barely audible voice,making sure patrons at the eatery didn’t hear him. Less than two kilometres away from the restaurant, on a third-floor music studio, sits British-Somali musician Aar Maanta. Maanta, who sings about issues affecting Somalis in the diaspora and haswrittena song about the treatment of Somalis at airports by immigration and security officials, ispreparing for the first UK-wide tour by a Somali musician. He saidthings were tough before for the community but now, withtheattack in Nairobi, it will only get worse. “Some people haveafear of flying, others have fears of missing flights us young Somali men, we have fears of security officials. I have lost countofthe number of times I have been stopped at UK ports of entry,” he said while clutching a kaban – a pear-shaped stringed instrument used in Somali music – in his left hand. “One time I was interrogated alone in a room and released after eight hours. No one has ever told me why it keeps on happening to me and not tothenon-Somali members of my band,” he added. Like Muse,Aar said all the questions he is asked have to do with al-Shabab and terrorism.”I’m a musician. Terrorists don’t like music or musicians. I’m the last person they should ask these questions,” he said. With fragile peace returning to Mogadishu after the Islamist group withdrew from the war-weary city,many UK citizens of Somali origin are travelling back to visit family members who did not fleethe war, and to assess potential business opportunities in Somalia.