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.
Judge to give verdict in bank charges case
The High Court will today decide whether banks can continue imposing unauthorised overdraft charges. Mr Justice Smith will rule on a test case brought by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) against seven UK banks and one building society. Should he find in favour of the OFT it would clear the way for it to launch a second investigation to determine whether the charges are unfair according to the term...Read More
HSBC chief executive set to move on
Michael Geoghegan, the chief executive of HSBC, announced plans to leave the company in December amid reports of a boardroom bust-up. It would appear that Stephen Green's decision to relinquish his role as HSBC chairman has caused something of a major upset in the boardroom. If the rumours are correct, Michael Geoghegan threatened to resign if he was not considered for the role of chairman althoug...Read More
Will the Treasury select committee knockout the UK bankers?
As the show trial of the so-called "Masters of the universe" starts today, those expecting the Treasury select committee to deal a knockout blow to those at the top of the UK banking sector may well be disappointed. While there is no doubt the likes of Sir Fred Goodwin will take a serious pounding from the MP select committee this is nothing compared to the pressures and challenges they have had i...Read More
Has the UK government blocked the closure of Cheltenham and Gloucester?
Only two months ago Lloyds bank was adamant that all 164 branches of the Cheltenham and Gloucester would close as the bank sought to reduce costs and slim down for the future. However, Lloyds bank has today released a surprise statement confirming that the company is going to revisit the potential closure of the Cheltenham and Gloucester branches and until the review is complete the operation will...Read More
ZÃ¼rich authorities investigating HSBC data theft
The ZÃ¼rich authorities are said to investigating an alleged theft of data by a former employee of HSBC which has placed up to 24,000 Swiss client accounts at risk. The authorities are looking into HSBC's individual security measures and systems to see if they have been followed to the letter and indeed if any changes can be made to ensure no such allegations crop up in the future. Switzerlan...Read More