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The pound 'is Scotland's currency too'

An independent Scotland will keep the pound "because it's our currency too" a spokesperson for Alex Salmond insisted.

A spokesman for Alex Salmond said the pound is Scotland's currency too.
A spokesman for Alex Salmond said the pound is Scotland's currency too. Credit: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

He said: "An independent Scotland will keep the pound because it's our currency, too, and pensions and public services will be more sustainable after a yes vote because Scotland's economy is stronger than the UK's."

He added that support for the yes vote had been as high as 48% in recent polls.

He said: "We are looking forward to the debate as an opportunity to communicate the positive message why Scotland can, should and must have the powers of an independent country."

Joining the Euro is 'the only realistic plan B' for Scotland

Joining the Euro would be the "only realistic plan B" for Alex Salmond if Scotland becomes independent, according to shadow chancellor Ed Balls.

Joining the Euro would be 'least worst of all the bad options,' Ed Balls said.
Joining the Euro would be 'least worst of all the bad options,' Ed Balls said. Credit: PA

He told the Observer newspaper: "I fear that an independent Scotland would end up finding that joining the euro would be the least worst of all the bad options."

Balls who has ruled out a currency union if he becomes chancellor added: "It's not what I would choose for Scotland. And I am not surprised at all that Alex Salmond doesn't want to admit it now, but joining the euro would likely be his only realistic plan B."

Attempting to use sterling as the currency of an independent nation without any say over the actual operation of that currency and Bank of England policy would put the Scottish economy in an impossible position, he said.

He added: "Given the size of the UK relative to Scotland, given that Scotland would be leaving the UK, the size of the Scottish financial sector and given the risk, therefore, to UK taxpayers, a sterling currency area would be off the table."

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'Confusing' financial jargon explained

New research suggests financial jargon could be driving customers away from banks and building societies.

Here are definitions of the terms that prove most confusing for customers.

  • FSCS stands for Financial Services Compensation Scheme. This is a safety net for people whose bank or building society goes bust that will compensate a consumer by up to £85,000
  • AER stands for the annual equivalent rate, which is used to help people compare returns on savings accounts means
  • Bacs is a central payment system used to process several different types of electronic payment, such as wages and pensions
  • Gross interest refers to interest that is paid before the deduction of tax

Banking customers 'bombarded' with financial jargon

Consumers are being "bombarded" with financial jargon by banks and building societies, according to the director of retail at National Savings and Investments (NS&I).

While new research has found that jargon is driving customers away from banks and building societies, Julian Hynd said it was important for people to check the information supplied to them.

He said: "It's clear that customers are being bombarded with financial jargon, not only from their bank/building society but other financial service providers too."

He added: "But it's important for customers to remember that although the information supplied to them won't be a riveting read, it will provide essential information relevant to them."

Financial jargon 'drives banking customers away'

Financial jargon is driving customers away from banks and building societies, new treasury backed research has found.

Financial jargon drives customers away from banks, new research has found.
Financial jargon drives customers away from banks, new research has found. Credit: PA

Three-fifths (60%) of consumers said they are likely to stop saving with a particular bank or building society if they cannot understand the way they explain their terms and conditions, according to the study by National Savings and Investments (NS&I).

More than half (54%) said confusing language would make them consider switching their custom to another firm.

Call centre staff were responsible for 41% of consumer confusion, while almost half (49%) said terminology in application forms had left them baffled.

Jargon used on company websites had also confused 50% of those polled. One quarter (25%) said they had stopped saving with a particular bank or building society as a result of website jargon.

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Research 'shows government policy is working'

Research showing that first time buyers pay £1,300 less than renters show that government policy is working, according to the Housing and Planning minister.

We've cut the deficit to keep interest rates low, built half a million homes and helped thousands of responsible, hard-working people purchase properties with smaller deposits through Help to Buy.

– Brandon Lewis

Research shows first-time buyers pay less than renters

First-time buyers are now paying around £1,300 less than people who rent, new research has found.

First time buyers pay £1,300 less than renters according to Halifax.
First time buyers pay £1,300 less than renters according to Halifax. Credit: PA

Running a three-bedroom house for someone taking their first step on the property ladder now costs £677, which is £110 lower than the typical monthly rent paid on a similar property, according to the Halifax bank.

They said that while the typical monthly cost of buying a home has increased by £25 compared with a year ago, typical rental costs have have risen by £42 a month to now stand at £787 a month on average.

Five years ago, the average cost of owning your first property was around £37 a month more expensive than renting, they added.

Citizens Advice: Small price rises can have a 'big impact'

Small increases in phone and broadband bills "could have a big impacts on family finances," according to the chief executive of Citizens Advice.

Utility companies need to be up front with their prices, according to the chief executive of Citizens Advice.
Utility companies need to be up front with their prices, according to the chief executive of Citizens Advice. Credit: PA

Speaking after BT announced that prices for phone and broadband packages will rise by up to 6.5%, Gillian Guy said: "Inflation-busting price rises are bad news for cash-strapped households."

She added: "With the extremely tough pressures on household budgets at present and wages that will continue to stay way below inflation, even a small increase in phone and broadband bills could have a big impact on family finances."

Utility providers need to be up front with their customers about when prices are going up and where there are savings to be made, she said, adding that Citizens Advice has dealt with more than 62,000 telephone and broadband debt problems in the last 12 months.

BT is 'sensitive to the tough economic times'

BT's chief executive has insisted the company is "sensitive to the tough economic times," despite announcing a rise in prices from December.

.BT chief executive John Petter BT was sensitive to tough economic times
BT chief executive John Petter BT was sensitive to tough economic times Credit: PA

John Petter said: "Although some prices have gone up, we want to help our customers to find the best value BT option with Right Plan."

Petter added: "BT is sensitive to the tough economic times and we've taken care to make sure that low-income customers avoid price increases. We've added extra money-saving options for low-income customers and for customers who only want a phone line for calls."

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