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.
Females failed by UK banks
Women are not being targeted effectually by the banking sector, according to a study by Accenture, which believes that females could be the most profitable market for retail banks.According to the research, 55 per cent of women have financial products with at least two banking institutions. Moreover, 52 per cent revealed that they would probably switch providers if a bank was offering tailored pro...Read More
Does the UK government support splitting UK banks?
While Mervyn King's comments earlier in the week regarding a potential splitting of UK banks between risky and less risky operations received very short thrift from the UK government there is a feeling that forthcoming banking capital rules may well produce a similar scenario. Quite why the government and Mervyn King appear to be at so different ends of the spectrum is a mystery when evidently the...Read More
Government U-turn on post offices
The government has intentionally leaked plans for the UK Post Office network to the press this week amid signs that a massive U-turn is underway. After initially looking to downsize the Post Office, sell-off the more profitable areas and withdraw from many local communities, Lord Mandelson is believed to be pushing ahead with new plans to make the UK Post Office network a "mini community bank". So...Read More
Savers question the wisdom of Building Societies
As the dust starts to settle on the takeover the Cheshire and Derbyshire building societies by the much larger Nationwide Building Society it seems that all is not well with customers of the two smaller societies. Left with no choice they will now see their investments merged with Nationwide but unfortunately many will see the amount guaranteed by the Financial Service Protection Scheme (FSPS) fa...Read More
Is Northern Rock heading back to the mutual sector?
The future of Northern Rock is shrouded in mystery today after the Labour Party issued a pledge in its manifesto which could see the company return to the mutual sector. It is believed that the Labour Party is in favour of allowing depositors to retain ownership of the company via a takeover by another mutual or indeed to encourage the likes of Richard Branson to adopt a mutual society model if he...Read More