Inflation is biting hard in all areas of the economy, and car insurance is no exception. According to information released by industry trade body, the Association of British Insurers, prices have leapt by an average of 6% (£30) over the past year to £493. Well, above the average rate of inflation in the wider economy and UK wage growth.
Millions of us have switched bank accounts since the launch of the seven-day switch guarantee, and competition for our business has never been more fierce. Great news for consumers, less so for high-street banks, who've lost many of their most profitable customers.
So, what can they do to get us to switch back?
Under mounting pressure from the FCA, the Competition and Markets Authority, and consumer groups, Lloyds Banking Group (Lloyds, Halifax and Bank of Scotland), which supplies retail (high street) banking for around 30 million people in the UK, has unveiled plans to scrap unplanned overdraft fees.
As of November, LBG customers who exceed their authorised overdraft limit will face no additional charges whatsoever.
As inflation creeps steadily upwards, as a result of the depreciation in the pound and increased business costs, many savers are shunning ISAs, according to a new survey by True Prudential.
The alarming figures, based on a survey of 2000 UK adults, found that only around 30% of people had contributed to their ISA in the last tax year (down by around a third from the previous year) and those that did contribute were making ever smaller deposits.
The survey pointed to two main catalysts for the decline in ISA savings:
As computers continue to permeate every corner of our lives, it’s easy to dismiss older mechanised technology. However, UK retail bank Barclays is hoping a return to the past will pay dividends for its customers of the future, as it deploys World War Two developed cypher technology to bolster card security.
In what Barclays are hailing as the biggest shake-up in card security since the launch of chip and pin, new cards will include a device that harnesses Enigma machine style coding to produce ever-changing numbers to replace the currently CVV number on cards.
While money savvy Brits quickly navigate the complexities of personal finance, others are getting uncompetitive or inappropriate products due to a lack of basic understanding.
Research conducted by online investment manager Nutmeg in UK consumers has revealed a shocking grasp of financial products and jargon, across a range of essential products.
Almost 50% of Brits don't know what ISA (Individual Savings Account) stands, and 60% have no idea how much they can invest in an ISA (tax-free) every year.
The market for credit cards for bad credit has been buoyant in 2016. New brands have entered the market, old brands have refreshed their products, and a steady stream of promotional offers have seen bad credit customer getting deals they could only have dreamed of (even a few years ago). But, one brand has been comparatively quiet.
Yes, their 'Initial card' has long been a favourite with people wanting to rebuild credit, but although they've tweaked their 0% purchase intro duration a couple of times, Barclaycard's appetite for bad credit customers seemed diminished.
We’ve known for a long time that 0% balance transfer cards offer us access to some of the cheapest credit we will ever see (if we use them the right way). Stoozing and other similar practices developed precisely because of the cheap debt that balance transfer gave us. But, as saving rates have diminished, thanks to record low BoE interest rates, so the fees charged to transfer a balance have become an ever bigger consideration for stoozers. But, could that be changing?
Following the Bank of England's decision to cut UK interest rates to a new historic level of 0.25%, to help shore up the economy following the Brexit vote, remortgaging in Britain has surged to five-year high.
New figures from Legal Marketing Services show remortgaging increased 8% month-on-month and massive 45% on the same period last year, as cash-savvy Brits switched mortgages to lock in the historic low rates.
Getting a good deal on insurance seems to be something of a competitive sport to the British (as every other advert on TV seemingly testifies to). But, although savvy UK shoppers continue to painstakingly compare insurance products to get the cheapest dea, fraudsters and criminals are undermining those efforts and pushing up prices for everyone.
Indeed, new figures released by the Association of British Insurers (ABI) show an increase of 6% in cases of detected fraud, to around 130,000 in 2015.
ISA's have long been known as a popular tax-efficient method for personal saving. They are simple, transferable, and the vast majority of people understand them far more clearly than their pension options. It is perhaps for this reason, and the fact that the UK public remain largely unenthused about our looming pension crisis, that the UK government is seeking to build on the (questionable) success of the Help-to-Buy ISA, with the launch of a new Lifetime ISA.
As we enter the last weeks of the UK government's consultation on automated vehicles, it becomes ever more apparent that UK roads about to see a dramatic change. Driverless cars, once the stuff of sci-fi movies, are set to become a reality on our highway and byways from next year.
It doesn't get nearly as much coverage from our property and mortgage-obsessed press, but credit card interest rates are equally linked to Bank of England rate moves.
So, two weeks on from the Monetary Policy Committee's decision to drop interest rates to the lowest level ever, and after most UK banks have agreed (albeit reluctantly) to pass the interest rate cut on to their customers, what have the UK credit card issuers done?
In a word, 'nothing'.
Official government figures, released today, show prices across the UK are increasing rapidly. The Consumer Price Index, which is produced by the Office for National Statistics, rose by 0.6% July (up 20% from June).
Much of the increase is being attributed to higher fuel prices, which have leapt since the historic Brexit on 23rd June, because oil is traded internationally in US Dollars, and the pound is down around 15% against the Dollar since June.
As the post-Brexit UK economy teeters on the brink of another recession, alarming new figures from the housing charity, Shelter, show that many Brits would be poorly prepared for a sudden financial shock. Over a third of working families polled, by YouGov in July, indicated that they could not afford their next mortgage or rental payment if they lost their job.
Despite the lowest borrowing costs ever seen (yesterday's cut in interest rates brings them to the lowest level since the Bank of England was established, in 1694), home ownership in England has fallen back to levels not seen since 1986. A time when Margaret Thatcher graced Number 10, five years before the USSR dissolved and the UK population was around 20% smaller than today.
At a time when much of the economy seems uncertain, the Royal Mint seems to be 'Minting it in'. Profits at the 1100-year-old institution have surged by over 50%, to a record high. But, are these real gains, or just the result of funny money?
Commemorative coins (Beatrix Potter, Shakespeare, Princess Charlotte, and the like) have soared in popularity in recent years, and many people fully expect that the coins, aside from being collectable, are fully functional. However, earlier this year the Royal Mint told UK banks not to accept the coins as 'legal tender'.
Since the FCA took the baton for UK lending activity, from the OFT, they have been quick to address the biggest issues within the credit market - Payday loans providers rightly feeling the brunt of their increased regulation. But now, the FCA has published details of plans for credit card specific controls, having completed an extensive review of the competitive landscape.
Price comparison websites and the internet have revolutionised the way we buy. No more do people have to make a series of calls to numerous different companies, trying to get the best deal. But, as the popularity of these site has increased, so questions have been asked at the highest level about how they operate.
The collapse of Lowcost Holidays on 15th July 2016 just before many of their customers were preparing to jet off to higher climbs, has once again underlined the value that section 75 protection offers UK consumers in an uncertain world.