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Year-on-year fraud losses increase as Brits lose £1.3 billion in 2021

Michael Brown

Content Writer
Published: 04/07/2022

In addition, a further £1.4 billion worth of fraud was prevented by banks and card companies.

Over £1.3 billion was stolen by criminals through authorised and unauthorised fraud last year, according to UK Finance. Compared to 2020, this was an increase of over £400 million.

Of this £1.3 billion, over £730 million was lost to authorised fraud, where the account holder is tricked into approving a payment to an account controlled by the criminal.

“Authorised fraud losses rose again this year as criminals targeted people through a variety of sophisticated scams, with much of the criminal activity taking place outside the banking sector, often involving online and technology platforms,” said Katy Worobec, Managing Director of Economic Crime at UK Finance.

Conversely, the rest of this figure was classified as unauthorised fraud, where the account holder does not provide authorisation for the scam.

“Unauthorised fraud losses fell last year, but this type of criminal activity remains a major problem,” said Worobec.

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Financial scams are on the rise: Here’s how to keep your money safe

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.

In today’s world, there are plenty of threats to the security and viability of your wealth.

You might be concerned about how the cost of living crisis will affect your savings and investments, for example, and already be having conversations with your financial planner about how to mitigate these effects.

One potential challenge you could face in the coming months and years that you may not have considered is falling victim to an online scam.

Indeed, a National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) report reveals that it removed a record-breaking 2.7 million online scams in 2021. This number is four times higher than that of 2020, showing a startling increase in the number of active scams that could put your wealth at risk.

In addition, the UK’s specialist police unit for fraud claims that the current cost of living crisis will create an opportunity for scammers to “exploit” the financial concern many are facing. For example, scammers could offer “energy rebates” by pretending to be a Government body, acquiring your financial details surreptitiously, and potentially causing a highly stressful situation for you and your loved ones.

In light of the increasing number of financial scams that could put your financial viability at risk, there are several red flags even savvy individuals might miss.

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Inflation nudges upwards to 9.1%

The Bank of England still believes the peak is yet to come.

UK inflation reached 9.1% in the 12 months until May, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) announced today. Previously, inflation reached 9% in the 12 months to April.

May’s inflation rate means it is the highest figure to be recorded in the National Statistics series, which began in 1997, and the highest inflation has been in 40 years.

“While the rate of growth in the inflation rate may have slowed, we have plenty warnings that this is not the peak, with the Bank of England expecting it to climb to 11% later this year following the increase in fuel caps,” said Paul Craig, Portfolio Manager at Quilter Investors.

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Nationwide BS offer market-leading rate on high interest current account

The high-street provider now offers 5% Annual Equivalent Rate (AER) on its FlexDirect account for the first 12 months.

Nationwide BS has increased the introductory rate on its FlexDirect current account to 5% today, making it the top rate on the market for high interest current accounts.

“This market leading rate will help new and existing members make the most of their money, which is particularly important right now,” said Debbie Crosbie, Chief Executive at Nationwide Building Society.

The latest increase means Virgin Money’s Club M and M Plus accounts offer the next highest rate on the market at 2.02%.

It is worth noting that TSB do offer an interest rate of 2.50%, but it is only available to applicants between the ages of 16 and 19.

While Nationwide BS’s new rate may be market-leading, it is fixed for 12 months from account opening. Once this period has expired it will revert to a variable rate which stands at 0.25% at the time of writing.

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Inflation forces UK pay to fall at fastest rate in a decade

Regular pay rises may still be of concern for policymakers.

When accounting for inflation, UK regular pay between February and April fell 2.2% compared to the previous year, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) announced today.

“If you exclude bonuses, pay in real terms is falling at its fastest rate in over a decade,” said Sam Beckett, Head of Economic Statistics at the ONS.

When taking bonuses into account, this figure changes to a rise in pay of 0.4%.

“The high level of bonuses continues to cushion the effects of rising prices on total earnings for some workers,” she said.

While regular pay fell compared to the previous year, employees received an average regular pay increase, which excludes bonuses, of 4.2% between February and April this year.

This will be of particular concern for policymakers, like the Bank of England [BoE], due to rising inflation, according to Paul Craig, Portfolio Manager at Quilter Investors.  

“Earlier this year, Andrew Bailey [Governor of the Bank of England] went as far as to urge workers not to ask for big pay rises in the face of spiralling inflation. Ultimately, this all translates to people’s earnings not keeping up with inflation and hampering people’s purchasing power,” he explained.

For Sarah Coles, Senior Personal Finance Expert at Hargreaves Lansdown, this wage increase is not sustainable in the long-term due to inflation.

