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.
Will the HBOS saga ever end?
As the Scottish government continue to cause problems for the Lloyds TSB bank and HBOS merger this has attracted a furious response from HBOS which is accusing the Scottish government of using the company as a political pawn. Members of the Scottish parliament have been very vocal in their opinion that one or more alternative bids will appear over the next couple of weeks and this has a serious ch...Read More
Are packaged bank accounts really worth it?
As many elements of "free banking" start to disappear from the UK financial scene there are concerns that some packaged bank accounts are not worth the extra money. The vast majority of UK banks offer a service which, for a small payment per month, will give the customer access to a range of insurance policies and other services at "at no extra cost". These include amongst others, travel insurance...Read More
Are International Banking Procedures Blocking Overseas Trade?
A recent survey from Travelex Global Business Payments has blown a hole in the belief that it has never been easier to transfer money around the world. The survey revealed that 1 in 5 UK businesses spend at least 4 days a month trying to unravel and understand overseas banking payments while a massive 52% has experienced serious problems over the last 12 months.
While we have all b...
Icelandic government now in control of Landsbanki
News that the Icelandic government has seized control of the country's second largest banking operation, Landsbanki, does not bode well for the immediate future of the Icelandic financial sector. While normally this would not have registered in the UK press it seems as though many thousands of UK customers have become embroiled in the saga.
Landsbanki has an internet business, whic...
Danish Bank Does A Northern Rock!
News that Roskilde Bank in Denmark has been saved from the jaws of collapse by a government led bailout has brought back disturbing memories of the Northern Rock debacle in the UK. While this is the second Danish bank which has required third party assistance the Roskilde Bank is actually one of the majors, being the 8th largest in the country, against a relatively small operator earlier this yea...Read More