Bad luck for Premium Bond savers as chances to win a prize shrink from today

The odds on your Premium Bonds winning a prize get longer from today. They have been slashed from 26,000:1 to 30,000:1 from the June draw onwards, meaning there will be 296,203 fewer numbers drawn by computer Ernie. National Savings & Investments will pay out £64.1million in prizes in June, down from £68.7million in May. Premium Bonds are its most popular product. Savers have £61billion held in them in the hope of a tax-free prize.

HSBC is offering current account switchers a juicy £200 cash carrot - the largest currently available - when they open either its Advance or Premier accounts.

Our National Savings and Investments index-linked savings certificates Issue 48 are about to mature. Should we renew them? And if so, should we pick a three or five year term?

File photo dated 06/01/15 of money in a piggy bank, as savers are choosing current accounts over traditional savings products to build up their nest eggs, research has found. 

PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Sunday February 21, 2016. More than two-fifths (45%) of people are using their current account to build up their savings pots, according to research for Nationwide Building Society. See PA story MONEY Savings. Photo credit should read: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Shawbrook Bank has gone against the tide and raised its rate for new savers wanting a fixed-rate cash Isa. It now pays a top 1.5% for one year and 1.6% for two years.

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They have meted out a new round of harsh cuts, chopping rates by up to two-thirds - despite making billions of pounds of profit in the first three months of this year.

A British Five Pound / £5 Note on white background

The new fivers, which will be unveiled tomorrow, won't be affected by moisture and can be wiped clean. They can survive a spin in a washing machine and can't be torn.

Scissors cutting up a 20 pound banknote

So far this year, banks and building societies have dished out more than 340 cuts to loyal savers in their variable rate accounts, figures from specialists Savings Champion reveal.

A woman and Grandmother are pictured sitting at a table paying bills --- Image by   Jose Luis Pelaez, Inc./CORBIS
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They have launched a taskforce to investigate ways to improve the way they deal with power of attorney customers.

Person using a cash machine. A bank today announced plans to install hundreds of free-to-use cash machines in the UK's poorest communities. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Friday July 28, 2006. The Royal Bank of Scotland group, which also includes NatWest, said it recognised the reliance on the free dispensers by those of "limited financial means". See PA story MONEY Machines. Photo credit should read: Gareth Fuller/PA.

Our research found the cost of an unauthorised overdraft of £50 for two weeks differed wildly from bank to bank. The smallest charge, at Barclays, was £35 and the most was £86 at Lloyds.

Tandem Bank hits its £1m crowdfunding target in 15 mins 

Challenger bank Tandem is set to launch later this year with an aim to become a 'mass market' player within the next decade. Its strategy, according to its founders, is to help people sort out their money and to do well only when its customers do. But when banks make so much of their profits from what Tandem sees as the 'nasty' side of banking - the fees, penalties - is it possible to run a profitable bank that rejects it?

Metro Bank has written to its current account customers to tell them fees for using their credit and debit cards outside of Europe will increase to be more in line with big banks.

Close up of the HMRC logo as seen on its website. (Editorial use only:  print, TV, e-book and editorial website).  Revenue & Customes. Income tax form

The new personal savings allowance should mean savers can now earn up to £1,000 tax-free. And banks are supposed to pay your earnings before deducting tax.

YOUR spending habits to be made public and shared with other banks

The Competition and Markets Authority wants banks to introduce technology that allows them to share customer data. Currently this information is zealously guarded by banks who keep it for their own use. But the watchdog believes making it more widely available will help customers get a better deal.

Paul Lynam, the leader of Britain's challenger banks hoping to loosen the stranglehold of the big high street names, has a damning response to last week's competition probe into the sector.

Coins on scrabble board game.

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Under changes that came in last month, you should be able to take money out of your cash Isa and replace it at a later date without fear of losing your tax break.

As a fraud epidemic sweeps Britain, just two in 1,000 cases are ever investigated 

More than seven in ten victims are being told it's their fault after falling for sophisticated confidence tricks. Others are being blamed for giving passwords to devious conmen or using out-of-date antivirus software on their computers.

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The criminals targeted Bangladesh's central bank, using the Swift payment system to order the transfer of £651million to accounts elsewhere.

Fraud cases in Britain continue to rise. We publish a reader letter warning about gangs who seemingly target vulnerable shoppers heading to the supermarket.

How to boost your chances of winning £1m on the Lottery or Premium Bonds

For years savers have poured money into Premium Bonds because interest rates on savings accounts are so low. It's more logical than you might think. It's like playing the National Lottery without the risks. If you don't win you still get your original money back. But now major changes call that into question

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Image shot 2007. Exact date unknown.
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While banks are cutting rates, building societies have kept theirs steadier. This is a turnaround from the former practice where, like banks, building societies paid better deals to new customers

Royal Bank of Scotland is set to axe another 200 jobs and shut more branches according to sources close to the process at the high street giant.

Five signs an ATM has been tampered with

When using a cash machine, it is important to be alert for signs of criminal activity - of which there can be many. This graphic details just a few - from cash dispense units with false fronts to loose elements. Up to 2,500 Britons fall victim to card fraud at ATMs every week, according to Financial Fraud Action UK - and those going to the US on business or holiday have been told to take extra care. It comes after the number of machines hacked by criminals in America last year rose 546 per cent in 12 months to its highest ever level, according to New York Stock Exchange-listed software firm Fico. When using a cash machine, it is important to be alert for signs of criminal activity. Fico's fraud specialist Brian Kinch has given MailOnline some telling signs that an ATM has been tampered with. Pictured are ticket skimmers, which are gadgets superimposed to steal card information on top of real cash machines.

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Analysis of the remuneration that building society bosses received last year shows that some enjoyed double digit percentage increases - despite the fact that inflation for 2015 was zero.

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Scams that slip past security filters are costing victims millions of pounds. Peter Cregan, pictured, said that within a month of his first fraud, he was hot twice more.

New easy access account from West Bromwich Building Society offers rate of 1.3%

It comes with a bonus payable until October next year. Afterwards, the rate drops to 1 per cent. The account is only available online. Elsewhere, savers are still suffering a series of cuts.

IKEA Floor Manager Paul Reid welcomes the media to the New IKEA store in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2007.  The massive IKEA Home Furniture store will open Thursday in the first store of the island of Ireland.  (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)

Unfamiliar banks are grabbing savers' attention by offering better rates than traditional High Street names. But it's important to do your own research before you sign up.

Atom Bank has this morning launched its first savings accounts, including a one-year fix at two per cent. However it can only be accessed by iPhone or iPad.

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 Isas

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.

Tables: Best cash isas
Chosen by This is Money
Blue World Map Credit Card
Provider Rate
NS&I; 1.25% More
Monmouthshire BS 1.50% More
Virgin Money 1.41% More
Coventry BS 1.40% More
Dudley BS 1.40% More
   

DON'T MISS...

Premium Bonds winners

June 2016
Prize value Winning bond No. Area
£1,000,000 59PP368618 Lincolnshire
£1,000,000 263NW544687 Kent
£100,000 264BZ537198 West Midlands
£100,000 122LD857483 Essex
£50,000 272HH746189 Devon
£50,000 259XJ252699 Inner London
£50,000 255BC209177 Essex
£50,000 247WX954567 London
£50,000 246QR335598 Kent
£50,000 224BW986972 Hampshire and Isle of Wight
£25,000 35GD336880 West Yorkshire
More Premium Bonds winners
   

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