Tony Hazell  

Is the FCA changing the face of mortgages?

Tony Hazell

Tony Hazell

My initial surprise was that I was bombarded with "friend" requests from people I hardly knew.

It seems that in the digital age some people no longer know the difference between a friend, a colleague, an acquaintance and a business contact.

So, if over the years I have ignored your request, it is that I regard you as one of the latter three – sorry if you thought we were closer but I am sure you will get over it.

I am perhaps most astonished by people who publish holiday pictures while on holiday. 

Are their accounts open to ‘friends of friends’, I wonder, thereby announcing to the world that their home is probably empty and awaiting the attentions of the nearest burglar? Do insurance companies check for this when a claim is made?

My Facebook page, which I rarely go near, does not say where I live, where I was educated and I certainly will not tell you when I am on holiday. I like to keep my family life private. 

Auto-enrolment is no panacea

The Family Resources Data survey reveals that just 16 per cent of the self-employed saved for a pension through auto-enrolment in 2016/17; hardly surprising in a way as they are not eligible.

The self-employed have always presented a problem where pensions are concerned because irregular income streams could make them reluctant to commit to regular savings – especially when old-style schemes had such harsh penalties for those who stopped saving.

They often have other priorities such as investing in their business.

I do not see how auto-enrolment for the self-employed could work unless it is run via the National Insurance or tax system.

And that would surely be very unpopular.

This may be one case where our old friend education is the best weapon.

Tony Hazell writes for the Daily Mail's Money Mail section