Top Money and Finance News

Derin Clark

Derin Clark

Online Reporter
Published: 22/05/2019

Nationwide Building Society has suggested that intense mortgage competition and increased spending on digital banking services have led to its profits falling by 19% to £788m for the year to 4 April.

The building society saw a drop in profits despite its net mortgage lending rising to £8.6bn from £5.8bn the previous year. Intense competition has likely led to the fall in mortgage rates year-on-year, which consequently could have affected mortgage lending profits. Along with Nationwide reporting a drop in profits, the competitive mortgage market is one factor that could have contributed to Tesco Bank and the AA leaving the sector altogether.

Downsizing is becoming an increasingly popular way for many older homeowners to release cash from their home, while at the same time allowing them to move into a smaller, more manageable property. Yet unfortunately, new research shows that they may end up with less than they bargained for, as after the various costs of moving have been taken into account, the money left over may not be as substantial as they initially hoped.

That’s according to research from OneFamily, with its latest figures revealing that 43% of over-60s surveyed have moved to a different property in order to access capital tied up in their home – yet 24% of those end up with less money than expected, and 20% were disappointed with the overall return.

Savers looking to beat the eroding impact of inflation will find that fixed bond rates have risen in the past 12 months, so they can now get a better true return on their cash. Happily, easy access and notice account rates are also increasing, however none of the rates on offer in these sectors are currently able to beat inflation – which means that, if you want to get a real return, now could be the time to lock your cash away.

A warning has been issued today by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) together with Action Fraud regarding the rising number of crypto assets and forex investment scams. Reports of this kind of criminal activity tripled last year to over 1,800 recorded instances, with more than £27m lost to scams of this nature in 2018/19. However, in an alarming new trend, fraudsters are using bogus celebrity endorsements in order to dupe unwary investors into parting with their cash.

 

Social media platforms are being increasingly used to promote ‘too good to be true’ online trading platforms, accompanied by images of high-cost, luxury items, such as expensive watches and cars. Once an innocent investor has been enticed into clicking on a web link, they will be taken to a professional-looking website where they will be encouraged to invest. At first, the customer is assured by the fact that the first investment has made a profit, before the scammers then approach the victim to invest yet more funds as well as introducing friends and family to the bogus scheme. Eventually, however the returns stop, the account is closed without warning and the criminals disappear with the victim’s money. It has been estimated that the average loss due to this kind of fraud is around £14,600 per victim.

 

The introduction of fake celebrity endorsements is a relatively new development that has added an additional lure for the unwary on social media platforms. This is a ploy designed with the sole intention of lending credibility to the scammer’s offers.

 

Pauline Smith, director of Action Fraud, said: “People need to be wary of fake investments on online trading platforms. It’s vital that people carry out the necessary checks to ensure that an investment they’re considering is legitimate.

“Action Fraud is pleased to be partnering with the FCA to raise awareness of online trading scams, and we hope it will help prevent more people falling victim. Remember, if you think you have been a victim, contact Action Fraud.”

 

This advice was echoed by Mark Stewart, executive director of Enforcement and Market Oversight for the FCA: “'We’re warning the public to be suspicious of adverts that promise high returns from online trading platforms.

“Scammers can be very convincing, so always do your own research into any firm you are considering investing with to make sure that they are the real deal. Before investing online, find out how to protect yourself from scams by visiting the ScamSmart website, and if in any doubt – don’t invest.”

 

The FCA has also produced a simple series of rules for would-be investors encouraging people to stay safe while scrolling:

  • Don’t assume it’s real – professional-looking websites, adverts or social media posts don’t always mean that an investment opportunity is genuine. Criminals can use the names of well-known brands or individuals to make their scams appear legitimate.
  • Stay in control – avoid uninvited investment offers whether made on social media or over the phone. If you’re thinking about making an investment, thoroughly research the company first and consider getting independent advice.
  • Make the right checks – firms providing regulated financial services must be authorised by the FCA. You can check whether they are authorised on the Financial Services Register. Use the contact details on the Register, not the details the firm gives you, to avoid ‘clones’.
  • Every report matters – if you have been a victim of fraud or cybercrime, report it to Action Fraud.

 

Moneyfacts.co.uk also has a number of helpful online guides, which can help you steer clear of online financial scams as well as ideas on how to keep your online banking safe.

Credit cards and overdrafts can be incredibly useful forms of borrowing if used wisely, but if not, they can quickly become lead weights – and many borrowers unwittingly get themselves into unmanageable debt as a result.

Recent News

news icon
Mortgage incentives flourish as lenders look to entice borrowers

21st May 2019

While the interest rate on any mortgage might be the first thing to come to mind when searching for a deal, incentives are always worth considering - and happily, the number of deals that offer these perks is on the rise.

While the interest rate on any mortgage might be the first thing to come to mind when searching for a deal, incentives are always worth considering.

Read More
news icon
The best mortgage rates this week 17.05.19

17th May 2019

This week has seen only a little movement in terms of the best mortgage rates available. In the two-year fixed rate mortgage chart, the best rate being offered was still 1.54%, while...

This week has seen only a little movement in terms of the best mortgage rates available...

Read More
news icon
Tracker mortgage rate falls – time to go variable?

13th May 2019

Fixed rate mortgages tend to be the product of choice for the majority of borrowers, but the latest Moneyfacts UK Mortgage Trends Treasury Report may cause some to think again...

Fixed rate mortgages tend to be the product of choice for the majority of borrowers, but the latest Moneyfacts UK Mortgage Trends Treasury Report may cause some to think again

Read More
news icon
The best residential mortgage rates this week 10.05.2019

10th May 2019

Read on to find out about the best mortgage rates this week...

Read on to find out about the best mortgage rates this week...

Read More

Search news on Moneyfacts.co.uk

Search news on Moneyfacts.co.uk

Our Team of Specialists

Leanne Macardle

Leanne Macardle

Editor
nigel woollsey

Nigel Woollsey

Online Writer
Derin Clark

Derin Clark

Online Reporter
Michelle Monck

Michelle Monck

Consumer Finance Expert
Rachel Springall

Rachel Springall

Finance Expert & Press Officer
Tim Leonard

Tim Leonard

Finance Expert
Sarah Brooks

Sarah Brooks

Sub-Editor
Darren Cook

Darren Cook

Mortgage Analytics Manager
Rachel Thrussell

Rachel Thrussell

Savings Analytics Manager

More Money & Finance News

Get our weekly newsletter

Weekend Moneyfacts is available free by email to all Moneyfacts.co.uk users.

Please send me Weekend Moneyfacts, Savers Friend and selected third-party offers.

Cookies

Moneyfacts.co.uk will, like most other websites, place cookies onto your device. This includes tracking cookies.

I accept. Read our Cookie Policy