Tag Archives: ISAs

Standard Life Reveals Less Than A Third Of UK Adults Know When The Tax Year Ends

Standard Life’s ‘Financial Efficiency’ research shows that a large number of people in the UK are at risk of missing the opportunity to capitalise on their ISA tax allowance and their pension contribution limits because they don’t know when the tax year ends. The research, which asked a poll of over 2000 people in the UK to say when they thought the end of the tax year was, found that only three in 10 Brits (31%) know the correct date.

The tax year end falls on April 5th, but the majority of the public (69%) either doesn’t know or thinks it’s a different date. Some said it was earlier in the year, with one in 12 (8% – more than 4.08 million people*) thinking the end of the tax year is April Fool’s day.

But more alarmingly, 7.27 million people** (15%) of respondents believe their tax deadline falls after April 5th. Even those who already actively save into ISAs can still get it wrong. Only 36% of ISA investors were able to correctly identify the tax year end date and a worrying one in six (17%), thought the tax year end was later than April 5th.

People in Northern Ireland seem to be the most clued up on the tax year-end deadline, with almost two in five (38%) identifying the correct date. While people in Wales were the least aware, with only one in four (25%) people able to correctly identify April 5th as the tax year end.

Standard Life’s Julie Russell commented: “Our research shows that few people know when the tax year ends. While more people believe it is before April 5th, each year than after, and that is perhaps less of a worry, it’s a real concern that so many ISA investors don’t know when the annual cut off point is for their investments.

“If you are saving into tax efficient savings or investments like ISAs or pensions, then you really do need to know when the tax year ends. The 5th of April should be front of mind. Otherwise you risk not making the most of these products and their valuable allowances.”

People can find out more about being financially efficient with investments like pensions and stocks and shares ISAs at www.yourfuturemoney.co.uk which also includes top tips and interactive tools.

Via EPR Network
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Standard Life Reveals Brits Think They Cannot Live on £140 a Week

Standard Life’s new research* has revealed that almost two out of three people (63%) think they could not live on £140 a week in retirement, rising to 72% for the 55 and over’s. Only 17% of the 55 and over’s think they could live on £140 a week. The Government has recently proposed a single-tier flat-rate state pension worth around £140 a week, and are currently consulting on how this might be introduced in 2015 at the earliest.

John Lawson, head of pensions policy at Standard Life said: “The introduction of state pensions of £140 a week for all is to be welcomed. This makes it clear and easy for people to understand what they will receive from the government as a pension. However, people clearly recognise that£140 a week will not likely be enough to live on in retirement.”

The research also found there were significant differences of opinion between age groups, with the young more likely to think £140 a week was OK, while those in the older age ranges having had a reality check at the cost of living.

John Lawson concluded with tips for improving overall financial health: “Set up a savings plan to put money away for your future needs. Pensions and are enough to meet the savings needs of 99% of the population. If you are saving for a retirement income, a pension is the most tax efficient home for your money.

“Investing in cash, whilst generally safe, often means that your savings don’t even keep pace with inflation, so don’t be afraid to take some risk, particularly if you are investing for the longer-term. Savings providers now offer personalised investment portfolios, such as Standard Life’s MyFolio, that match the level of risk you are comfortable with.”

Via EPR Network
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quoteboffin.co.uk – Urges Consumers To Renew More Than Just Their ISAs As The End Of The 2009/2010 Tax Year Approaches

Traditionally, April sees a flurry of financial activity as savers rush to renew their ISAs with the current tax year drawing to a close and a new session starting afresh. With a plethora of competitive packages and ISA bonuses to entice shoppers, there’s never been a better time to tighten up your finances by getting a great deal on tax-free savings. Although ISAs will be the financial flavour of the month, what’s to stop consumers from shopping around for a better deal on other products at the same time?

New money saving website – Quoteboffin.co.uk – is asking just that. A price comparison website that compares life insurance packages from a variety of providers, Quoteboffin.co.uk is urging consumers to see April the 5th as more than just a deadline for ISAs.

“The increased focus on financial services and products that the end of the tax year brings shouldn’t just centre on savings products. It takes no time at all for consumers to sit down and reassess whether their current insurance and savings packages are the most rewarding and cost effective options on the market for them; especially when using price comparison websites like QuoteBoffin.co.uk”

Although the UK has officially left the recession behind, consumers should continue to save and rechannel money they might have splurged on high end, luxury goods into building a firmer financial foundation.

