Is the era of free banking officially over?
Last week's announcement by Lloyds Bank would appear to have sounded the death knell for free banking in the UK with customers now being charged a monthly fee to have in place overdraft facilities. While the issue of "free banking" has been something of a myth in all honesty, it does look as though officially more and more customers will be charged a monthly fee to obtain access to banking facilities.
Many experts believed that the era of free banking ended many years ago with the vast array of UK banks bringing in additional charges for various services. When you compare the cost of banking today compared to the cost of banking 20 years ago there is no real comparison. When you also take into account that banks have been using your savings and your money to finance their own businesses then effectively you have actually been "charged" for banking services for many years.
While officially the banks will argue that you are only being charged for additional services there is no doubt that free banking is coming to an end. So now is the time to shop around for the best deals for you and pull away from the historic trend which many UK consumers have been involved in, i.e. staying with the same banking institution for years and years.
UK government announces plans for banking carve up
The UK government has today announced plans to force Lloyds bank and Royal Bank of Scotland to disinvest themselves of various banking networks over the next four years as a means of increasing competition in the UK banking sector. This will see more companies operating in the UK financial sector but is seen by many as a case of trying to pre-empt EU Commission conditions with regards to state aid...Read More
New balance transfer system goes live
Britons will be able to make bank transfers in a matter of hours as of today, thanks to the introduction of a new system. Apacs' Faster Payment System will cut the time it takes customers to make one-off payments by phone or over the internet from the current duration of around three-days. The system is in place at Barclays, Citigroup, Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks, HSBC, Lloyds TSB, Northern Ban...Read More
Wilbur Ross sees Virgin Money on the UK high street
Richard Branson has today announced a new high-profile partner for his Virgin Money operation with US billionaire Wilbur Ross injecting £100 million for a 20% stake in the operation. The US investment guru has also promised to invest a further £500 million into a potential offer for Royal Bank of Scotland branches. This is a major landmark in the history of Virgin Money and indeed puts Richar...Read More
Should there be a commercial bank owned by the government in the longer term?
As the UK government continues to hold significant stakes in the likes of Lloyds TSB and Royal Bank of Scotland there is a growing debate as to whether the UK authorities should operate a majority controlled bank in the UK commercial sector. The ability to potentially lead from the front has attracted the attention of many MPs and regulators although there are a number of issues such as conflicts...Read More
More cash machines in low-income areas
The government's plan to introduce more cash machines in low-income areas is making "substantial progress".Some 18 months after its launch, the joint initiative between the HM Treasury and the ATM working group has seen 419 new free cash machines installed.A further 143 locations have been identified, with new ATMs on these sites planned for the end of the year.Once these latest cash machines are...Read More