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.
CMA launches bank account competition investigation
06/11/2014 The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) have announced a full competition enquiry into current account and small business banking markets, as they aim to boost competition in the high street. The CMA will be investigating lack of transparency in the sector, as they believe complex overdraft charges make it tough for consumers to find the best deal. Fewer customers seem to be...Read More
Is your bank safe?
As rumours and counter rumours regarding the FSA's stress tests continue to circulate the market many people are starting to look towards their own financial investments and whether there financial representative is strong enough to survive. While it is very easy to get carried away with the headlines of stress test failures etc it is worth remembering that the UK government cannot afford to see t...Read More
Computer systems fail at Nationwide
Nationwide has become the latest financial organisation to suffer a system failure, which has meant customers are unable to access online banking as well as account details in branches. The building society has apologised to customers who have been affected and said it will look to sort the problem out as quickly as possible. This is not the first time that customers of Nationwide have had...Read More
Irish government attempts to reduce the number of banks in the country
In a move which may yet be instigated in the UK it has been confirmed that the Irish government has been actively encouraging the merger of smaller banking operations with some of their larger counterparts. While no specific names have been mentioned the government has taken the decision that the sector can only survive with the assistance of the larger banks as many of the smaller operations are...Read More
Is HBOS planning significant branch closures?
It has been revealed in the weekend press, although as yet unconfirmed, that HBOS (now part of the Lloyds bank group) is looking to close around 300 Halifax branches. As we covered in one of our recent post, slowly but surely HBOS has been reducing its exposure on the UK high street with a fairly slow and fairly low-key closure of some branches. However, the revelation that up to 300 branches may...Read More