Money

Updated: 12:14 EST

Pensioner bond tax chaos for 900,000 savers

Up to 900,000 savers face a tax nightmare as NS&I; three-year pensioner bonds come to an end. Deals were sold from January 15, 2015, to May 15, 2015, and were popular for their 4 per cent interest rate on up to £10,000. But the tax quirks on this 'simple' account are complex.

Lloyds said it was a landmark year as profits surged to £5.3 billion. The update comes after the group returned to the private sector after being bailed out by taxpayers during the financial crisis.

ASK TONY: SunLife plan paid £1,000 less than promised

My husband died in December. He was 74, I am 70, and we were married for 54 years. I'd set up a SunLife Over 50 plan for him and, over the years, it contacted me to increase my premiums. I am now registered blind, so one of my sons called SunLife, which confirmed £4,500 would be paid out - the same sum mentioned in a letter I'd received several months previously.

The family of 85-year-old Derek Brickley, who is dying of prostate cancer, have had to drain his bank account and put his home on the market to meet the £900-a-week cost of his care.

Neil Woodford manages two funds worth billions of pounds, both of which invest in the struggling recovery company and he is the AA's second biggest shareholder.

The V60 has a life-saving City Safety with Autobrake feature that is the only system on the market that can identify pedestrians, cyclists and animal, taking evasive action to avoid them all.

Guy Cashmore and partner Liz Parks' £40-a-month broadband was so slow at their Devon home, where they rent out a holiday cottage that they began to get complaints and comments online.

EDITOR'S DEALS OF THE WEEK
For current account rewards and interest conditions may apply eg. using provider's full switching service, min deposits and direct debits. For savings, access maybe limited, min/max deposits may apply. See T&Cs.; Representative example: If you spend £1,200 at a purchase interest rate of 18.95% p.a. (variable) your representative rate will be 18.9% APR (variable).

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FTSE live: Lloyds hits record profits

Profits rose a huge 24 per cent at Lloyds Bank last year marking a new record for the group which has now returned to the private sector. The FTSE 100 closed up 34.80 points at 7281.57, as investors mull Bank of England governor Mark Carney's interest rate expectations. French and German markets were mixed, while the Dow Jones was up 129.1 points at 25,093.9 in early trading. Brent crude was at $65.28 and the pound was at $1.39.

Across the group's trading business, annual earnings before interest and tax came in three per cent higher and topped the $3billion mark for the first time since 2008.

For the year to 31 December, the lender made a pre-tax profit of £18.7million, compared to a loss of £17.1million a year earlier, the group's results reveal.

AA boss Simon Breakwell claimed that the fall in profits would come because the firm was investing in the future of vehicle recovery and its insurance arm.

The new home builder reported a record half-year profit of £342.7 million in the second half of last year, a 6.8 per cent increase on the year before.

Stuart Gulliver took charge of the lender in 2011 and has overseen a drastic reorganisation which saw 107 businesses sold and 100,000 jobs cut.

New 711bhp 488 Pista is Ferrari's most powerful V8 ever

From a standstill it will hit 62mph in a claimed 2.85 seconds. That puts it dangerously close to outperforming 'under 3 second' time of the ultra exclusive LaFerrari hypercar.

With savings rates so poor at the moment, your best bet is likely to be investing in the stock market. A Junior stocks and shares Isa is the sensible option, as profit is shielded from the taxman.

That total cost is the result of adding together the fees for purchasing cars, repairing them, filling them with fuel and making sure they're legal to drive by paying for tax and insurance.

Did 'contracting out' increase my pension?

What was the benefit of contracting out? And where did my mother's contributions go - did they go into the final salary scheme? If so then this wouldn't have made a difference to her pension as it was based on her final salary. Why does the Government make a deduction for the period she was contracted out from her state pension?

When interest rates go up, the returns on bonds to which annuity rates are linked also increase.This means savers buying an annuity at retirement receive a higher monthly income.

What to do if you have your credit card stolen

Walking down the high street with friends on Saturday, we heard an elderly gentleman at a cash machine shout: 'My card! They've taken my card!' After stopping to help him, we spent the next few hours helping him to cancel his card and speaking to the police - who told us of the latest scams plighting the country's streets. It made me realise that there's more to protecting yourself from scammers than simply learning their latest ploys.

It's bad enough to suffer sluggish speeds that make it impossible to watch BBC iPlayer or email a photo to a friend. But to be billed £20 or £30 a month (or more) for the privilege is just insulting.

Britain may not be the industrial giant it once was, but our factories are thriving. So how can you take advantage of the revival to give your Isa a boost?

2018 could see the first cash Isa season for years

In recent years, many savers have wondered what the point of saving into a cash Isa might be. However, it looks like rates could grow ahead of the new tax year in April. We explain why, how data shows that we are shunning the tax-free wrapper - and the best buys.

