Brean Horne

Millions handed back in overdraft fees

Customers have received more than £47 million in refunds from banks that failed to properly warn them about unarranged overdraft charges.

The Competitions and Markets Authority (CMA) has taken action against five of the UK’s biggest banks and building societies for breaching its rules.

The watchdog demands that current account customers must get a text alert warning of fees before a bank charges them for going into an unarranged overdraft. Receiving the alert gives customers time to take action and avoid any unexpected charges.

State pension triple lock looks safe for now

Retired workers will continue to have their state pensions protected by the triple lock guarantee, according to a commitment made by Boris Johnson yesterday.

The triple lock is a legal guarantee that the state pension will rise in line with the highest of average earnings growth, inflation or 2.5%.

It was introduced in 2011 to ensure that the average pensioner household income increased each year regardless of their economic circumstances.

Win £250 for personal finance homeschooling lessons

Parents and teachers could win cash prizes for helping children learn about personal finance.

In recognition of the “new normal”, with parents and carers now having to take a lead in educating their children, Interactive Investor, Money Observer's parent company, has launched a “Family Financial Education Award.”

There will be up to 20 cash prizes of £250 to recognise households who have best educated their children about money matters.

To enter, parents and carers will need to submit the following to

Hundreds of savings accounts now beat inflation

More than 600 savings deals now beat inflation, currently 0.8%, but experts say that savers should not be optimistic about this lasting.

The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show the Consumer Price Index (CPI) measure of inflation was 0.8% in April, down from 1.5% in March.

Currently, 654 savings accounts match or beat inflation. This includes 32 easy-access accounts, 61 notice accounts and 96 fixed-rate Isas, according to the latest data from Savings Champion.

Metro Bank to repay customers £10.5m

Some 130,000 customers will get a refund from Metro Bank after it failed to tell them about unarranged overdraft charges.

Since 2018, all banks have been required to send text messages to customers when they go overdrawn to help them avoid paying unnecessary charges.

Between February 2018 and December 2019, Metro Bank texted customers who fell into their overdraft but did not mention the charges, the Competitions and Market Authority (CMA) found.

Some of the alerts were also sent later than they should have been.

Banks changing rules on overdrafts during coronavirus pandemic

Barclays is the latest bank to waive interest on overdrafts for all UK customers to help those struggling financially owing to coronavirus.

From 27 March until the end of April, the bank will not charge customers for using an agreed overdraft. The interest will be waived automatically, so that customers do not need to take action to get the benefit.

How coronavirus will impact your personal finances

The coronavirus pandemic has sent shockwaves through the global economy, affecting the finances of people around the world. 

From investments and pensions, to savings and travel, we round up how the virus could impact your money. 

What does coronavirus mean for investments?

Stock markets around the world have tumbled to their lowest levels since the 2008 global financial crisis owing to fears about the coronavirus. Uncertainty over the spread of the disease could continue to impact markets throughout the world.  

Coronavirus scams: greater risk of being a victim of pension fraud

Pension savers face a greater risk of being targeted by fraudsters, research from the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Pension Scams (APPG) has revealed.

The government has advised more people to stay at home amid the coronavirus crisis, which could increase their chances of being contacted via phone or online.

Investment markets plunging over recent weeks may also make people more susceptible to pension scams as they attempt to recover losses from their retirement savings.  

Thousands of Nationwide customers to be refunded

Nationwide is to repay customers £900,000 after breaching overdraft rules set out by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

Customers with a personal current account must receive a text alert warning of fees before banks charge them in an unarranged overdraft, under Part 6 of the CMA’s Retail Banking Code.

The rules aim to give people time to take action and avoid paying unexpected overdraft fees.

Although Nationwide did send text alerts, they did not contain a warning that customers would be charged for using an unarranged overdraft.