With the growth of price comparison websites boasting a 30-50% increase year on year, consumers are spoilt for choice when comparing everything from home and contents insurance to wedding or golf cover.

QuoteBoffin.co.uk reiterates the hidden benefits of price comparison in the current financial climate:

“The end of the recession doesn’t mean consumers should become disinterested in what happens to their money. Go online and consumers are spoilt for choice when it comes to price comparison sites that can save people hundreds of pounds. If consumers shop around at the start of April they could benefit from significant savings that are easily reinvested in a holiday, home improvement or even some early savings for Christmas.”

Via EPR Network
Financial press releases

NS&I Reveal Findings Of Families, Finance And The Future Report

NS&I’s ‘Families, Finance and the Future’ report has shown that before having children, Britons believe you should have an income of at least £25,000 per annum to ensure financial security, while 20% of those surveyed said that they would seriously consider not having children because the cost of having them nowadays is so high.

The NS&I report, Families, Finance and the Future, was written by the Future Foundation and commissioned by NS&I. The report was produced by a combination of desk research and original survey work. Figures taken from a nationally representative sample of 1,049 adults aged 16+. Other sources the report used include the British Household Panel Survey, the ONS, Eurobarometer, the Department for Communities and Local Government, and previous surveys conducted by the Future Foundation.

Almost two-thirds (64%) said people should be financially secure before starting a family, while 78% agreed that the standard of living was an influencing factor when deciding on how many children to have. Just 26% of Britons believe that money shouldn’t be a consideration when deciding to start a family.

Tim Mack, NS&I Savings Spokesman, said: “Starting a family is always going to be much more than a purely economic decision, though for some the financial requirement is clearly an income of £25,000 per year. Britons are also considering their financial future when deciding on the number of children they will have.”

More than one in ten respondents (12%) thought that those thinking of starting a family should be earning between £40,000 and £70,000 before having children, while a similar number (13%) believed that they didn’t need anything as they would always be able to get by. Men were more likely to suggest a bigger financial cushion than women – £27,000 per year, compared to just £23,000 for women – while people without children gave much higher estimates, saying people should be earning at least£30,000.

As well as looking at the situation for individuals, the report also argues that finances and families are linked on a larger, macroeconomic, level.

Barry Clark, Account Director at the Future Foundation, said: “Baby booms tend to follow economic booms and the reverse is true too. Our data suggests that over the past 60 years, GDP growth and the change in birth rates in the UK have been closely linked, so we expect that the coming years will show more than ever that finances and families are related on both a personal and national economic scale.”

The primary consideration influences on the number of children people decide to have appeared to be common:

78% – standard of living they can give their children
73% – meeting the cost of raising their children
51% – size of the house they can afford to raise their family in
39% – education they can make sure their children receive

It is evident that perceived affluence has an effect on the birth rate. In fact, Future Foundation research and the British Household Panel Survey both have shown that in European countries where more people have an income that is either in line with or above their financial expectations, families bear more children.

Barry Clark added: “The highest earners would seem less likely to have larger families owing to the demands of, and devotion to, their careers, or a sharper awareness of just how much children cost to raise.”

Via EPR Network
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NS&I Has Announced Changes To The Way Customers Can Invest In Its Fixed Rate Bonds

From the end of October, the products will only be available directly from NS&I (by freephone, online or by post) and no longer available through the Post Office.

NS&I and the Post Office have jointly agreed to this change, which is in part a reflection of the development of the Post Office’s own brand of savings products. These include Post Office Growth Bonds – a very similar range of fixed rate savings bonds to the two NS&I products. The decision also reflects NS&I’s desire to develop its direct sales channels.

The Post Office will continue to offer a wide range of other NS&I savings products – including Premium Bonds and Savings Certificates – which can be purchased over the counter.

Existing NS&I Guaranteed Growth Bond and Guaranteed Income Bond customers will not notice any change as all post-sale servicing and support is already carried out directly through NS&I.

Peter Cornish, Director of Customer Offer, NS&I, said: “We are committed to making our products as straightforward as possible and ensuring that customers understand where they are investing their money. The changes we have jointly agreed with the Post Office will do just that. Our Guaranteed Income Bonds and Guaranteed Growth Bonds will continue to offer customers a simple and straightforward saving opportunity.”

