It was a very quiet week for savings stories in the press at the weekend, although unsurprisingly there were a couple of articles about Mark Carney, once again dubbed the ‘unreliable boyfriend’ and the MPC’s lack of action with regard to increasing the base rate.
There’s been a lot of criticism about how the Governor of the Bank of England uses ‘forward guidance’, a tool used by the central bank, which is supposed to smooth the outlook and steady the ship ahead of any change to monetary policy. However, many argue that this is meaningless and simply leads the markets – and us - up the garden path, only to see a U-turn at the last minute, which can cause even more confusion and disappointment.
And as we’ve seen over the last few years, there are now differing opinions about whether this move was a tactical delay or a halt to a change of strategy. Let’s hope it’s the former and not the latter – at least some economists are still expecting a couple of rate rises this year – and more next year.
The Sunday Express covered a story regarding the lack of loyalty shown by financial institutions – not just savings providers, but insurance companies, energy providers and mortgage companies too. This was an easy one for us to contribute to, as it is what we say day in, day out – if you haven’t reviewed your savings for a while, you could be sitting in an account earning peanuts. Even in this ongoing low interest rate environment, you may be able to earn a much more meaningful amount by switching.
The Financial Times had an interesting article about the how the lack of numeracy subtracts £20bn from the UK’s economy. According to the charity National Numeracy, about 17m workers possess the numeracy skills of a primary school child.
This, plus the way that financial information is presented could, say experts, make it easy for consumers to default into a state of inertia, bad for their pockets but good for the finance industry.
The article points out that with so many struggling with numbers, this could explain why many have poor-value mortgage deals, fail to make the minimum payment on credit cards and do not save enough for their retirement.
National Numeracy day is TODAY – 16th May, so if you fancy a go at the online assessment, click here.
*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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