Crackdown on the banks who punish their savers: They chop savings deals instantly - but

The Bank of England last month cut rates from 0.5 per cent to a new low of 0.25 per cent - with Governor Mark Carney declaring that there was 'no excuse' for lenders not to pass on the reduction to borrowers. Parliament has been told that many lenders need board approval to cut popular mortgage rates - with almost half so far failing to do so. Carney appeared to suggest he was unaware of the situation until very recently.

He added that last month's base rate cut to a new historic low of 0.25 per cent has helped to support house prices and the wider economy.

Fight the rush of financial scams with our new Beat he Scammers page

Today, This is Money launches a new hub page for scams to watch out for as fraud losses continue to grow. Bookmark it, send to friends and family to help stem the flow. The hub has guides, the latest scams to watch out for and videos to help keep the fraudsters at bay.

House prices have slipped almost £3,000 since June, Halifax revealed today, as it reported that property values dipped for the second month in a row.

Reporting a 21% rise in profits, Barratt concluded, 'The wider market for new homes remains healthy across Britain... we remain confident in the strong fundamentals of the housing sector.'

So-called critical illness cover is supposed to pay out a lump sum if you are diagnosed with a serious illness or suffer a life-changing injury.

West Bromwich Building Society is launching a new regular savings plan this week paying two per cent on savings of between £10 and £100 a month.





MARKET REPORT: Drug maker Vectura jumps up FTSE 250 leaderboard after revising profits

Max Herrmann, of broker Stifel, who has a 'buy' recommendation on the stock and forecasts revenues of £175m this year, said the recent share price weakness has been overdone. The Wiltshire-based group, which makes treatments for asthma, listed on the Alternative Investment Market in 2004 and signed its first big Pharma collaboration with Novartis the following year.

There is a negative feedback loop, which started at working conditions, has reached the performance of the company and the share price and contaminated the boardroom.

South African buyer Steinhoff had been courting shareholders at the discount chain since June as it looked for UK opportunities. But Elliott started to build a large stake in Poundland in July.

His candidacy will be a boon for Theresa May. Birmingham-born Street, 53, a cadaverous, but spritely sort of fellow, is permanently fizzing with ideas.

The latest legal battle about to break out involves accusations that a branch of giant audit firm Deloitte failed to spot 'rampant criminality' at a Beirut bank.

Tough US law enforcers are said to be rethinking a deal, which allowed the bank to escape prosecution over past misdeeds in Mexico.

BT offered me a cheap mobile with my landline then billed me £1,584 to use internet

When I took out a BT landline contract for my interiors business in March last year, the salesman also offered me a mobile phone contract costing £20 a month plus VAT, which I took. The plan includes just one gigabyte (GB) of data, so my employee has been very careful to only use the internet when there is a free wifi connection.

Sources say that French firm Renault's Chief Competitiveness Officer Thierry Bollore told a meeting that he doubted whether diesel engines would survive following the Volkswagen scandal.

How to fight back if your holiday travel turned into a disaster

While you can't control the fact that it may have rained every day, or found yourself consigned to bed after a dodgy meal, you can get your money back if your airline, train firm or ferry company let you down. So if your summer break was ruined by delays, strikes or cancellations - or if the holiday you booked wasn't as advertised - now is the time to fight back.

We're heading into a dark world where only the very rich can go to university.
If it was as expensive to study for a degree ten years ago, when I went, as it is today I would almost certainly have missed out.

Moneybox, will round up spending on small items on your credit or debit card to the nearest pound and save the extra cash on your behalf, just like a piggy bank.

Millions in Providence bond offering 8.25% in danger as firm enters administration

Two mini-bonds launched by a firm called Providence Financial have hit the skids leaving nearly 1k investors facing a nervous wait on whether they will receive any of their money back. We warned that the bonds, one launched at the end of 2014 with quarterly interest of 8.25% and another last year promising 7.5%, were a potentially risky investment at the time of launch.

Since the Bank of England cut base rate to a record low of 0.25 per cent last month, banks and building societies have pared rates to the bone.