“The Post Office is our key distribution partner and we recognise it is a familiar option for many savers looking to invest with NS&I. Therefore, a wide range of our savings products will continue to be available over the counter in Post Office branches.”

Gary Hockey-Morley, Post Office Limited marketing director, said: “NS&I savings products will continue to be a key part of the ever expanding range of value for money financial services available at Post Office branches. We look forward to continuing our long standing partnership with NS&I well into the future, through providing easy access to a wide range of their savings products through our 12,000 branches which lie at the heart of communities across the UK.”

Customers can invest between £500 and £1 million in total in an NS&I fixed term bond, with guaranteed rates of interest. NS&I’s Guaranteed Income Bond offers customers the opportunity to receive their interest as a monthly income, whilst the interest earned on NS&I’s Guaranteed Growth Bonds is credited to the Bond annually.

NS&I’s fixed rate bonds are available in terms of one, two, three and five years. The two-year term was launched in July 2009 and is only available directly from NS&I.

Via EPR Network
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NS&I Unveils The First Live Vegetable Plot At BBC Good Food Shows

NS&I (National Savings and Investments), one of the UK’s largest savings organisations, is delighted to be working with Matthew Biggs to encourage ‘growing your own’ at this year’s BBC Good Food Show events.

Visitors to this year’s events in Glasgow (SECC, 30 October – 1 November), London (Olympia, 13 – 15 November) and Birmingham (NEC, 25 – 29 November) are encouraged to stop by the ‘Grow Your Own Food with NS&I’ vegetable plot. The plot will be tended to by Gardeners’ Question Time expert Matthew Biggs, who will be on hand to offer visitors helpful hints and tips on growing fruit and vegetables.

Matthew Biggs commented: “I am delighted to be working on the ‘Grow Your Own Food with NS&I’ feature. I’m looking forward to speaking to visitors at this year’s events, offering advice on how they can make the most of growing their own fruit and veg.”

He added: “Growing your own is the perfect way to cut down your shopping bill, as a bumper crop of ingredients such as tomatoes or rocket, can be grown easily for the small cost of a packet of seeds. It’s also fun for the family and a great way to enjoy fresh food with the finest flavour long after you’ve planted the first seed.”

About NS&I
NS&I is one of the UK’s largest savings accounts providers with almost 27 million customers and over £96 billion invested. It is best known for premium bonds, but also offers a Direct ISA, guaranteed growth bondsguaranteed equity bonds and Children’s Bonus Bonds in its range. All products offer 100% security, because NS&I is backed by HM Treasury.

Via EPR Network
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National Savings And Investments Is Increasing The ISA Allowance On Both Its Direct ISA And Cash ISA For Its Over 50s Customers

The revised allowance will come into effect from 6 October 2009. This change will enable existing Direct ISA and Cash ISA customers who will be 50 years or over on the 5 April 2010 to deposit up to £5100 into their ISA in the current tax year. From 6 April 2010 more than 400,000 of NS&I’s Direct ISA and more than 231,000 Cash ISA savers will be eligible for the higher allowance.

These changes reflect the Chancellor’s announcement in his 2009 Budget which stated that cash ISA customers aged 50 years or over should have an increase to their tax-free ISA allowance, increasing the maximum investment from £3600 to £5100 from 6 October.

The interest rate paid on NS&I’s Direct ISA is currently 2.50%, and 0.5% per annum on its Cash ISA.  John Prout, Director of Customer Sales and Retention at NS&I, said: “We have contacted the 365,000 of our ISA customers who will be 50 years or over on the 5 April 2010 to let them know that they can make use of their higher allowance from 6 October. They can do this by calling NS&I on our new freephone number, 0500 007 007.

At NS&I we pride ourselves on being straightforward in both our communications and our savings bond range. We urge all of our eligible ISA customers to take full advantage of the increased allowance available to them.”

NS&I has changed its general enquiries number. Customers will now need to call the freephone number 0500 007 007 to contact NS&I directly. The former chargeable enquiries number, 0845 964 5000, will continue to operate but customers may incur a charge from their provider. NS&I’s sales line will continue to operate through 0500 500 000.

Via EPR Network
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Ruling Out Stock Market Investment Hits Long-Term Returns

Prudential has recently released new research that shows that one in four investors have ruled out a return to stock market investment in fear of losing money.

