Record number of savers look to stash cash in tax-free Isas

‘THE number of people looking to save income in a tax-free bolthole is expected to reach record levels this year, city-based bank Intelligent Finance said.

It predicts that almost 13 million people will look to stash cash in an individual savings account (Isa), with the bulk looking to invest in a mini cash Isa.

According to IF, research conducted on its behalf, together with government figures on Isa take-up for the first half of the current financial year, pointed to a record 12,928,000 Isas being taken out in the 2005-6 tax year. Mark Parker, managing director at the phone and online bank, said: “This would smash the record year 2002-3, when almost 12.5 million Isas were taken out.’

Read more at Record number of savers look to stash cash in tax-free Isas

March 17th, 2006 by Personal Finance Watcher | 5 Comments »

Savings targeted by 43%

‘FOUR out of ten people plan to save or invest money this year, nearly 50 per cent more than those who think they will not set anything aside, according to Scottish Widows Investment Partnership.

The Edinburgh-based group said around 43 per cent of Britons hoped to save money during 2006, compared with just 29 per cent of people who did not think they would be able to do so.’

Read more at Savings targeted by 43%

March 13th, 2006 by Personal Finance Watcher | 4 Comments »

Personal finance advertising lagging behind consumer internet drive

‘CONSUMERS have been faster to go online to buy personal finance products than the companies selling them have been to promote them over the internet, research today claimed.

Some 85 per cent of consumers research financial products such as mortgages, credit cards and loans online, with around 55 per cent going on to buy a product over the net.

At the same time six out of ten people said they became aware of a new financial product or service for the first time through the internet. Despite this, research carried out by PricewaterhouseCoopers for search engine Google found that financial services firms are allocating less than ten per cent of their overall media budgets to internet advertising.’

Read more at Personal finance advertising lagging behind consumer internet drive

March 13th, 2006 by Personal Finance Watcher | 4 Comments »

£1 a week earns 14 years of freedom

‘PAYING just one pound more per week above the minimum credit card repayment will bring “financial freedom” almost 14 years earlier, according to a new study.

Millions of UK borrowers could slash the amount of interest they have to repay and reduce the time taken to pay back the debt by 13 and a half years just by paying an extra pound a week on top of their minimum monthly credit card repayment, typically 2-3 per cent of the outstanding balance.

That would cut £1,247 in interest off the average credit card balance of £3,138, uSwitch.com found, based on a typical annual interest rate of 15.1 per cent.’

Read more at £1 a week earns 14 years of freedom

February 20th, 2006 by Personal Finance Watcher | 227 Comments »

Third of Scots have no more than £100 put away

‘THIRTY per cent of Scots are in a perilous personal financial situation, with savings of £100 or less, research revealed yesterday.

That sum includes money in current and savings accounts, as well as individual savings accounts (ISAs), bonds and shares.

Financial experts say people should have about three months’ salary squirrelled away in case of emergency, and that those with only a fraction of that could face a bleak future.’

Read more at Third of Scots have no more than £100 put away

February 20th, 2006 by Personal Finance Watcher | 2 Comments »

Debit accounts can help youngsters learn lessons about money

‘Here’s how it works. Parents open an account with Mesa-based Allow Card of America and can put money on the card through their own credit cards or checking accounts for a nominal fee. They can monitor their child’s spending via a password protected Web site. The charges are displayed as they would be in an online bank statement.

Parents and their children can go over the charges together and discuss spending patterns. There are also monthly lessons about money management.

Most teens don’t understand how money works even though they use it every day, and what they know about money they learned from their peers, says Rena Gardenswartz, a fellow with the National Endowment for Financial Education, a nonprofit organization based in Colorado.’

Read more at Debit accounts can help youngsters learn lessons about money

February 16th, 2006 by Personal Finance Watcher | 380 Comments »

£130,000 - the cost of life as a pensioner

‘PENSIONERS will need an average £130,000 to fund their retirement, as state benefits plummet as a proportion of income.

People retiring this year will need a total lifetime income of at least £130,000 as life expectancy increases, according to research by Prudential.’

Read more at £130,000 - the cost of life as a pensioner

February 16th, 2006 by Personal Finance Watcher | 1 Comment »

UK set for strong mortgage revival

‘UK MORTGAGES are set for a strong recovery, with a leading analyst forecasting a near 13 per cent lift in advances during the next five years.

Gross advances in the UK residential market will grow 12.89 per cent to £324 billion in 2010 from £287bn last year, according to independent analyst Datamonitor.

However, it sounded a note of caution, claiming the market would experience a couple of tough years before growth accelerated from 2008.

Lenders would also have to contend with the threat of increasing bad debts and costly regulation over the next two years.’

Read more at UK set for strong mortgage revival

February 15th, 2006 by Personal Finance Watcher | 177 Comments »

Brits break personal finance pledge

‘A significant number of Brits have already given up on trying to fulfil their resolutions for the new year, according to new research, with many financial pledges forgotten.

Despite starting 2006 with promises of sorting out their personal finances and taking a more organised approach to money management, it seems that many people are happy to go back to their old habits.

Figures released by IFA Promotion revealed that 39 per cent of Brits, around three million, have already given up on their resolutions. ‘

Read more at Brits break personal finance pledge

February 6th, 2006 by Personal Finance Watcher | 61 Comments »

Bankruptcies in Scotland soar by 50%, but worst is still to come

‘PERSONAL bankruptcies in Scotland hit a record high last year, new figures showed yesterday, and insolvency experts warned the worst could be yet to come.

The number of Scots sequestrated - the Scottish legal term for bankruptcy - surged more than 50 per cent during 2005, but tens of thousands more could be struggling under a huge debt mountain.

The data came as further statistics showed the number of properties being repossessed in the UK rose 70 per cent, as borrowers fell behind on repayments.

Almost 5,000 Scots were forced into bankruptcy in 2005, according to figures from the financial and business advice firm, Grant Thornton, compared to just 3,300 a year ago.’

Read more at Bankruptcies in Scotland soar by 50%, but worst is still to come

February 6th, 2006 by Personal Finance Watcher | 66 Comments »


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