"No smoking" sign on a wall --- Image by © Christopher Stevenson/Corbis

We pick our five favourite cash Isas for savers. This is essential Isa reading and is kept up-to-date throughout the year

Savings deals are ticking up ahead of an anticipated interest rate rise. The Bank of England base rate is predicted to jump from 0.5 per cent to 1 per cent by the end of this year to help curb inflation.

Most reliable mobile network revealed as EE

EE, owned by BT, beats all rival networks when it comes to reliable mobile signal, according to an independent research across 267,000 miles of the UK. Of the four major networks - EE, Vodafone, O2 and Three - O2 performed the worst across all categories, according to the RootMetrics data.

DVSA says 1 in 13 used cars has a punishable safety recall

The DVSA said 87,000 of the 1.14 million vehicles ran through its system in 2017 had an safety recall that hadn't been actioned. Failure to have one of these issues resolved could not only put the driver, their passengers and other road users at risk but also land the keeper with a hefty penalty of up to £2,500 and three points on their licence in the most serious cases.

Sometimes the future takes longer to arrive than you'd think. Every year BP takes a long look at global energy - where it comes from, where it is used, the different types of supply and so on.

The oil titan believes about 300m of the 2bn vehicles will be electric, compared to 3m today. But it reckons oil will still be providing 85 per cent of transport fuel despite the popularity of greener vehicles.

Average house asking price jumps by over £2,400 in a month

Rightmove said the figures suggested the market remained resilient, although this rate of growth was 'well below' the 1.6 per cent monthly average at this time of year over the last ten years. The website said all regions saw price rises between January and February, except for a marginal fall in the South West, where prices dropped by £131.

Nationwide's buy-to-let arm The Mortgage Works has cut rates just as tens of thousands of landlords who bought buy-to-lets two years ago to beat the stamp duty hike now face remortgaging.

The policy said to be being tossed around Westminster would cover all nursing fees, meaning those who signed up would never need to sell their homes or spend life savings on care.

Four new Beatrix Potter 50p coins to launch this year

Four new Beatrix Potter coins will enter circulation this year adding to the eight that have been released in 2016 and 2017. The four coins will feature Peter Rabbit, Flopsy Bunny, Mrs Tittlemouse and a helpful mouse from The Tailor of Gloucester. Interest in the coins in recent years have seen many Britons attempt to collect the set.

Intercontinental Hotels plans a classier budget chain

As part of a growth plan, the hotels company will launch its Avid brand internationally, with the first site opening in Oklahoma City in the US later this year. IHG, which also owns Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza, said the hotels will be aimed at business and leisure travellers with pricing at the 'upper end of budget'.

Companies use so-called share buy-back schemes to boost their share price when they feel they are undervalued. The tactic worked perfectly for Sports Direct.

Shares in Walmart suffered their biggest-ever one day fall, losing 10.2 per cent. The drop knocked £22.6bn off its value - equivalent to more than the combined worth of Tesco and Sainsbury's.

Leyland has 21 stores in the capital, including in upmarket areas such as Chelsea, Kensington and Notting Hill. The firm also has warehousing and offices in Wembley, where it is based.

UK companies took a cautious approach to dividends last year and raised them by just 3 per cent on average after cutting payments back the previous year in the wake of the Brexit referendum.

Global bank HSBC suffered in trading despite reporting an 11 per cent jump in adjusted profits before tax for 2017 and revenues of £36.8 billion. Shares opened 2.7 per cent lower in the UK.

Speaking in London, the central bank governor said something was bound to go wrong in future, and it was impossible to know exactly what.

How to invest in biotechnology: Top fund manager explains

Biotechnology is an exciting industry, where technology creates medicine tailored to individuals. We interview Carl Harald Janson, the manager of International Biotechnology Trust and a qualified medical doctor. He explains what biotechnology is, how it works and what he looks for when investing in companies that could change healthcare over the next decades.

Manager Jon Gumpel believes there are probably further market falls to come, but he is confident that his portfolio is robust enough to withstand what is thrown at it.

Unlike other funds that aggressively try to grow savers' cash by lumping all of their money in shares, Ruffer's main aim is to make sure their nest egg is safe and don't lose money.

TONY HETHERINGTON: Apex Algorithms claim baseless

I have received an email from ADVFN that offers an investment bond yielding 16 per cent a year. The bond is from a company called Apex Algorithms that has been managing funds for at least seven years. The investment looks safe as it is secured against assets, just like a mortgage, but this leaves me wondering why the yield is as high as 16 per cent. Have you heard anything about this?

Around 26.3m investors have less than 100 bitcoin each - giving them a 38 per cent overall share. Analysis suggests this group have an average of 0.24 units each, currently worth around £1,900.

Few organisations come out of last year's misselling scandal with their reputations intact. The two regulators also need to do some serious soul searching.

