Money: latest news
30 November 2023
Cahoot launches 5.20% Sunny Day Saver account
Online bank Cahoot has launched a new easy access account, the Sunny Day Saver account, paying 5.20% variable interest before tax on savings up to £3,000 for 12 months. This means a customer with £3,000 saved in the account will earn £156 interest in a year. However, no interest is earned on balances above £3,000. The account can be opened with £1 and after a year matures into the Cahoot Savings Account, which currently pays 1.20%. You can find all the top easy access accounts in our guide to the Best instant access savings accounts, which is updated weekly.
Inheritance Tax take soars
The taxman raked in a massive £4.6 billion in Inheritance Tax between April and October this year, £0.5 billion higher than the same period last year, HMRC data reveals. IHT receipts have been steadily rising, with last year a record-breaking year, topping up the taxman’s coffers by more than £7 billion. You can learn how to legitimately reduce any potential IHT liability in our guide Six ways to reduce inheritance tax bills.
One in five home sellers have been gazundered
The cooling property market has led to one in five sellers being gazundered in the last six months, research by the House Buyer Bureau has found. Gazundering happens when a buyer suddenly retracts the offer that has been accepted by the seller and submits a lower offer. Of those who have been gazundered, 47% said that it happened to them within two weeks before their completion date. You can read about gazundering and other nightmares that sellers and buyers can up against in our article Homebuying and selling horror stories.
Over a million retired households depend largely on State Pension
Around 1.2m retired households are “mainly reliant” on the State Pension for their retirement income, according to analysis of Office for National Statistics data by retirement specialists Just Group. Single pensioners account for the majority of households that are largely reliant on the State Pension, with three times as many women as men relying primarily on it. Find out more about the State Pension and how much it’s likely to provide you with in our guide How the State Pension works.
Barclays to shut at least 196 bank branches
Barclays will shut at least 196 of its branches in the next year, which is more than a third of all its bank branches in the UK. The number of banks and building society branches that have closed their doors for good has risen dramatically in recent years. According to consumer association Which?, more than 5,355 branches in the UK have closed since January 2015. If you like to do your banking face-to-face and your branch is closing you can find out about your options in our article What to do if your bank branch closes.
One third want to consolidate pensions
Nearly one in three people (31%) want to consolidate their pensions, research by Hargreaves Lansdown reveals. More than half (57%) say they have two or more pensions, so having them all in one place can make them easier to manage as well as allowing you to potentially benefit from lower changes and wider investment choice. However, it’s essential to seek advice if you’re thinking about consolidating your pensions so you can be certain you’re not giving up any valuable guarantees. Find out more in our guide Should I consolidate my pensions?
Money: latest news
23 November 2023
NS&I launches new issue of Green Savings Bonds
NS&I has introduced Issue 6 of its Green Savings Bonds, paying 3.95% annual interest over a three year fixed term. The previous issue paid 5.70%. Money invested in Green Savings Bonds helps finance green projects as part of the UK Government Green Financing Framework. The minimum investment in Green Savings Bonds is £100, with a maximum limit of £100,000 per person for each Issue, and no withdrawals can be made during the three year term. Find out more about Green Savings Bonds and NS&I’s other accounts in our guide National Savings & Investments products explained.
Pension Credit uptake increases
Nearly 39,000 people started receiving Pension Credit between February and May 2023, according to latest government data, although there are still 880,000 eligible people missing out. Pension Credit is worth £3,500 a year and can be worth up to £8,000 in additional support in the form of Housing Benefit, cost of living payments linked to Pension Credit and other financial help. Find out more about Pension Credit and how to claim if you’re eligible in our guide Pension Credit explained.
Virgin Money launches new search tool for financial support grants
Virgin Money and anti-poverty charity Turn2Us have introduced a new grants search tool to help people access financial support. The tool, which can be found at Turn2us Grants Search, includes a database of around 1,400 grants and support schemes. Anyone who is eligible for these schemes does not have to pay the money back. Find out more about ways to access financial support in our guide 26 sources of support if you receive benefits or are on a low income.
British Gas prepayment meter customers to receive extra help with bills
British Gas customers with prepayment meters could be in line for up to £250 in free credit to help them cover energy costs this winter. Those eligible for help, who are people on low incomes or who are considered vulnerable should receive letters from British Gas notifying them about the support. If you’re struggling to cover your energy bills, you can find out about other sources of support in our guide The energy bills crisis: what can you do about soaring costs?
