Top Money and Finance News

Derin Clark

Derin Clark

Online Reporter
Published: 26/06/2019

The number of residential mortgages available for a maximum term of up to 40 years has increased by 13.44% over the last five years, according to research from Moneyfacts.co.uk.  

In June there were 1,217 mortgages available at a maximum term of 40 years, while today this has increased to 2,744. For borrowers, longer mortgage terms mean they can benefit from being able to spread the cost of the loan over a longer period of time, which reduces the payments each month. However, borrowers should be aware that taking a mortgage over a longer term increases the total amount of interest they will have to pay back overall.

Products at maximum mortgage term (residential mortgages only) 

Max term 40 years 35 years 30 years 25 years
Jun-14 1,217 (41.54%) 1,125 (38.40%) 392 (13.38%) 196 (6.69%)
Mar-19 2,604 (50.89%) 2,221 (43.40%) 140 (2.74%) 152 (2.97%)
Today 2,744 (54.98%) 1,921 (38.49%) 165 (3.31%) 161 (3.23%)

According to the Office for National Statistics’ Housing Affordability in England and Wales, in 2018 the average house price was 7.8 higher than the annual earnings of full-time workers in England and Wales. This gap, along with the requirements of affordability tests, means that some borrowers now need a longer term to have a manageable monthly mortgage payment. While an easier monthly payment is useful, borrowers should know that the additional interest that accumulates over time could be considerable.

For example, a £200,000 repayment mortgage at a rate of 2.50% over 25 years equates to a monthly repayment of £897.23 and total interest payable would be £69,169 over the term. However, the same mortgage taken over a 40-year term would reduce the monthly repayments to £659.56 but increase the total interest to be paid to £116,588, resulting in an additional £47,419 in interest.

There are three different providers offering the same top rate for easy access savings rates at the moment.

The current top rate in the easy access savings chart is 1.50% AER, which is being offered by Cynergy Bank, Marcus by Goldman Sachs® and Virgin Money.

Cynergy Bank is offering this rate on its Online Easy Access Account – Issue 23, which requires a minimum deposit of just £1 to open and a 0.50% bonus for 12 months is included in the rate. Once open, further additions and withdrawals, via a nominated account, are allowed. The account can only be opened and managed online.

Online Savings Account from Marcus by Goldman Sachs® has been dominating the easy access chart since it was launched last year. The rate includes a 0.15% bonus for 12 months and there is no minimum deposit needed to open this account. Interest is paid monthly at a gross rate of 1.49%, equating to 1.50% AER. To open this account a UK mobile number is needed, and once open further additions and withdrawals are allowed. It must be opened online but can then be managed by phone as well.

The two accounts from Virgin Money – Double Take E-Saver Issue 10 and Man Utd Double Take E-Saver Issue 5 – both pay 1.50% AER from a minimum opening deposit of just £1, however unlike the other accounts offering this rate, they do not include a bonus. In addition to this, while both accounts allow further additions, they restrict withdrawals to just two per calendar year, which includes closure. Both accounts can only be opened and managed online. They each offer a version that pays interest on a monthly basis at a slightly reduced gross rate of 1.49%, which equates to 1.50% AER. In addition to this, the Man Utd Double Take E-Saver Issue 5 includes 10 entries into the prize draw for every month the account is open and one extra entry for every £50 held in the account.

Account Rate

Cynergy Bank

Online Easy Access Account – Issue 23
1.50% AER

Marcus by Goldman Sachs®

Online Savings Account
1.50% AER

Virgin Money

Double Take E-Saver Issue 10
1.50% AER

Virgin Money

Man Utd Double Take E-Saver Issue 5
1.50% AER

A loyalty scheme that let Mastercard users collect points from by shopping with ‘ethical’ retailers has now ceased trading leaving customers with no way to claim their outstanding rewards.

Set up less than two years ago, the Mastercard Ice scheme encouraged members to claim points for buying goods and services from a range of ‘environmentally-friendly’ high street shops and businesses, including John Lewis, Marks & Spencer, Toby Carvery, Harvester, First Choice Holidays and All Bar One.

Mastercard Ice customers had already been contacting consumer websites with complaints that they had been unable to contact anyone or spend their points online prior to a closure message being posted on the Ice website and Facebook page.

In the statement posted on its website, Ice said “It is with the greatest regret that we have to inform you that Ice has now ceased trading. The directors will be seeking shareholder approval to put the company into voluntary liquidation.

We would also like to reassure customers that the directors are continuing to ensure that all customer personal data is dealt with securely in accordance with GDPR rules.

The Ice team would like to thank everyone who has supported Ice and our mission to mitigate climate change. We would also like to express our sadness that we have been
unable to find a way to allow the Ice business to continue and for any inconvenience and disappointment this has caused to our customers.”

It has also been made clear that in accordance with Ice's published terms and conditions, any Ice points in circulation will now not be able to be redeemed.

Ice had appealed to many Mastercard customers due to the fact that in addition to the ability to collect points towards rewards, it could also be operated alongside other discount offers and loyalty schemes. Sadly, it seems that existing customers will have no way of redeeming their collected points for rewards with the closure of this scheme.

With wedding season in full swing, many couples are preparing to walk down the aisle on what is one of the most important days of their lives, but with the UK being the fifth most expensive country in the world to host a wedding, the costs can be eye-watering.

According to the 2019 Global Wedding Report, compiled The Knot, WeddingWire and Bodas.net, the average cost of a wedding in the UK stands at £14,740, which excludes rings and a honeymoon. As few couples will have this amount of money to hand to pay for a wedding, many will have to plan in advance and build up a substantial savings pot to pay for their big day. Luckily for those saving up for a wedding, there are a number of savings accounts available providing competitive rates.

While fixed rate bonds are currently providing the best rates in the savings market, these savings accounts are usually not right for those saving for a wedding, as once open they normally do not allow further deposits and can tie money into terms for five-years or more. Instead, savers should look at savings accounts that allow more flexibility with making further additions and withdrawals to their savings.

On average, UK women will outlive their retirement savings by 12 years, while men will outlive them by 10 years, according to a recently published report by the World Economic Forum.

In its report, Investing In (and for) Our Future, the World Economic Forum warns that retirement savings will not be able to cover retiree’s lifespans and that women should prepare to bear the brunt of the shortfall, going without retirement savings for two years longer than their male counterparts. It also warns that retirement savers are currently too risk-averse in their retirement investments and that many young to middle-age savers should change their risk outlook, understanding that outliving their savings is a far greater risk to them than short-term investment risk.

Han Yik, Head of the Institutional Investors Industry, World Economic Forum, said: “The real risk people need to manage when investing in their future is the risk of outliving their retirement savings. As people are living longer, they must ensure they have enough retirement funds to last them through their longer lives. This requires investing with a long-term mindset earlier in life to increase total savings later on.”

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