Banks turn down student customers because of parents' postcode

Tens  of thousands of students heading to university for the first time are at risk of being rejected for current accounts and overdrafts because they are from the wrong part of the country. An estimated 20,000 teenagers are set to be turned down for accounts that offer interest-free overdrafts for students.

Nearly a third of borrowers with an 'equity release loan' take an average of £6,875 out of their homes for holidays, according to broker Key Retirement.

People aged 18-24 were most likely to feel foreboding about their future finances after the referendum result, with 27 percent pessimistic beforehand and 43 per cent afterwards.

Another rate cut from the Bank of England looks likely

Nationwide, Virgin Money, Yorkshire Building Society and Clydesdale are the latest in a flood of lenders slashing mortgage rates - but how low can rates realistically go? Despite economists predicting that the Bank of England is likely to announce a further cut to the base rate in November, bringing it down from 0.25 per cent to just 0.1 per cent, experts are suggesting it's unlikely that mortgage rates will fall much further.

I'm trying to switch energy providers but because of a payment error with its system Scottish Power won't let me pay my final bill and has now sent me threats of bailiff action.

Stereotypically, the idea of being a company owner is conjured up with images of a high-powered lifestyle, yet the reality is often very different, according to a new report.

The rare 8,000-mile Datsun 260Z 'barn-find' in fantastic condition

In many cases the term 'barn find' describes a model of significant worth, hidden away and neglected for years, potentially subjected to the elements and sometimes occupied by a family of wild animals during years without use. However, after 21 years in storage, this 1978 Datsun 260Z looks to be in incredible condition and it's tipped to fetch £22,000 at auction.

In the unlikely event that friends drop by unexpectedly and you need to swiftly re-configure the seating in your car to accommodate them all, Land Rover now has the smart answer.

I lent £6,000 to my friend six years ago: How do I go about getting my money back?

A friend of mine borrowed £6,000 from me six years ago and they've never paid it back. Since then she has changed her address frequently and has been very hard to contact. We have located her at her current address but would like advice on how to go about asking her for the final sum to be repaid.

Diamond Club members have two months to transfer their points to British Airways' Executive Club or they will lose them. The Diamond reward scheme was bought by BA in 2012.

BHS customers personal details sold to Qatar firm owned by Janet Jackson's husband

Al Mana Group, a giant conglomerate run by Wissam Al Mana, who is married to popstar Janet Jackson, bought the records of customers who had used the website or had given their details in store promotions at the chain which collapsed last month.

In a unscheduled statement, the retailer announced profits were likely to fall 21 per cent due to lower margins and higher costs.

The internet firm said in a statement that its 'Amazon Restaurants' service would be available to subscribers of its Prime delivery scheme and that delivery would be free for orders over £15 ($20).

Shop Direct, the privately owned online retailer behind the two stores, has been working with Watson, the world's leading run by IBM to communicate with shoppers on the internet or by text messages.

For the first time since the Brexit vote, the bosses from international banks, top asset managers and insurance giants will get the chance to have a better understanding of Britain's plans.

Enjoying a 6.5 per cent advantage over its closest rival, London came out on top above Singapore, Toronto, Paris and Amsterdam, PwC said.

Predictably Mike Ashley has sought to draw the fire of his Parliamentary and City critics with the promise of social, welfare and pay reforms at the now notorious Shirebrook warehouse in Derbyshire.

Eurostat figures showed there was no growth at all in France and Italy as the single currency bloc's two biggest economies behind Germany struggled.

While previous speakers waffled on in a self-congratulatory tones, feisty Inga, 53, preferred to talk about something called the 'He For She' campaign, a UN initiative aimed at fighting gender inequality.

Morgan saw the value of his 40 per cent stake in the builder rise by £51million to £625million as the stock rose 8.9 per cent or 34.2p to 418.5p.

The deal would be the largest all-cash takeover in corporate history and would create a global conglomerate making pesticides, pharmaceuticals and health products.

