July 30 2014 Latest news:


Adam Aiken

ICB report spells good news for consumers

At last, there could be some good news for bank customers.

The big lines that emerged from the Independent Commission on Banking’s report concerned the ringfencing of the banks’ retail operations, and the call for extra funds they would need to hold as a buffer in case of a future financial crisis.

But there were also a number of other ideas put forward that should help improve our overall high-street banking experience.

One of these is the ICB’s desire to open up the market to greater competition.

The likes of NBNK have been looking to get a piece of the action for some time, and the commission’s report has confirmed its view that Lloyds Banking Group should sell more of more of its branches than the 632 it is already planning to dispose of.

The ICB wants a new player on the high street to have a market share of at least 6pc of the current-account market, taking the number of major retail banks to six.

On the face of it, having six major players instead of five might not seem like a huge leap forward...

Peter Sharkey

More radical action required from Osborne

This week’s personal finance news has been dominated by the confirmation that George Osborne’s radical Budget announcements regarding pensions will, as anticipated, pass into law...

Robert Clarke

Ignore ISA benefits at your peril

Almost inevitably, following the Chancellor’s much-heralded March Budget, pensions and the obvious advantages of contributing to one, became the financial press’s new ‘big thing’.

Self invested personal pensions in particular, formerly considered to be both an expensive and restrictive means of saving for retirement, had been popular amongst what might be called the ‘financially literate’ for some time...