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Updated: 13:07 EDT

Carpetright stores to close as B&Q and MossBros reveal sales woe

Jobs are under threat at Carpetright after the floorings retailer confirmed reports that it was 'exploring' a company voluntary arrangement to keep the business afloat. B&Q; owner Kingfisher revealed that annual profits had tumbled more than 10 per cent, while a profit warning hit shares at suit tailoring retailer Moss Bros.

While many might expect London to have the highest priced taxi fares in the country, four other cities have higher average black cab costs than the nation's capital, a new index has revealed.

EE billed vulnerable woman for a Sim card she didn't know she had

I work full-time as a carer for a young lady with profound emotional and learning disabilities. The SIM card was for a family member and was, I believe, obtained fraudulently. After consulting its legal team, EE refused to cancel the contract because the purchase had been placed more than two weeks previously.

Banks have launched an attack on cash by stripping the High Street of free ATMs and encouraging customers to use tap-and-go contactless cards for small payments.

The starting rate band means you could earn £17,500 tax-free but you must grapple with no fewer than three allowances, as well as where your income comes from.

Savers can put £20,000 into a cash Isa savings account this tax year and pay no tax on any of the interest they earn. But if you miss the deadline, then you will lose this year's allowance.

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: Carpetright to close stores

Retailers dominated the business news once again today. Struggling Carpetright has announced details of its plan to turn things around, with the closure of loss making stores the main element. Elsewhere B&Q; owner Kingfisher has reported a sharp fall in profits. The FTSE 100 closed down 22.30 points at 7038.97.

Mothercare has appointed KPMG to help it obtain waivers for loan agreements with HSBC and Barclays. Since the start of the year, its share price has plunged more than 76 per cent.

Facebook has lost 10 per cent of its value so far this week - costing founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg £5bn. Shares in Twitter and Snapchat also fell heavily.

Despite billions of pounds of cost cutting and 175,000 job cuts, the North Sea still has more rigs than any other region in the world. Estimates believe a further 10bn barrels can be extracted.

Jamie Oliver is under pressure to fork out for £6.7m owed to creditors, including millions to small businesses, after his upmarket steak restaurant crashed into administration.

Until the GKN assault, Melrose attracted admiration in the City for its ability to identify undervalued industrial groups, polishing them up and making quick money.

The competitions where top prizes are never given away

Shoppers are being lured into taking part in competitions to win prizes that are almost never handed out. Ourl investigation can reveal that well-known brands such as McCain oven chips and Onken yoghurt are using small print to withhold prizes. In the terms and conditions of some competitions, it states that the company may only hand out all the prizes if every single promotional code on its products, such as yoghurt pots or food wrappers, are entered into the competition website.

Under EU law, you are entitled to up to £529 compensation if you arrive at your destination more than three hours late. Emirates had refused to pay by treating connecting journeys as two flights.

Stuart Billinghurst and Emma Collison, who live in a hamlet on Bodmin Moor, Cornwall, were told he and his neighbours would have to cough up £5,272 each for a broadband connection.

Seven essential rules for navigating the Isa maze

The fact remains that the Isa still represents an effective - and flexible - way to accumulate wealth away from the clutches of the taxman. It makes a perfect saving companion to sit alongside a pension.

Here is our special Isa podcast in which we dive into everything you need to know about Isas, from cash, to stocks and shares, and Innovative to Lifetime.

DIY investing giant Hargreaves Lansdown has put together a list of the 10 most popular shares and top 10 funds among the 168 Isa millionaires who invest with it.

If you already invest, then you'll know what to do to get your money into an investing Isa before the end of the tax year - but what if you are new to the game?

"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

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Why you should switch your cash Isa away from the big banks

Anna Bowes, director of independent advice website Savings Champion, says that banks are offering lower rates than savers can obtain elsewhere because of a feeling that there is not much to be gained by switching.

So few people now use 1p and 2p coins that the Government last week raised the prospect of consigning these denominations to the same dustbin of history as the shilling and ha'penny.

The scheme was set to close to new entrants on April 5 and be replaced by tax-free childcare, which entitles families to claim up to £2,000 a year per child.

Support for Mortgage Interest helps borrowers with interest payments on loans up to £200,000. To apply, you must be on benefits or receiving pension credit.

A consumer study by Deloitte found that 51% of UK respondents believed self-driving cars will be safe. That was up from 27 per cent who answered the annual survey 12 months earlier.