Around one in four potential investors – equivalent to 11.9 million people – are ruling out equity investments because of a lack of confidence in the stock market or because they don’t want to lose more money.

The FTSE-100’s 43 per cent surge from its low-point of 3,512.1 on March 3rd 2009 to more than 5,000 now has yet to convince millions of investors to return to stock market investing, Prudential believes.

But the retirement and savings giant warns that by ruling out stock market investments now, those people who can afford to save are potentially missing out on long-term gains delivered by the historically strong performance of shares.

The research shows 1.9 million – around 4 per cent of the population – have been put off investing more because of recent losses while approximately 12 per cent say they have no confidence in the stock market over the next 12 months and around another eight per cent say they have no confidence at all in the stock market.

Trevor Cheal, Retirement Savings Business Director for Prudential said: “The saying that it is not timing the markets but time in the markets that matters could never be more apt. Investors often act irrationally and driven by fear they sit out the markets as they begin to recover, missing out on some potentially spectacular gains.”

Prudential research shows that 32 per cent of those who do not intend investing in the stock market would be convinced to do so if they could be guaranteed they would not lose money, while 13 per cent say they will invest if the market shows strong signs of recovery. Another 6 per cent would do so if they had access to expert advice on where to invest.

However 25 per cent of those who reject stock market investments say there is nothing that could convince them to return to the stock market.

There are investors willing to buy however, with 9 per cent of the population – 4.3 million people – planning to invest directly in shares with another 11 per cent – 5.2 million people – planning to buy unit trusts or an ISA.

But direct equity investment is not the only option as Prudential’s Trevor Cheal, points out: “It is understandable that in volatile markets, investors may not want all their eggs in one basket and multi-asset funds which provide diversification can give them some degree of comfort while still giving the investor exposure to the stock market. Those who feel they lack the knowledge to manage a diversified portfolio should consider getting professional financial advice from a stockbroker or an IFA.”

Via EPR Network
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Over 800,000 Knee Jerk Fixers Need Instant Access

This year really has been a savings rate massacre for consumers, with rates falling to historic lows in line with the plummeting base rate. New research from uSwitch.com reveals that in response to this rate land slide, 9 million savers have locked away a total of £131 billion in fixed rate savings accounts in a desperate bid to bag a decent rate. Unfortunately, a turbulent financial climate has led to almost one in ten of these consumers being forced to access their savings early due to job losses (6%) and mounting housing bills (32%). As a result, these savers have incurred penalty fees averaging £132 each.

In total, over 800,000 consumers have made an average withdrawal of £3,738 each from their fixed rate account in the last year, with over a third of these incurring penalty charges. As a result, these cash hungry savers have racked up a total bill of £40 million in withdrawal penalties which are predominantly made up of interest charges. Going forward this issue is only going to get worse as a further 1.7 million (19%) people with fixed rates claiming that they might have to access their money early.

With each of these savers locking away a total of £14,237 each, this has clearly made a positive boost to the UK’s £1.1 trillion savings pot which is held by 35 million consumers. This may sound like a lot of money in the current climate but it’s hardly surprising as further reports have shown that the amount of money consumers are stashing away has actually gone up by 26% since January this year.

However, with 47% of fixed rate savings accounts offering consumers absolutely no access to their money before the end of the term, it’s hardly surprising that 6% of these knee jerk fixers already regret locking their money away. 87% of fixed rate savers only chose this type of account because it was the only decent rate available at the time and 17% admit to making a rash decision.

Rumina Hassam, savings expert at uSwitch.com, comments: “Fixed rate savings accounts can offer consumers some really competitive returns, but the reality of this extra interest can be harsh. Almost half of the accounts available do not allow consumers to access their cash under any circumstances which, in a climate of recession and redundancy, is a dangerous situation for some people. The devil really is in the detail as far as fixed rate savings are concerned. Even if consumers are allowed to make withdrawals, the extra interest earned could be completely wiped out by the penalties incurred.

Variable rate savings deals are on the up and there are currently deals paying as much as 3.3% with no restrictions on access with Citibank. This explains why 37% of people don’t feel their rate is quite as competitive as it seemed when they first took it on. The average one year fixed rate bond now pays an average of 3.11% but Chelsea Building Society is offering as much as 3.8%. Five year bonds have gone up from an average of 3.33% to 4.61% since January however, one year fixed options have actually dropped down from 3.62% to 3.11% in the last nine months. For details of the best savings accounts available consumers can log onto www.uswitch.com.

