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.
Unauthorised overdraft rates at 10 year high
Despite the fact that the current and the previous UK governments promised to assist UK consumers with their banking arrangements and standard of service from the financial industry, it has been revealed that the average unauthorised overdraft rate in the UK is at a 10 year high of 14.22%. When you consider this rate is against a backdrop of just 0.5% for UK base rates it really does show how expe...Read More
Alistair Darling asks investment banks to plan for doomsday scenario
In a bizarre exercise it is believed Alistair Darling has requested that all UK investment companies should be made to plan for their future demise. This is on the back of the Lehman Bros collapse which caused significant problems in a number of investment markets with over 1.5 million positions left open. The idea is that UK banks will be asked to draw up plans in the event of their demise which...Read More
Small businesses choosing retail bank accounts
Proprietors of small businesses are shunning business bank accounts in favour of standard retail offers, a new study has shown. Research conducted by price comparison web site moneysupermarket.com found that over a million small businesses are currently using a retail bank account.Kevin Mountford, head of current accounts at the site, attributed the trend to the fact that retail accounts typically...Read More
Do You Know How Much You Pay In Bank Charges?
While we have all seen the news about the banks being taken to court by disgruntled customers it seems that many in the UK do not actually know how much they paid in charge last month, over the last six months or the last year. Despite all of the warnings about fraud and potential mistakes at some UK banks it seems that far too many people are not prepared to do their bit. If you are charged an...Read More
U.K. mutuals on course for more mergers
Over the last few months we have seen problems with the West Bromwich building society, the Dunfermline building society and more recently the Chelsea building society. While a number of operations have been taken over or merged with larger partners, there is a feeling, at least in the offices of KPMG, that more mergers in the sector are inevitable. The financial sector in the UK is changing and t...Read More