February 2012

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

G – Greed. With the death of final-salary pensions and the government all but bankrupt, we increasingly have to take responsibility for our own financial futures. This means we rely more than ever before on financial services insiders to guide us where to put our savings. But as they flog us a bewildering array of […]

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

D – Down. This is the likely direction of the value of most stock-market investments like unit trusts and pensions over the next ten to twenty years. Your financial adviser or bank salesperson will tell you that shares always outperform cash. But this is not quite true. Stock markets tend to go up about 1.5% […]

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 […]

Don’t become a ‘SIPPs pension sucker’

Hundreds of thousands of savers have realised that traditional pensions are a waste of time. For a start, you pay management and dealing costs of 2% to 3% for thirty or more years. That’s a lot of money and over five times what you would pay if you lived in Denmark or Holland. Moreover, the […]

Why are we paying £1m a minute to financial services insiders?

Every minute of every working day, financial services insiders pocket around £1m of our savings and pensions.* That’s over £400m a day – about £105bn a year. Whether our savings go up or down or stagnate, these people still take their £1m a minute (£400m a day). But we don’t get much for our £1m […]

Avoid two simple savings mistakes millions of people make

The stupidest mistake anyone, with even just a few pounds in a bank or building society account, can make is not to pay off all their credit card and store card bills in full every month. After all, why earn 1% (or 2% if you’re lucky) on your savings and then pay 15% to 20% […]

Today, Willie Sutton would be working at HSBC, Barclays or Lloyds – because that’s where the money is

Legend has it that when asked by a journalist why he robbed banks, prolific bank robber Willie Sutton gave the famous reply, “because that’s where the money is”. Then when asked why he used a gun, he reportedly said, “because charm and personality are not enough to get them to hand over the money”.

If […]

Barclays, Lloyds, HSBC, NatWest – they’re all ‘havin’ a laff’ and you’re paying

Why do high street banks want to run your current account for you? Because they make lots of money doing it? Not really. Handling our current accounts means a lot of work for not too much profit. The real reason is the opportunity to do what the banks call ‘cross-selling’ – using their contacts with […]

Don’t let your bank (or building society) trick you into putting money into this awful savings producct

With bank and building society (BS) rates at record lows and likely to stay there for many years, one group of people is striking it rich. These are the bank and BS ‘financial advisers’ or ‘relationship managers’ or whatever they call themselves. In fact they are just greedy and dishonest salespeople ordered to sell a […]

Don’t let the crooks at HSBC steal your family’s money

We all know that our ‘caring’, ‘customer-friendly’ banks will do or say anything to get hold of our money. But HSBC seem to have taken greed, lying and mis-selling to a whole new level. For almost 20 years, HSBC eagerly sold longer-term (5 years or more) stockmarket bonds to elderly customers (average age 83) in […]