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How a salary exchange can help lower your tax bill

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Published: 30/05/2022

Article written by Kellands Hale, our preferred independent advice firm.

This article is not intended to be financial advice to any individual. The views expressed are those of the author and Moneyfacts.co.uk does not endorse the content.

If you are a business owner in today’s world, it is likely you are searching for ways to reduce costs. Since early 2020, businesses have weathered many storms – the COVID-19 lockdowns and supply chain issues being just two.

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), business closures increased by 50% between July 2020 and July 2021. If your business is still thriving in today’s climate, it’s a testament to your innovation and skill as a business owner. Nevertheless, you could still be concerned about how the current cost of living crisis might affect your company going forward.

Fortunately, there is one under-used yet effective way for both businesses and employees to save money, and that is through “salary exchange”.

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Lloyds Bank joins current account switching war with £125 switching incentive

The move comes after HSBC launched its £170 switch offer last week.

Lloyds Bank will incentivise any customers switching from another bank to its Club Lloyds or Club Lloyds Platinum Account with a £125 cash bonus. The offer is available with immediate effect and is only available through the Current Account Switch Service (CASS) until 27 June.

“On top of £125 for switching to us from 17 May, new Club Lloyds customers will also be able to pick from a range of lifestyle benefits, earn cashback while they shop and gain access to exclusive offers on savings and mortgages,” said Martin Turner, Head of Personal Current Accounts at Lloyds Bank.

The switching offer comes after HSBC announced a similar £170 cashback offer for those looking to switch to its Advance or Premier current accounts last week.

In addition, Nationwide and first direct also hold current account switching offers for those looking to take advantage of the CASS.

Nationwide will offer £100 for new customers to switch to their Flex Account, while those who have a current account, mortgage, savings account, or business savings with the high-street bank can enjoy a £125 offer for making the switch.

Lloyds Bank do extend this offer to existing customers who meet a certain set of criteria. These customers need to move their current account from another bank using the CASS system and if they haven’t had a switching bonus from Lloyds Bank before.

This means existing members cannot access the offer by upgrading their Lloyds account internally. In addition, customers with other products from the bank, such as a mortgage or savings account, with a current account from a different provider will also be eligible for the switching offer.

Alternatively, first direct will provide those making a switch to their 1st Account with £150 cashback.

“There are now several brands out there offering upfront switching incentives to entice banking customers to move their existing current account,” said Rachel Springall, Finance Expert at Moneyfacts.

“As these offers can come and go throughout the year, consumers should not expect them to be around forever. Just last week, Halifax withdrew its free cash offer of £125,” she said.

However, Springall warned consumers to consider their options and spending habits before committing to a current account of their choice.

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UK economy contracts in March as consumers face surging inflation

Consumers cut back on spending as cost of living begins to bite.

Britain’s economy contracted by 0.1% in March, according to data released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) today.

“The March decline highlights the pressure the economy is now coming under from the cost of living squeeze and the danger of it falling into outright recession later this year,” said Rupert Thompson, Investment Strategist at Kingswood.

The services sector, which includes contributions from education, arts and entertainment, and food service among others, fell 0.2% last month and was the main contributor to this decline.

More particularly, retail and wholesale activity fell 2.3% in March, with new car sales struggling to grow due to global supply issues.

“Household expenditure was still positive in the first quarter, as consumers took advantage of new-found freedoms to go out and spend money in shops, restaurants and hotels. But that was really the calm before the storm, as higher energy prices and taxes kicked in from April,” said Laith Khalaf, head of investment analysis at AJ Bell.

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Four in ten savers already using savings to combat cost of living crisis

Nearly a fifth of these savers have used over £1,000 of their savings over the past 12 months.

Four in ten savers have been forced to use their savings account to help cope with the rising cost of living over the past 12 months.

This is according to Yorkshire Building Society and the Centre for Economics and Business Research’s Inflation Nation report, which was released today.

“Families across the UK are already having to budget carefully in order to make ends meet. Some have accrued savings over the course of the pandemic, which can help foot monthly bills. Others simply do not have the financial resilience to withstand rising costs,” said Stephen White, Interim Chief Executive of Yorkshire Building Society. 

The report also found that of these savers, 23% used between £200 and £499 of their funds, 17% used more than £1,000 and 12% had used between £500 and £999.

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HSBC announces £170 switch offer for selected current accounts

Offer can be used in addition to HSBC’s deal which provides six months’ cashback on its insurance products.