The housebuilder said Government policy was holding back property developments in the capital, which it said would see London 'fall well short of its targets for new homes.'

The retail chain said cycle ranges from Olympians Sir Bradley Wiggins and Laura Trott, pictured with fiance Jason Kenny, have proved popular since being launched in early July.

Do we still need bank branches?

They may be financial titans but that hasn't stopped the big banks closing branches in a move that resembles an all-out retreat from high streets up and down Britain. One challenger bank boss believes this is an irreversible trend - but does chasing the business of the future mean our banks are leaving some existing customers behind?

Charged £261 extra for a hire car upgrade we thought was free

A reader arrived in the US after a nine hour flight only to be told the Ford Focus he and his family had booked was not available. Avis offered an upgrade instead. Only Mr Turnbull thought it would be free.

Lloyds of London chairman John Nelson has told Prime Minister Theresa May and her ministers to stop dawdling and provide clarity on exactly what Brexit means.

Latest PMI survey reading has calmed fears that the UK was heading towards recession and also sent the pound soaring.

TONY HETHERINGTON: Why was I fined £80 for not paying car tax of £0.00?

Earlier this year I received a vehicle tax demand for £0.00 for my super-green little car. I have now been forced to stump up an £80 fine or face court action for failing to pay this tax. While suffering clinical depression, I had binned the initial demand for no money. I did receive a further letter, offering me a 'last chance' to tax my car, but I remained baffled. How do you pay tax of nil? Would the bank take the cheque seriously? When I received the penalty demand I appealed and at the request of the Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency supplied detailed evidence of my medical condition. The agency clearly decided I was not depressed enough and said that if I did not pay the penalty, it would take me to court.

Fancy an autumn break? Here's what to do and where to go to save money

Flight comparison websites such as momondo, Skyscanner and Kayak allow you to trawl the market in search of the best deals. If you can plan ahead - and preferably be flexible about times and destinations - then you are likely to find the lowest fares. Flights during the half-term holiday period at the end of October get snapped up early so now is the time to book.

Our reporter joins the army of undercover retail reviewers and earns... £1.57 an hour

It's seen as the latest way to make quick money - get signed up as a secret shopper, go undercover and test the quality of customer service and goods provided by major high street stores.  Yet the new employment opportunity that is 'mystery shopping' is not as lucrative as it might appear.  Here, The Mail on Sunday sends in its own agent to discover whether there is any money in shop snooping - or if the industry is nothing more than an undercover scam.

The economy is growing – but at a slower rate than in 2015 

British business growth rebounded in the three months to August shaking off some of the European Union referendum blues, but expansion is still far below the rate seen last year. The latest survey from the CBI will fuel the simmering row over how well the economy is bearing up after the Brexit vote amid a flurry of conflicting data. The CBI's growth indicator stood at +8 per cent, slightly up from the +5 per cent figure recorded in July.

Supermarkets are preparing for a sudden escalation in the food price war that has already decimated profits across the sector in a desperate attempt to attract shoppers.

Washington and Brussels could face a showdown in the European Court over Apple's multi-billion pound tax row with the European Commission, legal experts say.

Rate cuts are not only decimating most savings accounts but they are savaging pension annuity rates, widening company pension scheme deficits and threaten dividends.

Remember the big row over Ireland, the EU and billions of pounds in taxpayers' money? No, not the recent Apple tax battle, I mean the bailout of the Irish economy in 2010.

'An adviser spotted I hadn't claimed and a few weeks later I received more than £14,000':

Protecting the family's finances against the consequences of serious illness - or even death - is challenging in a difficult economic climate. But there are ways to prioritise cover and keep a lid on premiums. Working nine to five is enough to drive you crazy if you let it, as the song goes. But if you have to give up your job as a result of a serious accident or ill health - or worse, die prematurely - the resulting loss of income can quickly generate greater grief for a family as any savings drain away. Financial support from the State is limited - and only some employers will lend a helping hand. Building a personal financial safety net can reduce money worries.

