If a company makes a mistake, that doesn’t make it a monster…

If a company makes a mistake, that doesn’t make it a monster… As it says at the top of the page, MoneySavingExpert.com is here to cut your bills and fight your corner, and we do our best to live up to that promise. As part of that, our forum, Twitter, Facebook and News pages are often filled...

Why Wonga should pay £34,334,929,158 to everyone it sent false letters to

This week we’ve had the disgusting news that Wonga, in 2008 – 2010, thuggishly sent letters from fake law firms to scare people who’d defaulted into repaying. The FCA has ordered it to pay £2.6m in compensation, which equates to £50 for each customer affected. Sadly, there was no fine, as at the time these acts were...

I predict the first ‘car insurance marketplaces’ will start in September

The Competition and Markets Authority has been investigating the insurance market, and within its 12 June proposals – likely to be enacted in September – is a seemingly innocuous clause that could signal a huge change to how people find cheap car and home insurance. It could also signal the death knell for some car insurance cashback....

Dear Chancellor – stop fighting the regulator, or make it stop fighting you!

My suspicion is there’s internecine warfare going on right now between the Government and the regulators.  If true, it’s damaging for Britain and makes me wish I could bang their heads together. On the one hand, the Chancellor and the Government are proposing a raft of ideas to liberalise the financial services market and attempting to stimulate...

Buy Zara clothes at a fraction of the cost, and get a flight thrown in

Update 17 July 2017: We tend to think since Brexit that the pound’s weaker than it has been for decades. While somewhat true against the dollar, against the euro it’s only a tad worse now than when I first wrote this in 2014.   The logic of this blog stands just as strongly now. On the Spanish-English website...

I formally apologise for not being a payday lender

That’s what the boss of a payday loan firm thinks I should do. The man behind QuickLoans has closed down his company due to "threats of political interference by both parties". And he saves his best venom for me… In his error-strewn statement (read it in full) he says: “We believe that a ‘political correct’ group of...

The Government has sold people out over Erudio student loans

Last December I blogged to put people’s minds at ease over the student loan sell-off. Many had worriedly asked me if there would be big changes and I explained that no, there shouldn’t be as the Government had guaranteed no changes to the loan terms and conditions. Well, I was wrong.  With the benefit of hindsight, the...

My secret life as a BBC reporter (the videos)…

There’s a certain voice you feel you’re supposed to develop as a junior TV news reporter – especially at the BBC. The aim is to deliver the news, without allowing yourself to get in the way of the story.  I’ve just been reminded of my own attempts at this. Thanks to a friend’s recent Googling, it turns...

Get 5% interest on your ISA money

Update: 1 July 2014: ISAs have today transformed into NISAs (New ISAs), meaning everyone can now put £15,000 into cash or shares savings without paying tax on it. But despite this bigger allowance, the principles of this blog still apply. The new cash ISA year started yesterday. Our best pick pays 2.75%, but some bank accounts pay...

The government’s energy changes mean fewer people will switch

The energy regulator Ofgem has today announced it is proposing to refer the energy market to the competition authorities. This report, which is only five years too late, contains the ‘shock’ fact there’s tacit co-ordination on energy prices – even though each year energy firms bleat like sheep and raise prices together. Within the report, a key...