Britain has been told to stay at home, pubs have been ordered to shut and you’re not even allowed to go to the gym instead. The coronavirus crisis has turned the consumer economy upside down. Businesses and workers risk going bust on an almost unprecedented level, unless a rescue plan that works can be cooked up. Cutting interest rates and quantitative easing was the medicine in the financial crisis, but that’s not working this time round, so is it time to start up the helicopter and drop some money. Helicopter money, people’s QE and a universal basic income are three of the highly unusual measures suggested, as we go through the back of the financial looking glass. All involve handing out money directly to people and businesses to combat a global economic crisis triggered by pressing the pause button, but is that wise? On this week’s podcast, we discuss why rescue attempts so far have failed to stop share prices falling, how Chancellor Rishi Sunak stepped things up with a £350billion bailout plan, and what might happen next, with ideas such as helicopter money, people’s QE and universal basic income. We also discuss how the interest rate cut to a historic low of 0.1 per cent will affect borrowers and savers, how brave investors can buy in if they are willing to risk some money on a future bounce back, and why supermarkets are unable to keep up with panic buying. And finally, if the podcast audio isn’t up to the usual standards, please accept our apologies, we are working hard to make sure we can keep recording without access to a studio.
Well, what a week. We've had a Budget, a 0.5 per cent base rate cut and stock markets going haywire thanks to coronavirus and oil price crashes. Why did the Bank of England cut rates to 0.25 per cent on the morning of the Budget and what are policymakers hoping to achieve? How did Rishi Sunak perform in his first Budget as Chancellor and what was announced in his speech? On Thursday, the FTSE 100 saw its second biggest dive on record. What is happening to the markets and where does it end? On this week's podcast, Simon Lambert, Lee Boyce and Georgie Frost, dissect what has been one of the most turbulent weeks in living memory. In the Budget, we had a number of coronavirus measures – but also some titbits of personal finance news that could hit the pound in your pocket. We also look at what coronavirus means for travel insurance and your refund rights to events
Every year, between March and April, there used to be a cash Isa season. Banks and building societies clambered over each other in the race to top the best buy tables. This hasn't been the case for a while. However, Nationwide - with a new savings lottery - and Coventry - with a new deal - have offered signs of some green shoots this year, but is it even worth having a tax-free savings account anymore? On this week's podcast, Simon Lambert, Lee Boyce and Georgie Frost go to Isa-town, to talk cash savings deals, the best services to invest, and how to overcome the fear that coronavirus-induced stock market falls have delivered. Elsewhere, the coronavirus also hit the Geneva Motor Show, but the motor industry decided many of the launches could take place online instead. What cars were unveiled? Well it broadly fell into two camps, very expensive limited edition hypercars and electric cars that might be the future for the mass market. Simon and Lee talk through the best of them. Meanwhile, a reader takes the taxman to court over a child benefit penalty and finally Lee cracks open a low-alcohol beer at Adnams brewery, in Suffolk, and asks: has the taste become better... and why?
Bull markets don't die of old age, we've been told countless times in recent years, but do they die of coronavirus? That is the question that rattled investors are asking themselves after an astonishing week in which the FTSE 100 has fallen 12 per cent. Stock markets around the world have sold off, as investors dump shares driven by a combination of the fear that a crash is finally arriving and the forecasts that coronavirus and attempts to stop it spreading will cause a global slowdown. The UK stock market is down 15 per cent from its mid-January recent peak - what should investors do at times like these? On this week's podcast, Simon Lambert, Lee Boyce and Georgie Frost discuss why coronavirus has hit markets so hard, why investors should not act rashly out of fear and panic, and consider the advice from investing experts. Elsewhere, we reveal how we helped a couple get their £25,000 savings back after their phone number was ported away without consent. Things get a little silly as we talk about how to deal with those difficult and bizarre interview questions that don't have a correct answer. And finally, the 100 most iconic cars of all time have been named in a survey voted for by Boundless members – previously known as the Civil Service Motoring Association. We reveal what topped the charts.
This week, savings have been in the spotlight with National Savings and Investments cutting rates on a number of its offerings, including popular Premium Bonds. Both Marcus Bank and Saga also cut easy-access rates. On this week's podcast, Simon Lambert, Lee Boyce and Georgie Frost look at what's behind the cuts and question: should savers head elsewhere, and what is the point of tucking money away for little interest? Nationwide Building Society has launched a Start to Save easy-access account with a £100 lottery – is it any good and can it help get people into the savings habit? We cover a curious case of one reader who found their Spotify infiltrated by someone with appalling music taste. Simon reveals how he was stung by the loyalty penalty when a renewal letter came through from his insurer Halifax. It hiked his premium, but after weeks of back-and-forth, couldn't give him a concrete reason as to why. And Lee looks at whether a Fitbit is worth the money and how a fitness tracker helped his mum, with an underlying health condition, become healthier.