The return of reward credit cards? Spend £5,000 and earn £60 of gift vouchers 

Credit cards that give users either cashback or rewards for spending are not as generous as they once were, but card issuer MBNA is bucking the trend. Tomorrow, it will confirm it has joined forces with FTSE 100 giant Intu Properties to launch a new card that gives shoppers the opportunity to earn up to £60 of gift vouchers in the first year. The amount of vouchers, which cardholders will be able to use at Intu owned shopping centres, will depend on how much they spend on the card.

Outrage as new mums wait THREE MONTHS for maternity pay

The hold-ups in payments of maternity allowance, in some instances three months, have angered mothers and charities representing them. Ros Bragg, head of charity Maternity Action, calls the delays 'unacceptable', saying: 'The last thing women need when bonding with a baby is extra financial worry, especially against a backdrop of a substantial drop in maternity benefits.'

MIDAS SHARE TIPS: Ad veteran aims for £100m revenues at digital start-up Be Heard

Peter Scott has form. Now 69, he has been in the advertising industry for almost 40 years, during which time he has built up a string of small businesses into huge, international enterprises. In 1979, he co-founded WCRS, one of the fastest-growing agencies of the 1980s. Ten years later, he took part of that business and developed it into Aegis, ultimately sold for £3.2 billion to a Japanese company. And in 2004 he created marketing business Engine Group, which was sold for £100 million a decade later. Now he is hoping to repeat past success at Be Heard Group, an agency focused exclusively on the digital world. Its services range from designing websites to helping firms steer through the complex world of online advertising. 

Low-cost gym chain Gym Group floated last November at 195p, Midas tipped the shares the same month at 202½p and last week the stock closed at 220p.

Midas recommended the Hill & Smith shares exactly two years ago, when they were 549p. Since then, they have more than doubled to 1185p.

This week, Midas thinks investors should clean up with Be Heard and sees how secure its previous recommendation on Gym Group and Hill & Smith looks.

Charles Plowden, is 'a bit disappointed' with how things have panned out - despite the trust recently reaching new share price highs and knocking spots off most rivals along the way.

The best discounts on a new car

Motor dealers absolutely adore this time of year as people flock through the door to put a deposit on a car adorned with the latest number. But that doesn't mean the salesman has to be in the position of strength when it comes to negotiating the price you pay. We've teamed up with car buying site CarWow to tell you which models have the biggest savings.

The report suggested that while they were small rises, they cancelled out the fall in the average price of both fuels that took place in July.

Lord of the manor without the financial responsibility: The irresistible appeals of living

Developers cottoned on to this idea decades ago, offering a chance to live in an historic site, but without having to take financial responsibility for the entire estate. Certainly that's what appeals to Peter Webber, a buyer at Clevedon Hall Estate in Somerset. He bought a two-bedroom house in the grounds of the listed mansion, which was once owned by the sugar refinery magnet, Conrad William Finzel, and he has no regrets.

Lloyds Bank also found that, on average, 74 per cent of homeowners not living in the house that they will stay in for the rest of their life reckon that it will take up to two more houses to get there.

Britain's biggest builder of homes for retired people, warned it will struggle to hit its growth targets this year after seeing 'some weakness' in the housing market since the end of June.

What Car?'s new true MPG test finds current fuel economy claims exaggerate by 30%

The most fuel-efficient car tested is the Vauxhall Astra 1.6 CDTi 110 Ecoflex, which returned 56.3mpg. Even this, though, is a long way short of the 83.1mpg the official figures say you'll get.

There are fewer things in this world more British than the Spitfire and Aston Martin. And now you can have the two combined with this £180,000 model built to commemorate the iconic fighter plane.

Thousands of buyers considering investing in one of the UK''s shared ownership scheme are among the 500,000 savers who have opened one of the government's flagship Help to Buy Isa.

