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.
Barclays Bank system crashes
A technical fault at Barclays has caused significant problems for the bank's customers today leaving many unable to access their funds. Internet banking, telephone banking and a whole variety of cash machines were "down" this afternoon due to a hardware failure. While the situation has been resolved and the system is now fully functional many people were left stranded in shops unable to use their...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
Barclays extends Smartphone cheque scheme
05/12/2014 One million more people will be invited to take part in a scheme, which allows people to pay a cheque into their bank account by taking a photo of it on their smart phone. Barclays, who are running the scheme, have only made this available to a few thousand customers so far, but plan on extending the scheme to one million more customers thanks to its success. Customers who ar...Read More
Dunfermline Building Society rescued by government
The UK government was today forced to bail out the Dunfermline Building Society with a £70 million hit for the UK taxpayer. There have been rumours for some days that the building society had hit trouble with losses of over £26 million from alleged risky lending in the commercial sector and sub-prime loan market. The society itself has 250,000 savers and 35,000 borrowers although the UK governme...Read More
Are The Banks Choking The Buy To Let Sector?
News that the number of mortgages approved in the buy to let sector fell by almost 20% in the first six months of 2008 has not gone down well with landlords around the country. During the good times the banks were literally falling over themselves to support the sector - with heavy asset backing available to cover loans - but now house prices are falling and some tenants are suffering we are seein...Read More