Beware of scams this Black Friday
Consumers are being warned to watch out for fake Black Friday discount scams as they shop for bargains. Barclays Bank found that purchase scams increased by 34% over Black Friday and Cyber Monday last year, with an average of £1,072 lost per victim to scammers. These scams often involve emails or texts that seem to come from major retailers offering big discounts, but which are actually sent by scammers. Read more about how to avoid scams in our guide Latest Scams 2023.
Sainsbury’s Nectar ‘double-up’ promotion returns
Sainsbury’s has relaunched its ‘double-up’ promotion for hundreds of thousands of its Nectar customers. The offer is now called ‘Points Power Up’ and enables you to swap points for vouchers worth twice the usual amount. However, only some Nectar cardholders are able to use this promotion. You can find out if you’re one of them by checking your Nectar app and searching for promotions. Read more about how the Nectar scheme works in our article Shop loyalty schemes: What are your points worth?
Money: latest news
16 November 2023
Tesco opens Christmas delivery slots
Tesco has opened its Christmas delivery slots to its Anytime Delivery Pass members, with slots opening to non-members on November 21. Christmas slots tend to disappear quickly, so if you want one, you’ll need to act fast. Bear in mind that with some supermarkets, even if you have a delivery pass, you’ll still have to pay extra to secure a Christmas slot. You can find out more about which supermarkets have opened their slots in our guide Online Christmas supermarket delivery slots: book yours now!
Two weeks to take advantage of Barclays £175 current account switching incentive
Barclays is offering £175 to anyone who switches their current account to the bank via its app before November 30. The switch must be started by this date and then completed within 30 days. It must include two active direct debits and be carried out using the Current Account Switching Service. Switchers will also be given access to an easy access savings account paying 5.12% annual interest on balances up to £5,000. Find out more about the offer at Barclays and about some of the switching incentives offered by other banks in our article What are the best current accounts and switching incentives?
Will Aid is underway
If you’ve yet to write a will, every November participating solicitors volunteer their time and waive their fee for writing a basic will. Instead, they invite clients to make a voluntary donation to Will Aid, which raises funds for a range of well-known charities, suggesting £100 for a single basic will and £180 for a pair of basic ‘mirror’ wills. You can find out more about Will Aid here and about the importance of writing a will in our guide 6 reasons to write a will.
Higher energy price cap on the cards
The energy price cap, which is adjusted quarterly, is expected to rise in January from its current level of £1,834 a year to £1,923 a year, according to analysts Cornwallis Insight. This is higher than the rise to £1,898 a year it predicted in September. Cornwallis Insight then expects the cap to rise to £1,929 a year in April next year, fall to around £1,880 in July and increase again to around £1,917 in October. Find out more about the energy price cap in our article What is the energy price cap?
Cost of living crisis the main barrier to retirement for over-50s
More than two fifths (41%) of over-50s consider the cost-of-living crisis the main barrier to securing the income they think they’ll need in retirement, according to research from Standard Life. A survey by the insurer found that around half (48%) of those over 50 expect their own financial situation to get worse over the next year, while just 16% expect their financial situation to improve. The rising cost of living has prompted some to take a different option at retirement. More than one in 10 with a defined contribution pension are likely to buy an annuity at retirement to provide a secure income for the rest of their life. Find out more about how much you need to save for retirement in our article How much should I save for retirement?
Energy firms pay out around £11m for failing to fit enough smart meters: should you get one?
Six of the biggest energy suppliers will pay regulator Ofgem £10.8 million after failing to meet smart meter installation targets. Ofgem has announced that British Gas, Bulb, Ovo, Scottish Power, SSE and Ovo missed their smart meter targets in 2022. The regulator hasn’t stated why the targets have been missed, but experts believe that householders have been reluctant to have smart meters fitted, and there is a lack of available staff to do the job. Smart meters are meant to help households save money on their energy bills. Find out more in our article Should I get a smart meter?
Money: latest news
9 November 2023
Superdrug launches VIP Rewards for loyalty scheme members
Superdrug has launched new VIP Rewards for members of its Health and Beauty card loyalty scheme, whereby the more you spend, the greater the rewards you can earn. For example, if you spend £25, you can get a 20% single-use discount on any of Superdrug’s own brand products. If you spend more than £300 (it doesn’t have to be in one go) you’ll be rewarded with ‘VIP status’ for 12 months. This entitles you to discounts and free next day delivery on online shopping, as well as freebies from third party retailers. Find out more about VIP Rewards at Superdrug and about loyalty schemes generally in our guide Shop loyalty schemes: What are your points worth?