This week started with rumours of a pension tax relief cut and mansion tax, saw the Chancellor fall on his sword, and ended with people none the wiser about whether a Budget tax raid is more or less likely after all that. Sajid Javid exited the stage to be replaced by one of his own men, Rishi Sunak, after an attempt by Boris Johnson and Dominic Cummings to take back control at the Treasury was rebuffed by the short-lived Chancellor. The question now is just whose idea the pension tax relief and mansion tax plans were and whether they are now on the cards or not (or was the whole shebang just a bit of Machiavellian manoeuvring)? What we do know is that a Budget is due in less than a month, so other than the national purse strings being loosened for the ‘levelling-up’ agenda what are we likely to see? On this week’s podcast, Simon Lambert, Tanya Jefferies and Georgie Frost delve into the Chancellor saga, what we know about the new man, and what could happen in the Budget that will affect your finances, from a stamp duty cut, to IR35 easing and a tax raid on the wealthier.
Would you swap your car for an electric one? If the government gets it way, soon many more of us will have to. The proposed ban on selling new petrol and diesel cars was dragged forward by five years to 2035 this week – and hybrid cars were bundled into the showroom clear-out too. If that sticks, this means that by 2030 – just a decade from now – it’s highly likely the vast majority of cars being sold new will be pure electric. On this week’s podcast, we deliver an electric car special. Simon Lambert, Georgie Frost and Lee Boyce look at the logic behind banning the sale of petrol and diesel cars, whether the move can be pulled off and why hybrids are now also on the naughty list. Charging infrastructure, range anxiety and questions over their lifecycle environmental costs are issues flagged by electric car sceptics, are they right? Meanwhile, the thing holding many people back from buying them, argues Simon, is cost. Second hand supply of electric cars is thin and choice is limited; and while the pipeline of new models is picking up dramatically, they remain pricey compared to a standard petrol car. But there could be a game-changer in the form of a salary sacrifice perk combined with a change to benefit-in-kind rules, so should you be badgering your boss to sign the company up so that you can buy a new electric car at 32% or 42% off? Fittingly, this week the great Tesla adventure tale delivered another riveting chapter. In the first two days of the week, shares rocketed more than 35 per cent and have doubled since the start of 2020. Can Elon Musk’s stock heading for the moon be justified in any way?Also, on this week’s show we talk about the 5 per cent interest offered by Zeuk – and our exclusive on the Financial Conduct Authority hitting back at adverts. And finally, why did Lee Boyce take his wife and daughter out to lunch with a set of scales to eat a watermelon steak?
It’s Brexit Day – and whether you voted leave or remain, are celebrating, or commiserating, we wish you a happy one. After 11pm on Friday 31 January 2019, Britain is officially no longer a member of the European Union. The big question is, what happens next? On this week’s podcast, Simon Lambert, Lee Boyce and Georgie Frost discuss both what Brexit means immediately for consumers and travellers, and how things may pan out for the economy and our finances over the year ahead. Where do we stand on Ehic medical cover in Europe, driving on the continent, mobile phone roaming, flight compensation and expat pensions? And what will the trade discussions on our future relationship with Europe and the rest of the world mean for the nation’s finances, businesses, inflation, the pound and interest rates? Also on this week’s podcast, the team dive much deeper into house prices than the usual survey, with a look at 174 years of property affordability and whether we can learn anything from a 70 year period when they got cheaper. They discuss Neil Woodford’s investors getting some money back and finding out how much they have lost so far and the curious case of the Lloyds customer of years who won a surprise bumper PPI payout that proved to be the ultimate loyalty penalty for being ripped off.
Are tax returns too taxing, why did new overdraft rules backfire, are challenger banks biting and what are the cars that hold their value best? We answer these questions on this week’s This is Money podcast. It’s tax return time. The organised will have safely filed their tax returns long ago, but there are still plenty of people who don’t yet feel the last minute has arrived. But what if you are meant to fill in a tax return and don’t realise? On this week’s podcast, Simon Lambert, Lee Boyce and Georgie Frost discuss the ten reasons that people may have to fill a tax return in, even though they are employees paid through PAYE. The team also discuss whether much of the tax return is really needed, or whether people are needlessly spending time filling in an over complicated form for an overly complex system. Also on this week’s podcast is the overdraft row that’s blown up on the back of the FCA’s attempt to improve borrowing and bank’s deciding that 39.9 per cent rates sounded about right. The team discuss whether the challenger banks are starting to bite and why people are attracted to them. And finally, Simon tells us about the new episode of the Making the Money Work podcast with London 2012 Olympic-medal winning boxer Anthony Ogogo.
Santander is to cut the rate of interest customers can earn with its 123 current account. It will mean one of Britain's most popular accounts will have dropped from a top tier 3 per cent when it launched in 2012 to 1 per cent. Why has the high street banking giant done this and could it result in an exodus of people moving? Does it signal the end of current accounts with benefits? It is also capping the level of cashback customers can earn while putting a blanket 39.9 per cent overdraft rate in place – following a similar move from its banking rivals. Simon Lambert, Lee Boyce and Georgie Frost take a look at what it means for the current account market, whether there are other – better – accounts to switch to and how it managed to become so popular. Also on this week's podcast, we look at the rise of the buy now, pay later form of credit and whether it is another debt trap to watch out for. Why have nearly 40,000 people put in retrospective planning applications? And can you really hide a castle behind a haystack… Lastly, the love affair with car buyers and SUVs shows no signs of abating – sales continue to grow at a faster rate than any other group. We list the five reasons, allegedly, not to snap one up and whether you should consider an alternative.