Santander 123 is now 3% TAX-FREE for most – is the £5/mth fee worth it?

Update June 2016: This was written in April 2016. We’ve updated the products mentioned here, but Martin’s analysis still stands – the MSE team. Santander 123 is the UK’s most switched to bank account – due to the high interest paid on savings, and cashback given on bills. And from tomorrow, it’ll become even more attractive as...

Santander 123 is now 3% TAX-FREE for most – is the £5/mth fee worth it?

Important update 24 Jan 2020: Since I wrote this blog, Santander has announced it’ll be slashing the interest rate on its 123 account from 1.5% to 1% in May 2020. Read the 'Santander is now a dead duck' news story for full information.

Santander 123 is the UK’s most switched to bank account – due to the high interest paid on savings, and cashback given on bills. And from tomorrow, it’ll become even more attractive as the 3% interest it pays will be tax-free for many due to the new personal savings allowance.

What I told MPs they need to know about financial education and why we must SPEND some money…

I’ve been campaigning for financial education in schools for nearly five years now. Two years ago we had a huge victory in getting it on the national curriculum. The big question now is, has it been done well enough? To answer that, the All Party Parliamentary Group on Financial Education for Young People, a group I was...

The Help to Buy ISA vs Lifetime ISA – which should first-time buyers get?

Update Note August 2016: While reviewing this blog I’ve noticed that in bashing it out, I used the term house deposit as shorthand – but that is ambiguous. So to clarify I am talking about the deposit you need to get a mortgage for a house, not the deposit you must give a seller at exchange. This...

A bipolar spree aiming to spend £131 million

A week ago, I announced the launch of the new Money and Mental Health Policy Institute. I’ve set it up to look at a range of measures to prevent the marriage made in hell that is debt and mental illness. You can read full details on what it’s about and what it’ll do here. On the back of it, I’ve...

Our response to the regulator’s PPI time-bar consultation… it’s a gross injustice!

The regulator the FCA has proposed time limiting PPI claims. Supposedly this is meant to be a boon to consumers. Yet in reality this is just a sop to banks to help them close off the huge liability that their fraudulent selling of PPI has been. The FCA published a consultation document; today is the last day for...

The new personal savings allowance means some will be better off earning LESS interest

Until now for every £100 of interest a basic-rate taxpayer earns outside an ISA, the taxman takes £20. Yet on 6 April, the savings landscape changes.  The new personal savings allowance (PSA) means ALL basic-rate taxpayers will be able to earn £1,000 a year interest on all savings, higher rate £500, tax-free. But within the way this works...

Warning: Your child’s savings will still be taxed like they’re yours, even after April’s changes

Big changes to savings are afoot from next April. The new personal savings allowance launches, allowing all basic-rate taxpayers to earn £1,000 in interest tax-free (higher-rate £500) from all types of savings (for want of doubt this includes high interest bank accounts and top normal savings).

What happened to the £10m (now £20m) I promised to donate to charity?

In June 2012 I pledged, when MSE joined the MSM group, that charities would receive £10 million. For transparency's sake periodically I bash out a quick blog explaining what's happening with the money.

Bigger savers – do you really need to spread your savings?

For years my safe savings mantra has been "you're protected up to £85,000 per person per UK-regulated financial institution" – therefore if you've got more, spread it into pots of no more than around £83,000 (to allow room for interest) to keep the whole amount protected.