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Interest rate rises make you richer: This is Money podcast

Rising rates are often painted as bad news but for many a world in which they go up will look more enjoyable. What would be even more pleasurable is being paid more, so is Britain finally about to break out of its money's too tight to mention phase and get a pay rise? We discuss what we can do about it and how to look on the bright side of rising interest rates.

American Express has lost a crucial legal appeal on interchange fees which could put some of its most popular rewards cards in jeopardy, including its British Airways credit card.

The stonkingly low rate is part of a refresh from the lender, which has also sliced rates on its two-year residential tracker mortgages and three-year purchase and remortgage fixes.

Locked out of a home loan? Make sure computer says YES!

Mortgages may currently be cheap, but it will not be long before rates start climbing. While this spells bad news for many homeowners, it represents a double whammy for those borrowers who do not meet standard lending criteria. Being newly qualified or near retirement can make you a 'mortgage misfit'...but don't worry, the good news is that there are lenders prepared to take on borrowers who are not quite the norm. There are also steps you can take to improve your chance of getting accepted for a home loan.

Tony Dearsley was left stunned when he was told he could keep his lifetime pet cover - but only if he was prepared to pay an annual premium three times higher than the year before, a massive £7,410.

The consequences, they say, could be dire with homes potentially losing their power supply and hackers selling stolen details to criminals.

Where in the world to make your pound stretch further

With destinations around the world seeing their currencies fall, you can make your pound stretch further this winter in top jet-set locations like Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic. New figures by Post Office Travel Money show that the pound is up against 80 per cent of the UK's top 14 overseas holiday currencies. But, for those looking for a short-haul trip to Europe, the picture looks 'patchier' and your pound won't stretch as far than a year ago.

They will no longer be legal tender from midnight on 1 March 2018. Unspent notes from then on can only be exchanged at the Bank of England either in person or by post.

The cost of a British passport is set to rise next month - and travellers using the Post Office for their application are among the hardest hit.

In Year of the Dog is China a good bet for investors?

It may be the 'Year of the Dog' for China, but for investors looking to avoid the bite of market falls and economic turmoil - is the Asian nation a good bet for 2018?

When stock markets tumble, the temptation can be to take your money out and head for safety. But experts say there are plenty of opportunities for investors to make money amid the turbulence.

Cifas fraud marker left me with do not employ status

The black mark had been put on his records following a failed mortgage application a year earlier. It only came to light after the reader failed background checks for two jobs, leaving him unemployed and in the dark about what was being held against him. The case raises real questions about what information is held about Britons without their knowledge, and their ability to contest it.

The childcare voucher scheme is set to close to new entrants on 6 April 2018 - if you miss the deadline to register with your employer it could cost you thousands in tax-free benefits.

It may not seem like a grand romantic gesture, but making sure your spouse is financially comfortable in retirement, will go a long way towards securing your future happiness together.

Rising interest rates will be good news for many people

Economists now say that the Bank of England will raise rates in May and that they will edge up faster than previously thought. The perception is often that higher rates are bad news but for many people rate rises - or the environment which causes them to go up - are a good thing.

Pay packets are now expected to rise by an average of 3.1 per cent this year, above the better-than-expected rate of 2.6 per cent seen last year, Bank of England data shows.

A new family buy-to-let mortgage has been launched by Mansfield BS that actively targets those who may want to rent a home to their children - or perhaps even their parents.

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.

We asked trusted experts to recommend the best funds that cover different investment sectors - and included This is Money's selection of active and passive options too.

Rightly or wrongly, some people simply want a quick, straightforward route map to investing in an Isa. To that end, this is our distilled guide to getting started.

How much money do I need to save for my pension?

The amount you can save into a pension ultimately depends on what you can afford - but the longer you leave it the more you will need to save. We tend to put ambitious targets on our hoped-for income in retirement and then underestimate how much we will need to set aside to achieve that. So how much should you save?

Making the most of a pension is your best chance of securing a decent income when you retire. We explain what you need to know.

Even at a time when we are stretching our finances further to afford a home, moving less, and pushing mortgages beyond 30 years, we still remain captivated by two-year fixed rate deals.

What next for mortgage rates?

Borrowers are being offered a raft of cheap fixed rate mortgages as lenders attempt to lure them into remortgaging or buying a home. But HSBC has decided to buck the trend and launch a new rate mortgage that is a tracker instead. We pick out the best fixed and tracker rate mortgages and look at what next for 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

Premium Bonds winners

February 2018
Prize value Winning bond No. Area
£1,000,000 40YG716639 Bristol
£1,000,000 297XK491568 County Durham
£100,000 284XM406827 Swansea
£100,000 279FF383930 West Sussex
£100,000 238SX203940 Oxfordshire
£100,000 228SW896518 Hertfordshire
£100,000 183NV665135 Glasgow
£50,000 314PP973595 Norwich
£50,000 311CS783848 Fife
£50,000 293JQ087400 Stockport
£50,000 292JQ127514 Staffordshire
More Premium Bonds winners
   

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