Help to Save scheme fails to attract low-income savers

A flagship government scheme designed to help people on low incomes save is failing to meet expectations.

Take-up for the Help to Save scheme has been lower than expected, according to new figures from HM Revenue and Customs.

When the scheme was launched last year the government said up to 3.5 million people could benefit from it.

Isa millionaires: the fortune formula

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The individual savings account turned 20 years old this year. First introduced in 1999 by the then chancellor Gordon Brown to replace the share-focused Pep (personal equity plan) and cash Tessa (tax-exempt special savings account), the Isa has proved an invaluable tax wrapper for UK investors and savers.

How banks penalise their most loyal savings customers

Savings rates on easy access accounts have finally been creeping up, with the top rate now 1.5%. But often this rate is only available to new customers.

Banks and building societies used to pass rate rises on to all savers in variable rate accounts, but now most of them only offer a higher rate to new customers. Loyal savers continue to earn the lower rate, which in the worst cases can be as low as 0.25%.

The lang cat guide to Isa investing 2019 is the cat’s whiskers

We don’t normally flag up guides produced by other people – it’s our job to write this stuff, after all – but we decided to make an exception in this case.

The lang cat’s short, impartial guide to Isas must be the most jargon-lite and entertaining introduction to investing out there, so it’s a great starting point for anyone new to using their Isa allowance, or indeed new to the stockmarket generally. Cat lovers in particular may be seduced by the pictures.

Why premium bonds are not a good investment for children

The British public has long had a love affair with premium bonds, but the figures show that buying premium bonds for children or grandchildren is likely to be an unrewarding relationship. My own experience is a good example: I have a few hundred pounds in premium bonds from my late grandparents. Over about 20 years, I have won £50.

Savings update: rates rising but investors should be wary

On easy-access accounts Shawbrook Bank Easy Saver and RCI Bank Freedom Account both pay a top 1.3 per cent. AA has raised the rate on its Members Savers to 1.3 per cent for new applicants, but the account is only available to those who are members of the organisation.