Customers looking to switch current accounts to HSBC’s Advance or Premier current account can make use of a £170 switching incentive with immediate effect.

The incentive is meant to help consumers challenged by the cost of living crisis, according to Tom Wolfenden, HSBC UK’s Head of Retail.

“While cutting back on everyday and occasional spending or cancelling any unwanted or unused subscriptions could help, taking note of the wide range of offers that could provide discounts, or even cash, could make your money go further or go a little way to reducing the impact of the increase in the cost of living,” he said.

The switching incentive will run alongside HSBC’s current deal which provides six months’ cashback on the bank’s ‘mix and match’ insurance offer, Select and Cover. The value of this cashback is worth an additional £117.

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BREAKING: Bank of England increases base rate to 1%

5th May 2022

The Bank of England has today increased base rate by 0.25%, up from 0.75% to 1.00%. The decision to increase base rate will be disappointing news to consumers who are already facing a cost of living crisis, with further rises anticipated over the next 12 months. Borrowers sitting on a variable rate may want to lock into a competitive fixed rate mortgage deal to protect themselves from rising interest rates, perhaps sooner rather than later as fixed rates rise, with the average two-year fixed rate surpassing 3.00%.

The Bank of England has today increased base rate by 0.25%, up from 0.75% to 1.00%.

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Klarna to report customer debts and payments to credit agencies

4th May 2022

From 1 June, Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) provider Klarna will start sharing its customers payments made on time, late payments, and unpaid purchases with credit reference agencies. This means that if a consumer falls behind on any repayments, their credit score will worsen. Equally, if a consumer repays their debts on time their credit rating will improve.

The UK’s biggest Buy Now Pay Later provider will share its customer debt and payments with Experian and TransUnion from 1 June.

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first direct to hike regular saver rate to 3.5% - how does it compare?

22nd April 2022

Multiple Moneyfacts award-winning challenger bank, first direct, will increase its regular saver account rate to 3.5%. However, those interested in the offer should consider the competition. “The majority of regular savings accounts on the market are either exclusive to new or existing current account customers or have some kind of eligibility criteria, so savers will need to compare deals carefully before they apply,” said Rachel Springall, Finance Expert at Moneyfacts.

Multiple Moneyfacts award-winning challenger bank, first direct, will increase its regular saver account rate to 3.5%.

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Santander ups eISA rates to 0.80% for 123 world customers

28th March 2022

Non 123 World or Select customers will be offered 0.70%. With ISA season in full swing, Santander has increased the interest on its eISAs by 0.20%. This means 123 World or Select customers will access a rate of 0.80% while other customers will be offered 0.70%. “We’re pleased to have increased rates across a range of Santander accounts recently, and our improved e-ISA offers customers one of the highest Cash ISA rates from a high street bank, with an even higher return for our 123 current account customers as a reward for banking with us,” said Hetal Parmar, Head of Banking and Savings at Santander UK.

Non 123 World or Select customers will be offered 0.70%.

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Virgin Money customers can now use their debit card abroad for free

6th March 2020

From today, Virgin Money current account holders will be able to make transactions using their debit card while abroad without incurring any foreign currency fees

Virgin Money current account holders will be able to make transactions using their debit card while abroad without incurring any foreign currency fees

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Lloyds and TSB announce overdraft changes

22nd January 2020

Lloyds Banking Group and TSB are the latest banks to announce changes to their overdraft fees, which will see some borrowers being charged 49.9% for going into their overdraft

Lloyds Banking Group and TSB announce changes to their overdraft fees, which will see some borrowers being charged 49.9% for going into their overdraft

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Reviewed: HSBC bank and its range of bank accounts

19th October 2020

HSBC has more than 40 million customers across the world. It is one of the big four banks in the UK. Consumers that switch their bank account to HSBC can currently earn £125 cash bonus on specific HSBC accounts (subject to eligibility). We review its range of bank accounts and the HSBC mobile banking app.

HSBC offers £125 cash bonus to switch to specific HSBC accounts (subject to eligibility). We review its range of bank accounts.

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Reviewed: Starling Bank and its range of accounts

9th October 2020

This week, Starling Bank announced its accounts will now be available via desktop and laptop, in addition to its App on mobile devices. Starling Bank is now six years old, so we decided to review their bank accounts.

This week, Starling Bank announced its accounts will now be available via desktop and laptop, in addition to its App on mobile devices. Starling Bank is now six

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