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Are investments and personal finance deals as green as they claim?
Derin Clark

Derin Clark

Online Reporter
Published: 10/11/2021

As world leaders spent the past two weeks at the COP26 Glasgow climate summit many companies are clamouring to highlight their green credentials, and the finance industry is no exception.

Some banks and building societies are offering a range of ‘green’ savings accounts and mortgages; while investments labelled Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) have long been popular with investors.

For consumers looking to do their part to help combat global warming, choosing a green savings or mortgage deal or an ESG investment may seem like a good choice, but with no official guidance on what qualifies as a green product or an ESG investment, the product they choose may not be as green as the consumer initially thought.

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Premium bond winners for November 2021 revealed

This month’s premium bond prize draw saw two people from Bristol scoop the £1 million jackpot.

The first winner had the bond number 332GB855665 and holds a total of £38,000 in premium bonds. The second winning premium bond number was 209DZ100774, and the winner holds £25,004 in premium bonds.

Commenting on this month’s prize draw, Jill Waters, retail director at National Savings & Investments (NS&I), said: “2021 has been a lucky year for premium bonds holders in Bristol, with the fourth jackpot win recorded in the area so far this year. With one draw left in 2021, I’m sure that the millions of other premium bonds holders will be crossing their fingers that they’ll be next in line for a windfall from ERNIE – and make it a Christmas to remember.

“It’s also a big month for premium bonds as today marks 65 years since they went on sale. With 114,006,329,133 bonds eligible for this month’s draw, they are bigger than ever and with more than 3.2 million prizes this month, there’s millions of opportunities for people up and down the country to be surprised and delighted by premium bonds wins. There’s no better way to celebrate the 65th anniversary of premium bonds than by changing two peoples’ lives by making them millionaires – and we hope to make many more through one of the nation’s favourite savings product in the coming years.”

Along with the £1 million winners, this month’s prize draw saw 3.2 million other prizes handed out to premium bond holders. In total six premium bond holders won £100,000 in the November draw, 10 scooped £50,000, 22 received £25,000 and 55 won £10,000. The remaining winners received prizes ranging from £5,000 to £25.

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Credit scores rise during pandemic

During the pandemic there has been a rise in consumers’ credit scores, with the average score increasing from 776 in September 2019 to 797 in September this year, according to Experian.

The rise in credit scores could be down to some consumers having more disposable income during lockdowns, which they have used to pay down or clear existing debts. As well as this, although some consumers faced financial difficulties during the pandemic, the mortgage payment holidays offered by lenders did not impact credit scores, which has prevented some consumers from seeing their score fall.

Normally, a credit score will be impacted if a borrower fails to keep up with repayments on the debt, but when repayment holidays on mortgages and other types of debt were brought in at the beginning of the pandemic, it was stated that consumers needing to take a payment holiday would not see it impact their credit score. Those who had to continue taking a payment holiday after the initial incentive ended, however, would see it start to impact their credit score.

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Why you should start saving for Christmas 2022 now

Shops and supermarkets are stocked full of Christmas decorations, gifts and food as the festive shopping season starts, but while many consumers may be focusing on Christmas 2021, now is the ideal time to start saving for next year’s Christmas.

One of the best ways to manage the cost of Christmas without incurring debt, is to be prepared and having savings already stashed away, and gaining interest, in preparation for the festive period.

After the last 18-months that has seen savings rates hit record lows, average rates on savings accounts are now starting to rise, so now is the ideal time for savvy savers to open a savings account to start stashing away money for next year’s Christmas.

Consumers who are good at saving may want to open an easy access savings account that allows unlimited further deposits that they can specifically dedicate to their 2022 Christmas fund. The current top easy access savings rate is from Cynergy Bank which pays 0.66% AER, which includes a 0.36% bonus for 12 months, on its Online Easy Access Account (Issue 42).

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What the autumn 2021 budget means for your finances

The autumn 2021 budget was announced against a backdrop of a rising cost of living that threatens to leave some consumers struggling to pay for everyday essentials.

On announcing the budget, Chancellor Rishi Sunak said it would create an “economy fit for a new age”. Indeed, much of the budget was focused on investing in housing, education and infrastructure, which may have left some disappointed that there was little announced that would help consumers cope with the current rising cost of living.

