Category: Business

Government to Ban Injury Claim Referral Fee

Referral fee are incurred when a no-win, no-fee claim is shared among lawyers, claims management firms, insurance companies etc. UK government said that, payment of referral fee in case of personal injury will be banned in order to curb the compensation problem and rising insurance costs.

Justice Minister Jonathan Djanogly of UK said that, “no-win, no-fee claim system is pushing us into compensation culture”. Here the middle men are making profit which the rest of the people are end up paying high insurance premiums at high prices. This announcement is revealed after the consumer watchdog observed the UK drivers facing average insurance premium increasing up to 40 percent in a year. This is because of the increasing costs of more and more compensation claims in the country.

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT), has issued a call for evidence saying that, hundreds of pounds are paid to lawyers (if they are successful), as they can claim the cost of referral fee back from the defendant or their insurance company. But many of the claims are false and fake, and not being made what it purports to be and sometimes happens because the current system encouraging too many people to make profit from minor accidents and incidents.

Finally, the Director General of Association of British Insurers (ABI) said that, “We are very pleased that the government has listened to the insurance industry’s campaign for a ban on referral fees feeding compensation culture”. They felt it is absolutely right to ban them and OFT said it will identify the number of aspects of the motor insurance market that is raising competition or consumer issues.

Downturn of Housing Markets Hurting Financial Sector in U.S

There was a substantial slow down in the housing markets, which has been hitting the financial industry. The financial crisis of 2007-2010 also affected in the bursting of real estate bubbles around the world, which had begun in late 1990s.

The U.S housing market consists of construction, sale and resale of all residential properties across the nation. Any collapse of the U.S. Housing Bubble has a direct impact not only on home valuations, but the nation’s mortgage markets, real estate, home supply retail outlets, home builders, large institutional investors, and foreign banks which leads to the increasing the risk of a nationwide recession.

The worse conditions in the housing market can substantially impact mortgage companies such as lenders. If demand for the residential real estate falls, then obviously prices are likely to fall as well. Also, the poor conditions in the housing market might lead to a fall in interest rates, which would make each new loan, less profitable.

Companies like Countrywide Financial (CFC), Federal National Mortgage Association (FNM), Freddie Mac (FRE), Wells Fargo (WFC), Washington Mutual (WM) and other large companies in the residential mortgage market could be negatively impacted by a housing slump as the value of their mortgage portfolios decreases. Also, their revenues are directly linked to the housing markets.

Goldman Sachs Group (GS), Merrill Lynch (MER), Morgan Stanley (MS), Lehman Brothers and other investment banks are also harmed by the cause of housing slump. Most of these companies invest in the housing market either through purchasing secondary mortgages or investing in Mortgage Back Securities (MBS). Regardless, a severe housing slump is resulting in the lowering of interest-rate would impact on financial services firms of all types.

Is it Beneficial to Outsource Recruiting Process?

Outsourcing the recruiting process is nothing but entering in to Recruiting Process Outsourcing (RPO). RPO is an individual body which takes various responsibilities of recruiting/hiring of candidates for different organizations. There are lot many reasons for the companies to outsource this particular department.

The main reason would be to improve the efficiency of finding and presenting the quality candidates. When the organization do not find its existing recruiting staff good and when they do not have the time to hire new people for such responsible positions, then they tend to outsource the process either completely or partially. Another reason might be to reduce expenses and the amount of money they are spending for the salaries by taking outsourcing contracts at lower rates.

Whatever the reason might be, there would be an ever ending question in the organization’s mind that, is it beneficial to outsource such critical departments to the people who they do not know? With this intention some of the companies, tend to outsource only few process in the entire recruiting processes. Like the screening and the written test or something which they think that it is time saving and an easy way to get the candidates filtered. This is one of the best ways, since there is no direct contact with the RPO, and there is no need for the RPO hiring staff to enter the company. If it is the case, when the company wants to outsource entire hiring process, then it becomes a bit complicated for the companies. They need to allow staff from the RPO to discuss with the internal managers about the responsibilities of the positions which are open and they need access to some confidential information. In such cases the company needs to take extra care to observe the RPO staff and to make sure that they are fair enough to believe and hence can confidently outsource the hiring process.

Finally even though the company is completely or partially the hiring process it is best for them to to main consistent communication with the RPO so that they can be able to make it work in a proper way. (more…)

Effect of Content Length on Video Ad Completions

Online advertising has become the most effective tool for marketing. It may include anything from text and display advertisements. Online display advertisements, online video advertisements in particular, have more impact on the customers when compared to others. However, the online video ad completion is not only based on the length of the video but also on the length of the content surrounding it.

A study was conducted by the content delivery network, Limelight Networks, on video ads which were served during the first half of 2010. It was found that the online video ad completion rate was about 76.6% for 15-second ads and 54.8% for 30-second ads.

However, another study was conducted by the FreeWheel which is an ad management technology provider. It was conducted to find the video ad tolerance of videos with different lengths of content. The study revealed that both 15-second and 30-second ads were completely viewed at identical and higher rates when they were supported by long-form content. The completion rate for 15-second online video ads from the first quarter of 2010 to the first quarter of 2011 was found to be 91% when supported with longer content. The completion rate for the 30-second was almost similar and was 90%.

Apart from the length of the video and length of content, the position of the ad also affects the video ad completions. It was found that mid-roll ads cannot be skipped mostly and were viewed completely more than 90% of the time between Q1 2010 and Q1 2011. (more…)

What is Website Load Testing?

Website load testing is a process of testing an application against heavy loads or inputs to find out the point at which the website fails to process the application or at the point at which the websites performance degrades.

This kind of application is highly helpful for the businesses which grow rapidly and the traffic to their sites is quite high. Website load testing helps the businesses to ensure that the growth in their online business in not impacting the performance of the site. It helps you to determine how your website is behaving when multiple users hit it at same time. It also helps you to find the problems related to the server and configuration issues with web server, application server, database server, load balancer, etc.

The key Performance indicators on website load testing are the response times, requests per second, through put, error rate, and concurrent users. It also involves analyzing the data from a load balancer on the front end. This process usually requires a tool that can generate large amount of users taking certain actions against a particular domain. The main objective of this testing is to detect how the site is responding to the clicks and the page requests when the server is under heavy load.

External load testing helps to detect multiple problems such as website performance under certain loads, how many users can handle the website at the same time, to find the bottlenecks in the website, to detect whether other network components such as routers and a firewall keep up with the load, to know the time in which a visitor receives the page, to find the load point where the server crashes and so on.