In The Daily Telegraph on Saturday, there was a good article by Laura Suter about just how many first time buyers are missing out on the benefits of the Lifetime ISA. It’s a good article but reading it highlights just how complicated the product is and how many rules need to be followed in order to benefit from the government bonus. Surely this has to be a key reason why so few people are taking up this very generous opportunity.
Another savings story in The Daily Telegraph questioned whether misleading names of accounts may be one of the reasons that so many people don’t switch from uncompetitive accounts. If you are in an account called Liquid Gold or Premium Saver, perhaps you would be forgiven for assuming you have a decent savings account - but this is very often not the case at all.
As feared, the TSB issue is still rumbling on and The Financial Times has said that TSB should now stand for ‘Time to Switch Banks’. The article takes a look at alternative current accounts that customers of TSB may wish to switch to – or just to have as a backup.
The Times, among others, wrote about the expectation of more savings misery, as there is now pretty much no likelihood of a base rate rise this Thursday (10th May 2018). In fact, some reports are suggesting that that the Bank of England may delay its rate rise plans indefinitely.
While we are still hoping for a base rate rise as soon as possible, on the opposite end of the spectrum, spare a thought for those living in Argentina. Last week Argentina raised interest rates for the third time in eight days - this time to 40% - in a desperate attempt to stabilise the Peso collapse and reverse soaring inflation – which is now at 25%.
In the midweek Daily Mail, Dan Hyde pulls no punches as he points out how the Post Office penalises customers who do not do online banking. He states that their online-only instant access account pays 1.05%, whereas those who’d rather pop into a branch are paid just 0.75%. In fact the gap got even bigger today, as Post Office launched a new issue of its Online Saver, now paying 1.22% - a gap of 0.47%.
Elsewhere in the Daily Mail, a good news story indicating that more savers who prefer to do their banking in the high street are ditching the big banks in favour of the smaller banks and building societies. Nottingham Building Society has seen a 10% increase of customers using its branches and Coventry Building Society says it has seen a doubling of savings through its branch network over the last five years. This is what we like to see – ditch those high street banks which offer such poor value – there are better alternatives, even if you still want to pop into a local branch.
There wasn’t much more about the savings market in the midweek press, except for an article that adds another nail in the coffin as far as a base rate rise is concerned. The Daily Express reported that the average house price slumped by almost £7,000 in April 2018. If the Bank of England holds the base rate at 0.50% tomorrow, as we are expecting, according to North London Estate Agent, Jeremy Heath, this could boost buyer interest again and revive today’s sluggish market. Once again, savers are sacrificed for the benefit of the housing market.
*We are occasionally paid by some providers if you click through from our Best Buy Tables and open a savings or current account with them. We will never accept a payment that compromises in any way our independent, whole of market approach to providing information on savings products. For clarity we will indicate those companies who remunerate us with an asterisk (*).
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