During the budget there were some announcements that would help consumers, however, including the Government cancelling the planned rise in fuel duty and increasing the National Living Wage from £8.91 per hour to £9.50, which will come into effect from 1 April 2022. As well as this, those who are working and receive Universal Credit will see the taper rate cut by 8%, down from its current level of 63% to 55%, which will come into effect by 1 December 2021.

Consumers who buy alcohol may also see prices start to fall, as the Chancellor announced that the Government would simplify alcohol duty, which will see the number of rates drop from 15 to six, which the Chancellor said would reduce the tax paid on lower alcohol drinks such as rose wine, fruit ciders and lower strength beers and wine. It will, however, see a rise in tax on stronger red wines, fortified wines and high-strength ciders.

Travellers who take long-haul flights may also see the cost of air travel start to rise from April 2023 as the Chancellor announced a new ultra long haul band in Air Passenger Duty for flights of over 5,500 miles will be introduced. Meanwhile, those who take internal UK flights may find that the cost of flying becomes cheaper as flights between airports in the UK will be subject to a new lower rate of Air Passenger Duty from April 2023.

Consumers looking to get onto the property ladder in the coming years may welcome the Chancellor’s announcement that £24 billion has been earmarked for housing, which includes £11.5 billion for up to 180,000 affordable homes.

As well as this, in the days leading up to the budget announcement, it was leaked that the Government would:

  • Give £6.9 billion for English city regions to spend on train, tram, bus and cycle projects.
  • Give £5.9 billion to NHS England to help tackle the backlog of people waiting for tests and scans.
  • Spend £2.6 billion on creating 30,000 new school places for children with special educational needs and disabilities.
  • Spend £1.6 billion over three years to roll out the new T-levels for 16 to 19 year olds, as well as £550 million for adult skills in England.
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Recent News

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How would a base rate rise impact your finances?

21st October 2021

Many finance experts are predicting that the Bank of England will increase base rate in the coming months to help tackle rising inflation

Many finance experts are predicting that the Bank of England will increase base rate in the coming months to help tackle rising inflation

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Inflation falls month-on-month but possible base rate rise remains

20th October 2021

Inflation during September fell slightly to 3.1%, down from 3.2% in August, but with inflation still above the Bank of England’s target of 2.0%

Inflation during September fell slightly to 3.1%, down from 3.2% in August, but with inflation still above the Bank of England’s target of 2.0%

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Which energy suppliers have gone bust?

7th October 2021

As the energy crisis continues a growing number of consumers are finding that their energy supplier is going out of business

As the energy crisis continues a growing number of consumers are finding that their energy supplier is going out of business

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Moneyfacts Consumer Survey opens today - take part for a chance to win £1,000

4th October 2021

Millions of financial services customers across the UK can now vote and have their say about how they feel about the services and products they have experience with, as the annual Moneyfacts Consumer Survey opens today.

Millions of financial services customers across the UK can now vote and have their say about how they feel about the services and products they have experience with, as the annual Moneyfacts Consumer Survey opens today.

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Most Popular Other Money News

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Are investments and personal finance deals as green as they claim?

10th November 2021

As world leaders spent the past two weeks at the COP26 Glasgow climate summit many companies are clamouring to highlight their green credentials

As world leaders spent the past two weeks at the COP26 Glasgow climate summit many companies are clamouring to highlight their green credentials

Read More
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Why you should start saving for Christmas 2022 now

1st November 2021

Shops and supermarkets are stocked full of Christmas decorations, gifts and food as the festive shopping season starts, but while many consumers may be focusing on Christmas 2021, now is the ideal time to start saving for next year’s Christmas

Shops and supermarkets are stocked full of Christmas decorations, gifts and food as the festive shopping season starts, but while many consumers may be focusing

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Savvy savers shopping around

10th November 2009

Britons have been increasingly shopping around and making changes to their lifestyle to counteract the effects of the recession, it has been revealed...

Britons have been increasingly shopping around and making changes to their lifestyle to counteract the effects of the recession, it has been revealed...

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Premium bond winners for November 2021 revealed

2nd November 2021

This month’s premium bond prize draw saw two people from Bristol scoop the £1 million jackpot

This month’s premium bond prize draw saw two people from Bristol scoop the £1 million jackpot

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