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.
Cockney cash machines attract different opinions
"Fancy some moolah for ya skyrocket?" "Fancy some sausage and mash?"
These are just two phrases which are appearing on a number of London cashpoints in a bid to inject some humour into the UK economy and take consumer minds off the difficult financial situation. While there have been mixed reactions from the UK public regarding the local dialect cash machines, there ar...
MPs to probe banking practices
An influential group of MPs is to investigate claims the country's banking sector is overcharging consumers. The Treasury committee plans to probe competition in the industry as well as the perceived end of 'free' banking. Last year First Direct became the first bank to announced fees for its current accounts. There have been suggestions that banks are looking to new ways to charge customers to co...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
UK interest rates set to fall to lowest level on record
With UK interest rates set to fall below 2% this week this will officially be the lowest base rate in the 300 year history of the Bank of England. This perfectly illustrates the serious nature of the downturn in the UK economy and the government has again insisted that rates need to fall, at least in the short term, to try and kick-start an economy which is literally falling to its knees once agai...Read More
UK government seizes £4 billion of Icelandic assets in UK
In a move which has been welcomed in the UK but may well backfire in the overseas political scene it has been confirmed that the UK government has seized £4 billion of Icelandic assets held in the UK. The £4 billion figure is in excess of the £3 billion which is said to be owed to UK investors by Iceland's financial system. So what next?
While initially the Icelandic government...