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.
US government charge man with theft of 130 million bank card details
The US government has today charged an alleged fraudster with the theft of 130 million credit and debit card details. If proven in court this will be the largest identity theft ever reported in the US and one of the largest ever in the world. It is alleged that Albert Gonzales, together with two unnamed Russian co-conspirators, managed to hack in to the payment system of prominent US retailers and...Read More
FSA extends building society deposit protection scheme
The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has today revealed that a scheme which allowed customers to protect both sets of savings where two societies merged will be extended until the end of the year. The scheme, which will see a maximum £50,000 protection level for each customer with merged building societies (protection of up to £100,000 where a client has an account with both merged parties), w...Read More
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When did you last complain about your bank?
Even though the UK financial sector touches all areas of our lives, it seems that very few people in the UK have actually followed through with their complaints regarding financial investment, financial services and the financial sector as a whole. Recent figures from the Financial Services Authority (FSA) show that while having record complaints passed to the regulator, more and more people are h...Read More
Royal Bank of Scotland set to refund overdraft fees
The Royal Bank of Scotland is the first of the main UK banks to suggest that it will proactively refund overdraft fees if the banking sector loses the latest test case. While the outcome of the test case has yet to be announced, there is speculation that the banks may well come under severe pressure to reimburse those who have been charged "illegal" overdraft fees. This is a situation which has no...Read More