June 2024

The Great Savings and Pensions Scam. An A-Z Guide. Today A-C

A – A million pounds a minute – over £400 million every working day – £105 billion a year. That’s how much we pay financial services insiders to manage our money. But it’s not obvious we’re getting much for our million pounds a minute. Our savings earn little to no interest; our pension funds hardly grow; and our investments seldom give the mouthwatering returns regularly trumpeted in the sales pitches we get from those who want us to trust them with our money.

B – Banana skin and grave brigade. That’s what financial services salespeople call their favourite targets – the elderly who have one foot on a financial banana skin as they don’t know much about savings and investments and the other in the grave as they’ll soon be going to a better place where they won’t be needing their money, so there’s no real harm done relieving them of their cash before they depart. HSBC and Barclays have been particularly enthusiastic in cruelly cheating the elderly of their life savings.

C – Charges. With most financial products, we don’t know how much we’re actually paying in charges. Often salespeople will claim this is included in the price. When we are informed of the costs of products like unit trusts and pensions, we’ll usually be told these are around one and a half per cent. However, the real amounts we end up paying in a bewildering array of fees, commissions, dealing costs and other expenses will usually be two to three times this amount. On our unit trusts we pay about twice what they pay in the US and on our pensions we pay about five times as much as savers in Holland and Denmark – why? Greed! The greed of the British financial services industry.

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