Financial predictions for 2014

New Year
A glass of sherry in front of Hootenanny was all Covered wanted from New Year's Eve
"The Insurance Industry Access to Driver Data database will change the way drivers buy car insurance and could make quotes cheaper and more accurate"
  • | by Emily Bater

It's the season of joy, goodwill and shoe-gazing journalism where we all look back at the year - was it a good one? Will 2014 be better? Can Robin Thicke just go away?

With that in mind, Covered has been peering into its dusty crystal ball like a less-well-coiffured Mystic Meg in order to predict what 2014 has to offer the world of finance.

Payday loan companies will feel the pinch

The attack on payday loan companies coming from the direction of Parliament has been growing in recent months, and it's only going to escalate in the new year.

A committee of MPs has called for a ban on payday lenders advertising on children's television, something lender Wonga has called "a myth".

Labour leader Ed Miliband also called for a ban on advertising to children in November, and Labour MP Stella Creasy has been campaigning for tougher sanctions on payday lenders for months.

With an election looming in 2015, this is likely to become a major issue for both parties.

Scotland will vote (one way or another)

Scotland is due to vote on independence on 18 September, and the result could affect the economic stability of the United Kingdom for years to come. It'll also raise the question of what we'll be called if Scotland leaves. (Maybe we'll 'do a Prince' and become The Country Formerly Known As The United Kindgom).

The financial repercussions of Scotland exiting the UK may be huge, and it still hasn't been decided how the national debt would be divided between countries.

Then there's the debate over what currency an independent Scotland would use. Holyrood is keen on sticking with the pound, but ratings agency Fitch reckons that Scotland continuing to use the currency would be "unstable". Expect this one to run and run.

IIADD will be a big deal for car insurance

The Insurance Industry Access to Driver Data (IIADD) database is set to launch in mid 2014. It could potentially change the way drivers buy car insurance, with the potential to make quotes cheaper and more accurate.

The IIADD will give insurers access to driver's information held by the DVLA - including what type of licence a motorist holds, how long they have held it and whether they have any driving convictions - rather than leaving drivers to declare the information themselves.

This will be the first time external parties have access to a government database, and it's been estimated by the Association of British Insurers that it will save the average customer £15 on the cost of their annual policy by dramatically reducing car insurance fraud.

House prices will keep going up

The British housing market will go into 2014 on a high with mortgage lending rising by 30% in November, according to the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). In fact, RICS estimates that we're in line for an 8% rise in property prices next year.

The government's Help to Buy scheme is likely to get more applicants in the coming months, and the growing number of estate agents on high streets give a hint of what's to come…

... and so could interest rates

The Bank of England's aim to keep borrowing costs low could come crashing around Mark Carney's handsome Canadian ears next year, as interest rates could rise from their record low of 0.5%.

In an interview with the Guadian in October, chief BoE economist Spencer Dale warned that strong growth could mean rates will have to rise before 2016, when it was initially expected.

It won't be all rosy

Whatever Chancellor George Osborne says, 2014 won't see unlimited growth and the end of youth unemployment - unless something miraculous happens, it's probably going to be another year of slow and steady progress…

What are YOUR predictions for 2014? Let us know on Twitter.