Do I really need an overdraft?
Many people in the UK will have access to "interest-free" overdrafts for which they may be charged a small administration fee on a monthly basis. However, do we really need an overdraft or is it simply a long-term extension of our own credit facilities?
The ideal of an overdraft should simply be access to emergency credit at very short notice. However, it can be very easy to fall into the trap of accumulating your overdraft facility with your income on a monthly basis to arrive at "accessible credit limits". This can often lead to situations where we fall into our overdraft facility earlier and earlier each month which can often lead to extended overdraft facilities which are often more expensive and attract higher interest rates.
Even an interest-free overdraft facility, although often very useful at the time, can be the first step towards more debt and more charges in the future. We all need to be vigilant and keep within our budgets and not automatically assume that our overdraft facilities are part of our "everyday budget". It is easy to suggest that a £100 overdraft is simple to pay back but this could become £200, £300, etc and the situation can easily get out of control.
OFT to review barriers to enter UK banking sector
The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has today announced a wide-ranging review of the various barriers to entry for the UK banking sector. This comes at a time when the UK government, and the previous government, is looking to increase competition on the high street and competition in the UK banking arena in particular. There are specific areas which the OFT will look at including the regulatory envir...Read More
Halifax attracts the wrath of UK consumers
The Halifax financial operation, now part of the Lloyds banking group, has today attracted significant criticism from the general financial sector as well as UK consumers. In response to the ever-changing banking arena, which has been heavily influenced by recent consumer crusades, the Halifax will from 6 December be charging each and every customer for various financial services which until now m...Read More
Building societies are best, says BSA
Local building societies can have a number of advantages over national banking institutions, the Building Societies Association (BSA) has told consumers. Adrian Coles, the director-general of the BSA, listed high levels of service, a good understanding of local markets, tailor-made products and knowing their customers as some of the advantages of banking with a building society.Mr Coles added tha...Read More
FSA defends actions over Dunfermline Building Society debacle
While the FSA has again come in for significant criticism with regards to its handling of the Dunfermline Building Society break up and take over, the authority has defended its actions on all counts. In a surprise move it was revealed that the FSA has been monitoring the commercial loan book of the Dunfermline Building Society since 2005 when concerns were first raised.
Those who f...
Has Gordon Brown broken the Iceland economy?
As the political tension between the UK and Iceland continues to build up the Icelandic government has accused Gordon Brown of wrecking their economy after a dramatic fall in the country's currency after comments attributed to the UK government. It seems to be the comments that Iceland was 'affectively' in default of payments that spooked the markets and led to a run on the currency.