Saving & banking

Updated: 05:33 EST

Death of the savings habit: Amount we put aside plunges

We are now setting aside just £2 out of every £100 of income, according to the government-run Office for Budget Responsibility. That is a huge drop from the £6 per £100 at the start of last year. And it’s set to get even worse. The official forecast predicts the so-called ratio will fall to £1.80 per £100 in the final three months of 2018 and halve to just 90p per £100 a year later.

Which banks actually offer the most useful and straightforward apps and can you really trust them to be safe? We find out.

Bitcoin’s price is poised to smash the $10,000 barrier – sparking fears of a dangerous bubble which could end in huge losses. The online currency is valued at $9,700 per unit.

Savings could be under threat if banks go bust

The first €100,000 of a customer's savings are protected under EU law when a lender goes bust. But officials have backed a shake-up of the rules which could prevent customers withdrawing their money for months. At present, they are entitled to all their money in seven working days.

Ian McCafferty, MPC member, told MPs that he expects banks to pass on changes to the interest rate after it moved back to 0.5%, but that it was not the role of the MPC to force them to do so.

Prudent Britons hoping for some cheer in the Budget today were left bitterly disappointed, with the official 86 page document containing zero mentions of the word 'savers'.

What is an Isa? We explain how to pick the best for you

Isas used to be so simple. Now there are new Isas popping up all over the place with ever-more complexity. So we go back to basics and explain what they are and what they're good for. In this episode of the Big Money Questions, senior investment planner at Vanguard James Norton goes through what you need to know, and how you can get started if you are saving for the long term and want to open a stocks and shares Isa.

$466k payment from Canada to UK went missing at Barclays

A retired couple moving back from Canada to settle in Cornwall were left in limbo after a huge payment seemingly went missing while being wired across the Atlantic. Brian Dover 78 and his wife Carolyn, 74, moved to Canada in 2013, but soon discovered that the winters in the North American country were too harsh for them.

Savers looking for the best deals on their easy-access money need to act quickly - and watch out for traps. Top deals can be on sale for a matter of days before they are taken off the market.

The number of savers looking for a fixed-rate deal dropped by almost 10 per cent in the past month, according to research from data monitors Moneyfacts.

NS&I raises rates 0.25% on savings including Premium Bonds

Millions of hard-pressed savers received a boost today with NS&I revealing it is passing the full base rate rise on - including shortening the odds on Premium Bond prizes. It says the current prize fund rate for Premium Bonds is 1.15 per cent - this will rise to 1.4 per cent on 1 December 2017 - with a bigger pot and more prizes.

Sophie Jones, 26, telephoned Nationwide about a £7,300 bank transfer she was planning to make for a car found online and if she would be protected if the sale turned out to be a scam.

For many who have heard about the cryptocurrency boom, a major grumble has been how to buy it without jumping through hoops, worries over security and how to actually spend it.

Fears grow that 'open banking' will increase fraud threat

A new era of banking will be ushered in from January next year - and security experts say it could put people at greater risk of scams and identity theft. Under new 'open banking' rules, Britain's biggest banks will be forced to share customer data with companies that demand it. Security experts say cyber-criminals will seek fresh opportunities under open banking.

The digital currency has attracted serious attention in recent months as its value has soared - with many investors hoping it can make them a lot of money.

At Santander, Lloyds and Halifax, some savers will see no rise at all, while others will benefit by just 0.15 points, rather than the full increase, from the start of next month.

Simon Lambert: Why does NatWest offer 0.01% savings rate?

NatWest's 0.01% Instant Saver rate is so bad that it speeds past measly on its way to parody. It is so small that there is almost no point in offering it or earning it. This rate delivers 10p on £1,000 in a year. And yet it believes that it's an acceptable rate to offer to customers. Why? We asked the bank to explain.