Do you have more than £9,525 in cash savings? You could face a tax bill
HMRC expects over 2.7 million people to be hit by savings tax in 2023-23, up by 1 million compared with estimates for the 2022-23 tax year, according to a Freedom of Information request submitted by AJ Bell. Before the Bank of England started hiking base rates, a basic-rate taxpayer could have a massive £154,000 in savings in the top easy-access account before they reached their Personal Savings Allowance, but this has now been slashed to just £19,050 in the top easy-access account, or £9,525 if you’re a higher rate taxpayer. Find out more in our guide What is the Personal Savings Allowance?
More than 250,000 Britons tracing lost pensions
Hundreds of thousands of Britons who could be missing out on pension savings have been using the government’s service to try and track down their lost money. The Pension Tracing Service received a total of 251,733 phone calls between July 2018 and August 2023, with the average lost pension amounting to £9,500, according to research by Hargreaves Lansdown. According to the Association of British Insurers, there are around 1.6m pension pots worth nearly £20bn waiting to be claimed by their owners. Read more in our article How to find and trace lost pensions.
New online service to check and pay voluntary National Insurance Contributions (NICs)
A new online service will launch before the end of this tax year that’s aimed at making it simple to check and pay voluntary National Insurance Contributions (NICs). At present, this can be a long-winded process that requires several calls and people have said it can be hard to get through to HMRC. The voluntary NI rate is currently £907.40 for a full year (£17.45 per week), which will boost your State Pension by around £302 a year (£5.82 a week). Read more in our article Is it worth paying to top up your State Pension?
Lockdown savings running out: get the best rate on your spare cash
The impact of the Covid-19 lockdowns prevented households from spending as normal, and boosted savings by millions of pounds. By late 2022, household cash deposits were around £200 billion above pre-pandemic estimates, according to the Bank of England. If shared equally, this would have amounted to an extra £7,000 of cash savings per household, which would have helped many to weather the worst of the cost of living crisis. However, Aviva estimates that the pandemic savings boost will be exhausted by summer 2025. In September 2023, withdrawals reduced the total saved in cash by £0.7 billion. If you are looking for the best rate on your savings, see our guide Best instant access savings accounts.
Around £2.1 billion worth of Pension Credit remains unclaimed
The government is urging pensioners to check if they are entitled to Pension Credit, which is worth around £2,200 a year on average. Pensioners in receipt of Pension Credit may also have access to other benefits, such as cold weather payments and the government’s cost of living payments. Around 880,000 families who could be receiving Pension Credit have failed to claim the benefit, according to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). This means up to £2.1 billion remains unclaimed. Find out whether you might be eligible and how to claim in our article Pension Credit explained.
Money: latest news
2 November 2023
Paragon launches market-leading savings account paying 5.25%
Paragon Bank has launched a new Double Access account paying a market-leading 5.25% annual interest before tax. As its name suggests, the Double Access savings account enables savers to make two withdrawals within a 12-month period. If three or more withdrawals are made, the rate drops to 1.50% AER. The account can be opened with a minimum balance of £1,000, and the maximum balance you can hold is £500,000. Find out more at Paragon Bank.
Over 50s car insurance premiums jump by more than 50%
The cost of car insurance has jumped 54% year-on-year for drivers aged 55-64, according to research by Compare the Market. The average annual premium for drivers in this age group has now reached £429. Premiums for all age groups have typically risen by £278 (49%) year-on-year in September. The comparison site says that the significant rise in the cost of car insurance may in part be due to a rise in the cost of claims for insurers, with inflation pushing up the cost of spare parts, energy, and hiring specialist mechanics. Find out ways you might be able to keep the cost of cover down in our article 10 practical tips to reduce your car insurance premiums.
Second cost of living payment now being made
Millions of people on low incomes and receiving benefits should receive the second instalment of the government’s cost of living payment between now and 19 November. The £900 government support package is being paid in three separate instalments, with the second £300 payment paid automatically to those entitled to the benefit from the end of October. You should be entitled to the £900 cost of living payments if you receive one or more of the following benefits: Universal Credit; income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance; income-related Employment and Support Allowance; income support; Pension Credit; Working Tax Credit, and Child Tax Credit. Find out more in our guide Second cost of living payment announced.
Inheritance tax receipts jump to £3.9 billion from April to September
Inheritance tax receipts increased to £3.9 billion in the six months from April 2023 to September 2023, according to latest figures from HM Revenue & Customs. This is a £400 million increase from the same period in the previous year, fuelled by soaring house prices and tax freezes. Calculations by Wealth Club show the average bill could increase to £233,000 in the 2023/24 tax year, with over 30,000 families having to hand over part of their estate to the tax man. This is a 9% increase from the £214,000 average paid three years ago and a 12% rise in the number of estates paying the tax. Read more in our article Six ways to reduce inheritance tax.