Eight emerging scams you must watch out for over the next year

Britons have been warned to be on their guard over the next year as fraudsters continue to create new ways of tricking people of their money. Bogus Brexit investments, dodgy World Cup football tickets and social media spying are some of the eight scams people need to stay vigilant over in the next year, NatWest says.

Unveiling the new civil liability bill, the Minister of Justice said it will set a fixed amount of compensation for whiplash claims and require medical evidence before such claims can be settled.

Prices in the Orkney Islands for example are up 23.6 per cent to reach £144,214. The ONS does add, however, low sales numbers can lead to some volatility.

There has been a spate of headlines recently about some retirement property developers' hidden fees and escalating ground rents. However, not all are the same and many provide great service.

Vienna once again defended its position as the city offering the best quality of life in the world in a survey by Mercer. London slipped one place to 41st while Vancouver is No1 in North America.

How to reap dividends free from tax grab with an Isa wrapper

Using an Isa as a long-term investment bolthole will become more important in coming months. An imminent reduction in the tax-free dividend income that investors can earn from shares or investment funds held outside an Isa, will see it tumble from £5,000 to £2,000.

MARKET REPORT: 888 sinks as it says Auf Wiedersehen to Germany

A German court dealt 888 and rivals a blow last week when it ruled it was illegal for online gambling sites to operate in the state of Baden Württemberg, home to Stuttgart. The FTSE 250 firm has an opportunity to appeal the decision but it says it may pull out of Germany altogether. Analysts say the decision to leave could cost 888 up to 10 per cent of its earnings, although they believe that money could be made up in other markets.

Persimmon's York-born boss Jeff Fairburn's daft £47m pay packet includes £42,800 worth of benefits to cover his car, health insurance and, staggeringly, 'some telephone costs.'

Donald Trump has banned US firms and citizens from handling petros, an online currency launched by collapsing socialist state Venezuela that was intended to get around sanctions.

Xavier Rolet, pictured with wife Nicole at their vineyard in Provence, was forced out by his own board last year after rumours he had a hard-driving, dictatorial management style.

Houses under construction on a new development (PA)

It said it continued to be supported by a 'robust' housing market, propped up by low interest rates, the Government's Help to Buy loan scheme and lower stamp duty for first-time buyers.

The online grocer saw retail revenues rise by 11.7 per cent to £363.4million in the first quarter to March 4, but said growth would have been stronger had it not been for weather disruption.

Blaenau Gwent only place in UK with homes averaging less than £100k

Only one local authority area in the whole of England and Wales is yet to see average property prices pass the £100,000 mark, analysis claims. Blaenau Gwent in South Wales now stands alone out of the 348 local authorities, with Burnley having finally seen the average price of flat and house sales tip over the £100,000 line last year, according to property group Savills.

Property asking prices jumped by more than £4,500 in March as buyers face up to a lack of supply ramping up what sellers are listing homes for.

What's the best way to pay for a wedding abroad? When to choose a credit card for extra protection and why you should never use your bank to send money overseas.

TONY HETHERINGTON: You have no claim to take my £3,700 PPI refund 

Last September, I received a letter from Halifax Bank of Scotland, saying I may be due a payment protection insurance refund following a new legal ruling. I applied online and ten weeks later I received a cheque. Now though, I have received a letter from a claims management company asking for a percentage fee due to its successful claim on my behalf. I had in fact made an unsuccessful claim through them some years ago and was astonished to find that the bank had told them about my own recent claim.

Charities are potentially missing out on £600million each year because gift aid was not added by those donating, the Government says.

Tenants' rental payments can now appear on their credit scores, helping them to build up a credit score - and if don't pay there will be a default on their record.

MIDAS SHARE TIPS: Trinity Exploration set for healthy returns

At its height in 2014, Trinity Exploration & Production was valued on the stock market at about £150m and the shares were trading at 159p. Then the oil price slumped and the Trinidad-based oil producer found itself with too much debt, too many staff and a bloated cost base. Chairman Bruce Dingwall was forced to issue nearly 200m new shares as part of a comprehensive restructuring package. Today, Trinity's valuation has shrunk to £44mi and the stock is 15.5p.

For all the attractions of Isas, the regime currently resembles a jumble sale of nest eggs. Basically, it is all a bit of a mess and in desperate need of a makeover.

Investment trusts, like bank branches, are a little old school. Many have been around since the late 19th Century and are steeped in history.