How to get a better rate on your savings after the rise

Big banks which are plundering millions of pounds a day from savers and borrowers. We can expose the cynical tactics Britain's savings giants have used to hit savers in the pocket. HSBC, Santander, Lloyds, Barclays and RBS-NatWest all slashed the returns on their main easy-access deals before last week's rise in the Bank of England base rate, which went from 0.25 per cent to 0.5 per cent.

Paragon Bank has launched a new easy access savings deal paying 1.31 per cent, which shoots straight to the top of This is Money's independent best buy savings tables.

Monzo's boss Tom Blomfield talks to This is Money on the cost of scaling a business and how the bank stands to finally turn a profit from the advent of Open Banking.

3 key steps to stop falling victim to fraud at the bank

There may be hope yet for Santander customers who are defrauded after the bank chose to reimburse more than £100,000 to one victim. Zuzana Miklova, 34, from Purley, south London, was conned out of £109,000 after falling victim to a text message scam, known in the industry as smishing, last week.

The big banks really are a miserly bunch aren't they?First, they slash easy access savings rates as low as 0.01% in a series of drastic cuts. Then, they refuse to pass on the BoE's base rate rise.

Nearly half of Mail Online and This is Money readers say that Bank of England hiking interest rates from 0.25 per cent to 0.5 per cent is good news for them.

Do I pay tax if I sell bitcoin for a big profit?

I'm a basic-rate taxpayer employed in IT and, by an amazing bit of luck, bought 1,000 bitcoins in 2012 for £5 each. I've been told they are now worth more than £4 million at the current exchange rate. As this is a virtual currency, does that mean I have to declare the sale for tax purposes?

Yesterday, Atom Bank raised its one-year fixed rate bond to 1.95 per cent, or 1.93 per cent if you take the interest each month rather than just once a year.

When a spouse or civil partner dies you can claim an extra Isa allowance so you can inherit their savings tax-free. The extra allowance is equal to the amount in the Isa at the time of death.

Are Basset & Gold Pensioner Bonds risk-free?

Hard-pressed older savers who are struggling to find a decent return on their cash may be tempted into products with high rates of interest that are prominently advertised on the internet - but they must be aware of the risks. One such product is being marketed for the over-55s with the tagline 'Pensioner Bonds Are Back' by a firm called Basset & Gold.

They are setting up a new system that allows them find out where a payment has ended up - regardless of how many bank accounts the money has been moved through.

TSB has upped the ante with a new £130 cash perk for those opening its Classic Plus Account, pushing it to the top of the pile of attractive current account incentives on offer.

Paragon Bank has launched a new easy access savings deal paying 1.31 per cent, which shoots straight to the top of This is Money's independent best buy savings tables.

Yesterday, Atom Bank raised its one-year fixed rate bond to 1.95 per cent, or 1.93 per cent if you take the interest each month rather than just once a year.

Protected against a bust: Make sure your savings are safe by not putting more than £85,000 into each authorised bank

The way you spread out your savings with banks is crucial in terms of protection and compensation. We show you how to get protected.

This is Money's five favourite best buy cash Isas 2017

Although cash Isas don't currently offer fantastic rates, it is still worthwhile opening one to shield money away from the taxman. Our savings correspondent Lee Boyce picks his five favourite cash Isas for savers in 2016 - essential reading to help you choose a top savings account for your money. This page is kept up-to-date throughout the year - bookmark it for the very latest developments.

   

DON'T MISS...

Premium Bonds winners

November 2017
Prize value Winning bond No. Area
£1,000,000 235XY200329 Cambridgeshire
£1,000,000 211HV345974 Edinburgh
£100,000 198EC563509 Northamptonshire
£100,000 190PX535493 Essex
£100,000 143VH210000 Essex
£50,000 283XZ475986 Manchester
£50,000 266RE374700 Inner London
£50,000 256ZV188814 Bedfordshire
£50,000 218XH060858 Hereford and Worcester
£50,000 199XP768208 Norfolk
£25,000 48YX923215 Wiltshire
More Premium Bonds winners
   

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