Criminals steal £580 million from victims through fraud
Scammers stole over half a billion pounds from victims through fraud in the first six months of this year, according to UK Finance, increasingly using social media, texts, phone calls and emails to persuade people to hand over cash and personal details. However, the amount stolen was 6% lower compared with the same period in 2022. You can find out more about fraud, how to spot it, and what to do if you fall victim to a scam, in our guide to the Latest scams to watch out for in 2023.
Tesco Mobile extends free European roaming
Tesco Mobile has extended free European roaming for all customers until 2025. This means you can continue to use your minutes, texts and data across 48 European countries and destinations without being charged extra. Tesco Mobile was originally due to start charging new and recently joining customers to use their mobiles in Europe from next year. You can find out more about roaming charges when you use your mobile phone abroad and how to keep costs down in our guide How to save on mobile costs when you go on holiday.
Money: latest news
26 October 2023
HMRC starts reimbursing women who were underpaid pensions
HMRC is sending out thousands of letters to mothers who are missing out on their full State Pension entitlement after mistakes were made calculating their entitlement. On average, HMRC is expected to owe affected women £5,000 each, and letters are being sent out over the next 18 months, with those over State Pension age the first to receive them. Find out whether you’re likely to hear from HMRC in our article HMRC writing to women who could have been underpaid the State Pension – don’t miss out
Free crumpets at Morrisons
Morrisons and Warburtons have brought back their free crumpet offer for a limited period. Simply ‘Ask for Ellen’ at any Morrisons Cafe and you’ll receive two free Warburtons crumpets with butter and jam, no questions asked. The offer is available every day until November 5, subject to availability. There’s no minimum spend and both adults and children can claim the deal in any of the 398 Morrisons cafes. Only one portion of crumpets per person can be claimed each day. Find out more at Warburtons.
Don’t miss October 31 deadline to file paper tax returns
If you file your self-assessment tax return by post rather than online, the deadline for paper returns is 31 October, although you still have until 31 January 2024 to pay any tax you owe. If you miss the October deadline, then you have until 31 January next year to file your tax return online. Find out more about self-assessment tax returns and penalties if you don’t submit your return in time at GOV.UK.
Six in ten retirees unaware of Inheritance Tax threshold
The majority (51%) of over 55s do not know what the threshold is for the value of an estate to pay Inheritance Tax (IHT), according to Just Group’s 2023 Countdown to Retirement research, with a further 8% of the respondents stating that they were not sure. Half of retirees (50%) also said they did not have a clear understanding of the IHT rules and the amount that can be passed on before tax. The current threshold at which IHT usually becomes payable is £325,000. You can find out more in our guide What is Inheritance Tax?
Average British family throws away 730 portions of leftovers every year
British families throw away a staggering 730 portions of ‘leftovers’ every year, leaving three quarters (74 per cent) feeling guilty and ashamed about the amount of food they waste. It is estimated that Brits squander £76 each month on food, according to HelloFresh, either due to it going out of date or being thrown away as leftovers. Read our article Five apps to reduce food waste and save money to find ways you might be able to reduce the amount of food you throw away each month.
Savers who don’t switch to the best rates could be £1,665 worse off over two years
Savers who don’t move to the top savings providers could lose out on up to £1,665 worth of interest in the next few years, according to Hargreaves Lansdown. Thousands of savers who fixed for a year when interest rates soared in the aftermath of the mini-Budget will see their accounts mature in the next few months. They will then either need to switch, or lose out on potentially thousands of pounds in interest when their rate falls. Some of the best deals have already been pulled from the shelves in recent weeks, so savers should get their skates on to ensure they get a good rate. Find the best deals in our article Fixed rate savings bonds explained.
Please note that we do not provide financial advice. You should always do your own research before choosing any financial product so that you can be certain it is right for you. If in doubt, please seek professional financial advice.
Whilst we endeavour to provide accurate information, deals and prices can change, so although they may be correct at the time of writing, providers may subsequently decide to alter them. We accept no liability for how you choose to use the information given on our site and in our emails, nor can we be held responsible for any content on websites that we link to. Trust and transparency is important to us. If a link has * by it, it means that we may receive a commission or payment from the site being linked to.
This helps us keep Rest Less free to use for our members. Importantly, we work hard to ensure that it won’t impact what we write. This is why we routinely include many helpful links where no commission is ever paid. For full terms and conditions, view them here.