What’s piqued my interest this week?
As part of my monthly goals I’ve been investigating new banking options. Banks seem to be going through a tumultuous time at the moment. We’re over a month into the TSB online banking fiasco (1), with customers still not getting adequate service and some now complaining of fraud which has been facilitated by the botched move. Not entirely surprising, given I assume most high street banks IT sysadmins take their design prompts from Heath Robinson.
In response to this TSB have increased their interest rates to 5% although it’s not clear if this is for new customers too (2). They’re also waving overdraft fees and various other charges. Tempting, but many other banks are also increasing rates. As discussed in this BBC reporter comment article (3), banks are upping interest rates to compensate for the loss of the Bank of England’s Term Lending Scheme, which closed in February this year (4). This was providing cheap finance to banks to offer to customers, and has now been withdrawn. With it’s withdrawal banks need to find other sources of cash to lend… our pockets.
It’s therefore worth checking out moneysavingexpert’s best switching offer page (5), as between switching bonuses and current account interest, there’s lots of perks to be found. Savings account interest rates are also being upped (6), predominantly at the smaller banks and building societies but also for some of the high street banks.
The linked BBC comment piece before also discusses the new ‘challenger’ banks: Monzo, Atom, Revolut and Starling to name a few. I’m looking into these to switch to, and I’d also point to an older Telegraph article which explains a lot about them (7). All of this means it’s a great time to be a banking customer (unless you’re with TSB).
Have a great bank holiday weekend,
- The high street continues to struggle, with M&S closing stores (8)
- The UK property market continues to flatline – Moneywise (9)
- Switching bonus roundup – Moneywise (10)
- Brexit fallout continues (11)
- Get a no claims discount on your home insurance too (12)
- What isn’t on the NHS and will cost you (13)
- US launches investigation into Bitcoin prices (14)
- Firehub.eu is a compiler of European Fire blogs (15)
- YoungFIGuy has been busy this week with three blogposts, including this one on budgeting (16)
- The Retirement Pyramid! (17)
- Ben Carlson at A Wealth of Common Sense discusses bonds (18)
- John Kingham at UK Value Investor discusses building a high risk low yield portfolio (19)
- And of course, Monevator’s weekend reading (20)
What I’m reading:
When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi – Useful for a sense of perspective
Enchiridion by Epictetus – Bedside reading for a bad day