If you were to glance at the latest tech or payments industry news, you could be forgiven for thinking that the days of hard currency, or actual, physical, cash were numbered.
But, away from the front line of the digitalisation of all things banking related; bitcoin, e-wallets, online or mobile only accounts; peer-to-peer money transfer services; a group of organisations with a vested interest in the continuing use of physical currency are forming an alliance to secure teh future of notes and coins. Read more
Despite Brexit, Britain’s shoppers had been displaying admirable resilience over the past 12 months in the face of a fallen pound, uncertain markets and static wage growth, but now it looks as though conditions may be worsening irreversibly.
The luxury goods market is back on track. According to research recently compiled by Bain & Co, the consultancy firm, worldwide sales of luxury goods look set to increase, driven by demand from Chinese customers as well as millennial and “Generation Z” shoppers.
Worldwide revenues from personal luxury goods sales are expected to rise 6 percent in 2017, beating forecast projections which indicated a 2-4% increase. Read more
It’s probably safe to assume that nearly every person in possession of a credit, debit, or even a store card, has shared those card details with Google on at least one occasion.
Maybe you have made a purchase at the Google Play store. Perhaps you have added a card to Android Pay, or shared your details with YouTube, or almost certainly used them whilst browsing using Google Chrome. Read more
This week, we have learned a lot about the state of the economy in the UK, and what it means for the woman or man in the street.
Firstly, we have learned that inflation hit its highest level since 2012 in October, rising from 2.9%, past the psychological barrier of 3%. Bank of England governor; Mark Carney, has warned that is is likely to rise further.
The main reason that inflation has risen as much as it has is of course Brexit; lest we forget, last June’s vote to leave the EU caused the pound to drop more than 13% against the euro, to a 31-year low, making imports far dearer, and pushing up the prices of nearly all goods produced outside of the UK, and especially fuel, food and transport costs. Read more
Expats living in the Eurozone, businesses trading in the region and Europeans holding excess Sterling may be intrigued to hear that MoneyCorp have just launched a savings account which supports both currencies.
The MoneyCorp account, which requires 90-day notice for all withdrawals, offers a handsome interest rate of 1.3% too – provided you are depositing Sterling – the rate on Euro deposits is just 0.05%. Read more
Dick Strawbridge, from Essex, his partner Angel and their two children are returning to our TV screens this autumn for a new series of Escape to the Chateau on Channel 4.
In the first series, the couple risked it all by swapping their two-bedroom flat in Essex for a fairy-tale French Chateau, at a cost of £345,000 pounds. Around €390,000 euros based on current exchange rates. Read more
The International Money Transfer Industry has probably changed more in the past decade than at any time in its history.
Moving money abroad has traditionally been an expensive process with few options available to sender or recipient. Read more
The Money Cloud, the original and best overseas money transfer comparison site founded by industry pioneers Emmanuel Addy and Huw Jenkins, today announces an exclusive partnership with City Forex to help travellers order their travel money online, and have it delivered direct to their office or home. Read more
Unemployment rates in Britain are lower than at any time since the 1970s, and according to a survey conducted by recruitment agency Adecco, employers plan to hike wages by 1% over the next year, after a 1.5% increase in the first half of this year.
But despite this, British workers are likely to become worse off, because inflation rates are stubbornly refusing to come down, and the Bank of England have no immediate plans to increase interest rates. Read more
It’s amazing to think that the Bank of England has not raised interest rates for more than a decade, but then nobody expected the credit crunch, quantitative easing, or indeed the “age of austerity” that George Osborne introduced during his time as chancellor.
That’s a lot of jargon to digest, but digest it we have, with the result that most of us have tightened the purse strings and tried to take a more frugal approach to our finances.
The big question now is, how much longer will we have to endure this financial stasis? Read more
Britain in Debt? The signs are not good. According to an article in today’s Times, the balance of Britain’s credit cards as a whole is closing in on £70 billion pounds, unsecured credit lending is increasing year on year, and the rise of concepts like payday loans and un-arranged overdrafts are causing consumers to fall further and further into debt. Read more
This content is brought to you by The Money Cloud – comparing the best rates for sending money overseas offered by hand-picked, regulated brokers and money transfer agencies
In a recent series of articles, we have been looking at the possibilities of relocating abroad, and in this section we’ll be looking at paying tax on an overseas property, or properties.
A spell abroad can be an enriching experience for solo travellers, workers, families or retirees, but to make the most of the experience, and avoid the pitfalls, its best to know from the outset where you stand financially – this will not only give you peace of mind and leave you free to enjoy everything a spell overseas can offer, but also opens the door to exciting opportunities, such as acquiring a property while you are abroad. Read more
Most of us have been tempted, or even given serious consideration to buying a property overseas at one stage in our lives, and rightly so!
For some of us the temptation is just a passing fancy; but for an increasing number what can seem like a wild and exotic decision at first can be, provided you do your research thoroughly, rooted in good sense, and not nearly as hard to achieve as some people will try to convince you it is.
If you are committed, sensible, realistic about what is achievable and know who you are dealing with, you may be surprised by how straightforward it can be to acquire a wonderful property abroad using a mortgage product. Read more
A local bank account can be a lifesaver when relocating abroad.
Relocating abroad is something that many people will do at least once in their lives, and generally speaking, it is a valuable life experience that allows you to experience a new culture, enhance your career prospects and even make you a more well-rounded person.
Even in today’s modern, digitalised world, however, there are certain hurdles that you must jump through and rules to comply with that you must understand if your stay abroad is to be a success. Read more
Santander launched its latest product, the “100% digital” OpenBank last week amidst much fanfare and some bold new features and promises. Currently it is only available in Spain, but is expected to be rolled out internationally soon.
So, after 15 months in the making, and having been re-built from scratch, can this re-launched product of Santander’s be seen as a blueprint for the way the bank accounts of the future will operate? Read more
Banks and wire transfer services charge too much in fees and offer the least favourable exchange rates
If you are a follower of the financial news media, you are probably aware that how people are sending money abroad is changing.
The most common ways to send money abroad at the turn of the decade would have been to either use a money transfer agency like Western Union or Ria, or to visit your high-street bank.
But what many people don’t realise is that because of the monopoly that the banks, and these two transfer agencies had on the market, they were able to charge unnecessarily high fees, as well as offering you a price that did not accurately reflect the current value of a currency.
Remember when all you would hear during the ad breaks for your favourite television programme would be “there’s an app for that”.
This was a few years ago now, when apps were brand new and the likes of Apple, Google and Samsung wanted you to learn all about these mysterious new widgets that could solve your everyday problems at a cinch. Read more
Starling bank are arguably the UK’s most exciting Fintech “Challenger Bank” – that is, a new kind of firm offering users a different kind of banking proposition; simple, transparent, and without the hidden fees and charges that can make high street banks so unappealing to modern, mobile savvy millennials. Read more
The “Big 4” Challenger Banks
London may not be the world’s biggest FinTech hub, but there is an argument that says it is the most disruptive, and especially within the retail banking space.
There are no fewer than 5 recognised “Challenger banks” in operation currently, 4 based in London, and one in Durham. All have attracted significant funding, target millennials with mobile apps, instant spending reports and clever features, yet all face different challenges and issues as they battle to uproot the “big 4” high street banks; Lloyds, HSBC, Barclays and Natwest. Let’s have a look at 5 of the so-called challengers – in no particular order. Read more