Natalie Crayton was a stay-at-home mum in the Outer Hebrides and now she's landed a

'Living on a small island there's not many job opportunities, you've got to create your own,' says the founder of Hebridean Sea Salt. Natalie Crayton, 34, set up the firm on the Isle of Lewis in 2011. Now Crayton, who has four employees, has won a £180,000 deal with Sainsbury's that will see it launch into 360 stores. It is the firm's first UK-wide deal.

Britain's smallest firms lack the time, money and skills to move their business online, leaving nearly half without any digital presence.

The UK's persistent gender pay gap is a source of shame for us all says Adam Marshall, acting director-general of the British Chamber of Commerce in this guest comment article.

50 ways to save money....

To clear the average national household debt of ?13,000 at 6% interest with a monthly repayment of ?100 will take around 17 years. There are, however, plenty of simple ways to make significant savings on your regular spending that could clear your debt - or boost your savings - in less than a year. This is Money's top 50 - updated - money-saving tips may appear light-hearted but are deadly serious.

Pick the best (and cheapest) investment Isa platform

Choosing the right DIY platform is crucial but a wealth of choice and changes to charges have left many investors scratching their heads. We pick some of the best. We also highlight why investing in an Isa makes sense, as it should protect your hopefully growing investments from tax forever.

In this low-income world it can be hard to find mainstream investments paying a significant yield. Stifel has compiled a list of 19 investment trusts with a yield of more than 4 per cent.

L Board sign on the rear of a blue saloon car , UK

If you are new to investing then the huge number of funds and investment trusts on offer can be confusing. Fortunately, This is Money's experts have some ideas to get you started.

Income investing: Dividends can deliver both a healthy boost to long-term growth and a way to earn from your investments.

Income investing can let you draw on your portfolio or reinvest dividends to build solid growth over time. Our experts give their fund and investment trust recommendations.

On the up: Emerging markets such as Brazil are where much of the world's growth is expected to be over future years.

If you're looking to add some flair to your investing Isa with emerging markets, This is Money's experts have some ideas to get you started

Will the UK be Norway, Switzerland or Canada? Brexit trade deals we could follow

Now that we've voted ourselves out of the EU, it's time to work out how we're going to trade in future with all its 27 member countries - and the other 27 countries it has deals with. So how do other non-EU members trade with the bloc and would any of their models suit us?

It would have been nice to have a plan. Instead, after the Brexit vote we were left scratching our heads. But now it's time for some answers on trade and what we mean to the EU.

Even after Brexit it could still be possible for us to access the single market and the benefits that come with being part of it, but today we were warned there's a price to pay.

When will UK interest rates rise?

Asked on Radio 4's Today programme if there was a real prospect of a further cut in rates before the end of the year, the Bank's Ben Broadbent said, 'that's true'. Bank rate was cut yesterday to 0.25 per cent from its already record low level of 0.5 per cent, where it had remained for more than seven years.

What next for mortgage rates?

Markets went into turmoil following the momentous decision by the British people to leave the European Union on 24 June 2016. But what does all of this mean for mortgage rates?

Ten tips for buy-to-let

For many buy-to-let looks an attractive income investment in a time of low rates and stock market volatility. Climbing house prices, rising rents and improving mortgage deals are tempting investors - although they will need a big deposit. Read This is Money's top ten buy-to-let tips


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Musicians have seen pay rises averaging nearly 20 per cent in 2015, while cleaners are getting 17.8 per cent more, and window cleaners 12.3 per cent. Artists in general are earning 14.6 per cent more in 2015 than 2014, according to the huge annual data dump of pay scales by the Office For National Statistics highlights.

Premium Bonds winners

September 2016
Prize value Winning bond No. Area
£1,000,000 79KW011670 Lancashire
£1,000,000 199BJ584357 Suffolk
£100,000 80WK626093 Wiltshire
£100,000 70YY171805 Reading
£100,000 214EL163615 East Sussex
£50,000 261YR399408 Shropshire
£50,000 239BJ874043 Hampshire and Isle of Wight
£50,000 212GN036345 Southampton
£50,000 137JJ131331 Inner London
£25,000 88MZ556624 Preston
£25,000 265MG649936 West Sussex
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