Money Links For 9th Oct 2006

  • MoneyExpert warns of packaged account charges
    140 per year.
  • RIAS Identity Theft Assistance Service launched
    RIAS, the over-50s insurance specialist, has introduced its Identity Theft Assistance Service free of charge to all existing and new customers.
  • ‘Large demand’ for HSBC Pension Term Assurance
    The HSBC Pension Term Assurance (PTA), a life insurance product, has been selling like hot cakes according to the bank.
  • Leicester Directsaver account launched
    Leicester Directsaver account has been introduced to the market, offering customers 5.25 per cent gross (5.38 per cent AER).
  • Private schooling fees rocket, says Halifax Financial Services
    The cost of paying for private school education has been deemed significantly less affordable than five years ago, research from Halifax Financial Services shows.
  • Stretched customers rack up banks’ income
    Last month the Office of Fair Trading capped the penalty charge on overdue credit card payments. It is now carrying out a preliminary review of current account charges.
  • A halfway house offers a place to shelter
    If your primary concern for your investments is the risk of losing money then it would seem counterintuitive to consider an equity fund. But there is a halfway house and growing numbers of investors are taking it.
  • More than a leg up for cash-strapped first-timers
    Buying your first home has long been a rite of passage in the UK. Like graduating from university and getting your first job, it is seen as part of the process of becoming a responsible adult in a culture that attaches great importance to home ownership.
  • Workers who contract out to enjoy greater flexibility
    Millions of pension savers who have accumulated funds worth as much as £100bn by opting out of the state second pension are set to enjoy greater freedoms over how they invest this money.
  • Put your feet up in a place in the sun
    A flat in the bustling beehive of Benidorm or a quaint white-washed casita on a hill overlooking the Mediterranean in Menorca? On the hunt for more affordable places to retire, Britons have long flocked to sunny Spain to live out their later years.
  • Lettings market faces a multiple problem
    Scores of landlords are either selling their large rented properties or paring back the number of tenants who live in them to avoid bearing the brunt of costly new licensing requirements.
  • Cyberspace, the final frontier for small investors
    Over the Christmas period last year, when most private investors were busy celebrating and even fund managers were away from their desks, a small group of maverick investors were having discussions that would lead to an attempt to unseat the chairman of a
  • Green investment is still in its budding stage
    Does Sir Richard Branson’s announcement that Virgin will invest an estimated $3bn (£1.6bn) in renewable energy over the next decade mean that clean energy production one step closer to becoming the next technological revolution?
  • Brokers punt on growth of demand for spread betting
    Stockbrokers are muscling in on the financial spread betting market, in a move that could entice mainstream investors into this risky arena.
  • Welcome protection from exchange-listed funds
    Recent stock market volatility has boosted demand for structured products, securities that provide a combination of upside potential with some protection should markets fall.
  • Claimants pin hope on ombudsman
    Tens of thousands of Equitable Life policyholders have left the life assurer following the compromise settlement agreed in 2002. But there are still around 50,000 Equitable policyholders who have no option but to remain with Equitable.
  • Wealthy investors urged to consider affordable flats
    Disused banks and flats above shops might not be as glamourous an investment prospect as a villa on the Cote-d’Azure but buying into the development of these types of buildings has attractive tax perks for wealthy investors.
  • Load ’em up and take hold of the readies
    If you make a claim on your home insurance policy or step off a flight to find your luggage has not arrived with you, you may now find that you are reimbursed with a pre-paid card rather than cash or a cheque.
  • Borrowers set up home in never-never land
    First-time buyers and cash-strapped home owners are scrambling to take out interest-only mortgages that could leave them facing financial ruin or forced to trade down the property ladder to pay off their mortgage.
  • Ombudsman gets tough on banks over unfair charges
    Bank customers who complain about unfair charges are getting record levels of compensation, in a growing sign of banks’ willingness to settle claims.

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