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.
Germany put pressure on UK with total bank guarantee scheme
Slowly but surely we are seeing more and more European governments announcing full savings deposit protection schemes which will see savings protected in their entirety in the event of any bank collapse. This is putting pressure on the UK government to follow suit but there seems to be a resistance to such a scheme, well at least for the moment.
Gordon Brown and the opposition part...
Barclays Looks To Change Overdraft Service
In a move which looks very interesting in theory but may not be as good in practice, Barclays Bank has announced a number of changes to the way it deals with unauthorised overdrafts. Currently those who exceed their overdraft will be charged £35 and interest of 27.5% on the amount in question. However there are big changes afoot in an attempt to sweeten the impact of a possible loss in the high...Read More
Will we see more mergers in the financial sector?
While the financial sector has been the main recipient of various mergers and takeovers during the last few months there is a feeling that we may well see further mergers and acquisitions in 2009. Many people believe that 2008 saw the top of the mergers and acquisitions market as a means of ensuring the smooth running of the financial markets at a time when liquidity and capital assets were under...Read More
Financial Ombudsman criticises UK banks
The Financial Ombudsman has today issued a report on the UK banking sector and the way in which potentially legitimate complaints are handled. It is believed that tens of thousands of perfectly plausible and reasonable complaints are either ignored or "kicked into the long grass" by the banking arena in the UK. The allegations are serious to the extreme because ultimately the Financial Ombudsman i...Read More
Do you keep your PIN number hidden?
A report by Which? magazine has highlighted the risks which many UK credit card and debit cardholders are taking with the revelation that many actually write down their pin numbers. A large number of people in the UK tend to keep their pin numbers in wallets, handbags or even type them into their mobile phones leaving themselves at significant risk of fraud and theft. It is believed that around...Read More