Is the £11bn of UK savers' cash in Russia safe?

You need a strong stomach to invest in Russia at the best of times. Reports of widespread corruption and state-meddling in companies mean it can be a rollercoaster ride. But the risk to British savers has heightened amid claims it had a hand in the poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury. It may mean that you want to move your money out of Russia altogether - if not as a protest, but just as a pragmatic move to protect it.

Every weekend, This is Money rounds-up the share tips from the Sunday newspapers. This week, Trinity, Equiniti, Shaftesbury and John Laing are in focus.

Jonanne Hart has been awarded Best Newspaper Tipster for her weekly Midas column - for the second year running.

How to grow your own grocery list - and save a fortune on shopping

Spring will soon be upon us - and it is already time to start planting seeds if you want an early summer crop of free groceries. Here, we help you draw up that grow-your-own shopping list. You can start growing tomatoes on your windowsill or in a greenhouse right now. Spend £2 on a packet of a dozen or so seeds and you will recoup that initial investment each time you pick some for a meal. With a single plant yielding up to 13 kilos of fruit in a season it can save you £30 - and the prospect of tastier treats than the watered-down excuses often found in the supermarket.

Millions of holidaymakers preparing for a getaway this year are warned to look out for a devilish detail in their travel insurance cover - one that could result in a claim being harshly rejected.

The over-60s must remain on their guard and brush upon their detective skills - to avoid falling foul of a tidal wave of financial scams.

How by ‘porting’ your home loan, you could save thousands

Spring often sparks thoughts of a house move - and questions over what to do with the home loan. But it is often the case that a home mover can take their existing mortgage with them - and save potentially thousands of pounds - in a process known as 'porting'. New research suggests widespread confusion surrounds this option. Two thirds of borrowers have not heard of porting and of those who have, one in five would not attempt it because of a dearth of information on how it works.

The Bank of England has warned financial institutions against lending house buyers as much as four-and-a-half times their earnings to mitigate against the risks of creating a 'debt bubble'.

Typical home loan payments accounted for 29 per cent of homeowners' disposable income in the last three months of 2017, data from Halifax shows.

Forget millennials - cash in on golden oldies

It may be too early to invest in the life-extending biotechnology firms being set up by Jeff Bezos and others. But Laith Khalaf, at Hargreaves Lansdown, suggests more down-to-earth investments for anyone wanting to benefit from an ageing population and longer lifespans. He said: 'AstraZeneca and GlaxoSmithKline are pharmaceutical firms that look set to benefit. And insurers like Legal & General or Aviva, and asset managers such as Standard Life Aberdeen or Schroders, could see exposure to new pensions freedoms.'

Fashion designer Esme Young would have used the Spring Statement last week to levy a tax on London property investors and build more social housing if she had been Chancellor.

Research by estate agency Countrywide says house prices in Windsor have risen 53% over the past ten years - more than the rest of the South-East, which has seen increases of 37%

How the super-rich finance their supercars

You've probably seen the finance deals offered by car manufacturers in TV adverts saying you can have their latest models for as little as £100 a month. But how about £26,000 a month? That's just one of the deals put on the table for well-heeled petrol heads who enquired about financing a 200mph supercar launched at last week's Geneva Motor Show. But why don't they buy them outright?

Misplacing licences was one of the main reasons for replacement requests as 80% of motorists carry their plastic card with them each day - but the DVLA says you should leave it somewhere safe at home.

Porsche executive board chairman Oliver Blume also raised fears of the effect of Brexit on sales to the UK - one of its biggest and important markets.

Sarah Beeny picks a two-bed London flat as bargain of the month 

Years of house price inflation mean that a nice two-bedroom flat for £400,000 can be a good deal in London, which is why Sarah Beeny, inset, picked this as her bargain property of the month. She describes as 'affordable' and 'ready to move into'. 'Properties that are this great, this affordable and this ready to move into are an absolute rarity in the capital these days,' she said.

Can I give my wife half my pension? Steve Webb replies

I estimate when I retire I could have a pension of £20,000. My wife has nothing. She worked mainly part time whilst raising our children and now is the principal carer for her mother who lives nearby. Is there any way I can give my wife half my pension pot so that we can maximise our income by utilising two tax-free income allowances?

The FCA executive director of supervision said that although today's conditions are different from ten years ago, worrying numbers of households were at risk.

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

   

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