“Rising inflation will pile the pressure on even more, and over time effective pay cuts are likely to spread. Already, not every company is boosting pay to keep pace with inflation,” she said.

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Heathrow to reopen Terminal 4 in preparation for summer

14th June 2022

After being closed for more than two years, Heathrow’s Terminal 4 will reopen to travellers today, the airport announced. With the summer peak approaching, the move is expected to free up space in the airport’s other terminals. “Reopening Terminal 4 will give airlines at Heathrow extra space across the airport, helping them manage the impact additional travel documents continue to have on check-in times,” said John Holland-Kaye, CEO at Heathrow.

After being closed for more than two years, Heathrow’s Terminal 4 will reopen to travellers today, the airport announced.

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Petrol prices to hit £2 a litre, warns RAC

8th June 2022

The price of an unleaded litre of petrol could soon hit £2, warns the RAC. “With analysts predicting that oil will average $135 a barrel for the rest of this year drivers need to brace themselves for average fuel prices rocketing to £2 a litre which would mean a fill-up would rise to an unbelievable £110,” said Simon Williams, Spokesperson for the RAC.

The price of an unleaded litre of petrol could soon hit £2, warns the RAC.

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UK households saved almost quarter of their total disposable income between April and June 2020

6th June 2022

The latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) found that household savings during the pandemic reached their highest level between April and June 2020. The household savings ratio, which calculates the amount of money households have saved in relation to their total disposable income, peaked at 23.9% in this period. In contrast, this figure was recorded at 6.8% between October and December last year.  

The latest data from the ONS found that household savings during the pandemic reached their highest level between April and June 2020.

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How a salary exchange can help lower your tax bill

30th May 2022

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

If you are a business owner in today’s world, it is likely you are looking for ways to cut costs. Fortunately, there is the option “salary exchange”.

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What you need to know about your tax allowance for 2022/23

6th April 2022

While income tax bands stay the same, National Insurance thresholds have been increased. The new tax year has brought new changes to deal with the rising cost of living. Notably, the National Insurance contribution threshold has been raised. To help consumers and businesses understand the key changes and rules in place, we’ve highlighted the main tax laws you should know.

While income tax bands stay the same, National Insurance thresholds have been increased.

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Financial scams are on the rise: Here’s how to keep your money safe

29th June 2022

In today’s world, there are plenty of threats to the security and viability of your wealth. You might be concerned about how the cost of living crisis will affect your savings and investments, for example, and already be having conversations with your financial planner about how to mitigate these effects. One potential challenge you could face in the coming months and years that you may not have considered is falling victim to an online scam.

One potential challenge you could face in the coming months and years that you may not have considered is falling victim to an online scam.

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Price of Oil Hits Eight-Year High Amid Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine

24th February 2022

Potential sanctions on Russia could affect Europe’s energy supply. The price of oil rose to $103 a barrel this morning after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a military invasion of Ukraine. This is the highest price since 2014, when Russia annexed Crimea. Since the beginning of the year, oil prices have increased by more than $20 a barrel. “As military action escalates, we can now expect a steady trickle of further sanctions throughout the day, which will have ramifications across the markets,” said Giles Coghlan, Chief Analyst at HYCM. However, there is an immediate concern that the current events will impact Europe’s supply of oil and gas. “Just yesterday, the Bank of England’s Governor, Andrew Bailey, stated that there is an upside risk to energy prices from the invasion,” confirmed Coghlan.   According to Reuters, Russia is the world’s second-largest oil producer and makes up 35% of Europe’s energy supply. If tough sanctions were imposed on Russia, there are fears it would cut off Europe’s access to its oil and gas. For the UK, this potential impact is not expected to be as severe on its gas supply when compared to European neighbours. This is because over 80% of Britain’s gas is sourced from the North Sea or imported from Norway, according to the Guardian. Instead, the price of gas will likely become the UK’s biggest problem if markets rise in Europe, the article stated. The conflict has also impacted other commodities, with gold’s value increasing over the past month as tensions deepened.

Potential sanctions on Russia could affect Europe’s energy supply.

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War in Ukraine pushes price of nickel into uncharted territory

8th March 2022

Nickel briefly crossed a record high of $100,000 a ton after fresh supply concerns from impending Russian sanctions. As commodity prices continue to rise across the globe in response to Russia’s invasion to Ukraine, nickel prices rose above $100,000 a ton today on the London Metal Exchange (LME). “Nickel prices seriously hit nerves today, with trading suspended on the London Metal Exchange, after a record-breaking spike in prices,” said Susannah Streeter, Senior Investment and Markets Analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown. This has been caused by supply fears for the metal due to the war in Ukraine.

Nickel briefly crossed a record high of $100,000 a ton after fresh supply concerns from impending Russian sanctions.

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