It finally happened. The Bank of England raised interest rates for the first time in more than a decade this week. But what was the point of that rate rise? It was certainly a curiosity, coming alongside a decidedly downbeat Inflation Report. Was it to dampen inflation, to send a warning sign to borrowers, or just to put a tiny smile on beleaguered savers’ faces?
On this week’s podcast, Simon Lambert, Rachel Rickard Straus and Georgie Frost look at why the Bank raised rates and what it means for you.
They also dive into the really crucial question: how high will the base rate go from here and how fast will it rise?
Do you have a will? If not you should probably get one. But if you do have one, do you understand what’s in it? According to Will Aid, more than half (54%) of parents with children under the age of 18 don’t have a will. So what do you need to know about getting a will, what’s easy, what’s complicated and what are the things you don’t want to think about but have to?
Also on this week’s show, Georgie Frost and Lee Boyce discuss the best way to help bank fraud victims – and whether enough is being done to get people’s money back and warn potential victims.
Inheritance tax is one of the most hated around. Despite the fact that most people will never leave enough wealth to have it charged on their estates, we really don't like the idea of 40% above a certain amount going to the taxman. But IHT is also a tax that can be avoided. How? Listen to this week's podcast to find out, as Simon Lambert, Georgie Frost and Sarah Davidson discuss all things inheritance. They look at how it works, ways to avoid it and the traps you could fall into. If Chancellor Philip Hammond is listening - and we sincerely hope he does tune in – then he can get some feedback on an idea he was credited with this week: taking some money off the old, to give to the young.
On this week’s podcast, Simon Lambert, Rachel Rickard Straus and Georgie Frost take a look at Professor Thaler’s work, his prize, behavioural economics and the whole nudge idea. Does this all really work?
Behavioural economists believe a gentle nudge in the right direction can make you richer and over recent years they have managed to win the ears of governments around the world – including the UK’s. This week one of the thinkers who helped spread the word on behavioural economics, Professor Richard Thaler, won a Nobel Prize for economics.
In the old world of economics textbooks, people behaved perfectly rationally and made the right choices. In the real world, of course, we don’t. We make irrational decisions that fly in the face of economic theory all the time. Yet, our irrational behaviour can be an asset. It means that we can be nudged into making the best choices. Professor Thaler’s catch-all advice is whether you’re a business or a government, if you want people to do something, make it easy.
In Britain, one example adopted by the Government has been pensions. Instead of getting people to opt into a pension, we’re now automatically enrolled and then offered the chance to opt out. It’s now easier to have a pension than not to. Unsurprisingly, more people now save into pensions.
Forget coughing fits, pranksters and tumbling letters for a minute. Along with a car crash speech for Theresa May, the Tory party conference also brought a few policies that might make a difference to our financial lives. Student fees, house building and an energy price cap all came up on the agenda. But was this just tinkering around the edges, or a solid plan to improve three highly controversial areas?
Listen to join Simon Lambert, Laura Whitcombe and Georgie Frost on a tour through those Tory policies – and whether they have any chance of working – alongside the rest of the money news you need to know about this week.
Also on the agenda this week, we talk pensions, discussing why a reader’s state pension has been cut even for the years they were contracted in and whether we need to be worried about final salary schemes paying out what they are meant to.
'Open banking' and whether banks should be allowed to scan your spending habits to then alert you to better deals is also discussed, along with the things you should avoid doing to your home if you ever want to sell it. And finally, in some breaking news we bring you the information you’ve all been waiting for. How much did the top new £10 note sell for at the Bank of England auction?
Labour didn’t win the last General Election but leader Jeremy Corbyn believes it could do next time. In case that comes around anytime soon, the party this week laid out some plans at its conference. Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell also revealed that the leadership would be doing war game planning should a Labour victory cause a run on the pound or a stock market slump. Depending on your point of view, this may sound amusing, scary or exciting. But what does it actually mean and should we be worried? Corbyn's plans are pretty radical and would herald a sharp turn in the country's economic direction but should we be worried about the economy as it is now? Perhaps the rumoured Bank of England rate hike is a sign that things are absolutely fine. On this week’s This is Money podcast, Simon Lambert, Georgie Frost and Lee Boyce take a look at whether the UK’s pint glass is half empty or half full – and whether that means you will get richer or poorer.
This week the team ask the million dollar question: are interest rates really about to rise before the end of 2017? Are house buyers in property 'paradise' after a recent index showed a fall in monthly house asking prices - and should homeowners fix their mortgages for the long term? Brexit has thrown up many potential problems and could private expat pensions be one of them? And note mania is back - last week saw the new polymer £10 note launched. We tell you what serial numbers to look out for to potentially make a tidy profit.
This is Money has had a string of questions from readers looking to give away money to children or grandchildren but who also wish to protect it from being squandered or lost in a relationship break-up. Whether gifting money for house deposits, or to avoid inheritance tax, or for any other reason this is a major concern for people, especially as nowadays the sums involved can be tens or hundreds of thousands of pounds. On this week’s This is Money podcast, Simon Lambert, Rachel Rickard Straus and Georgie Frost discuss why people are worried and what they can do – if anything. Also, on the agenda this week is the ten-year anniversary of the run on Northern Rock. How has the decade that followed changed our financial lives and who have been the winners and losers.
Car scrappage schemes are back. After waiting in vain for the government to launch an official scrappage scheme to get dirty diesels off the road, car makers have taken matters into their own hands. But is this an altruistic move to help replace more polluting cars with greener ones, or are they just trying to flog more cars? And there’s another important question to tackle, are these scrappage schemes a good deal? Simon, Rob and host Georgie Frost take a deep dive into them – and the murky world of cars sales and finance.
Arnold Schwarzenegger has been drafted in as a last-ditch attempt to get the millions of us who still haven't claimed compensation for mis-sold PPI to do so. In this episode of the podcast, top financial broadcaster Georgie Frost joins Lee Boyce and Rachel Rickard Straus of the This is Money team to talk about Arnie's new PPI advertisement campaign and more.
They have a good old chat about the big money stories from the past week and what it all means for you. We've all heard about PPI a million times, but with half of those eligible still yet to claim, could you still be owed a little windfall?