Via EPR Network
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Majority Of Over 50s Unaware Of October ISA Limit Increases

Lloyds TSB has revealed new research that shows two thirds (61 per cent) of over 50s do not understand the approaching ISA changes which will enable more than 21 million savers to benefit from an increased tax free savings allowance.

As part of this year’s budget, the Chancellor announced that the total ISA limits would increase from £7,200 to £10,200, £5,100 of which can be saved in cash. For those born on or before 5th April 1960 the new limits come into effect on October 6th, whilst younger customers will need to wait until the start of the 2010/2011 tax year next April.

Despite the imminent changes, the findings show that just 15 per cent of over 50s know that the new ISA limit will be set at £10,200. Four out of ten over 50s are not even aware that increases have been announced.

Lloyds Banking Group customers can take full advantage of the increased limits, as the Group has confirmed that all of its ISA products will accept top ups when the new rules come into effect on 6th October.

Colin Walsh, managing director of savings and investment, Lloyds Banking Group commented: “As the UK’s largest ISA provider, we want our customers to be able to reap the benefits of the new rules and make use of their entitlement. This historic low rate environment has meant a challenging time for savers, especially for those who rely on returns to supplement their monthly income, so maximising your full tax free allowance has never been more important.”

Savers will be able to top up their existing ISA balance in any of the Group’s fixed and variable rate cash ISAs, as well as investment ISA products. New customers can also take advantage of the new entitlement and open one of the competitive products offered by the Group’s ISA brands, which include Halifax, Lloyds TSB, Scottish Widows, Bank of Scotland, Cheltenham & Gloucester, Birmingham Midshires and Intelligent Finance.

Colin Walsh continued: “Traditionally the ISA transfer market peaks in April around the new tax year, but this year’s changes will no doubt result in a ‘mini ISA season’ as savers look to take advantage of competitive rates on an increased balance.”

Earlier this year, Lloyds Banking Group announced its participation in electronic transfers for the cash ISA market, allowing customers to benefit from a more efficient process and reducing the delays caused by sending cheques in the post.

Via EPR Network
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Lloyds TSB Has Announced That It Has Increased The Rate On Its Popular Monthly Saver Account To 5 Per Cent

Lloyds TSB Monthly Saver account holders can enjoy this competitive fixed rate for twelve months on regular monthly deposits between £25 and £250. If customers find they have additional funds to save, they can increase the amount on their monthly standing order at any time during the 12 month period, up to the maximum monthly deposit of £250.

Colin Walsh, managing director of Savings and Investment at Lloyds TSB said, “Given the uncertainty around us, getting into a savings habit has never been more important. This is why we want to make it as easy as possible for our customers to build a nest egg and provide the added incentive of a competitive savings rate.”

Should the need arise customers can also benefit from instant access to their savings, without incurring any withdrawal penalty.

Colin Walsh continued: “We know some savers want the reassurance of being able to access if they need to, so this product allows customers to dip into their funds without penalties.”

Lloyds TSB Current Account holders can open a Monthly Saver account either in branch or through telephone banking.

To help savers make the most of their money Lloyds TSB has a dedicated savings hub at Savvy Saver, full of advice, information and useful planning tools. Users can also submit and share their own savings tips, to help other savers maximise their cash.

– Funds withdrawn from the account cannot be replaced
– Standing Order on the account can be changed at any point during the twelve month period.
– This product is subject to availability

About Lloyds TSB:
Lloyds TSB offers customers a wide range of current accounts, savings accounts, insurance, personal loans and credit cards, investment and cash ISA accounts designed to meet different customers’ needs. Lloyds TSB Bank plc and Lloyds TSB Scotland plc are authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority and signatories to the Banking Codes. Lloyds TSB Bank plc Registered Office: 25 Gresham Street, London EC2V 7HN. Registered in England and Wales no. 2065.

Via EPR Network
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Historic Losses For 401K Plan Participants

Retirement savings have dwindled significantly over the past 18 months. The median rate of return on 401k balances was negative 28.3% in 2008 according to a study by human-resources consulting firm Hewitt Associates. The average 401k balance dropped from $79,600 at year-end 2007 to $57,200 at the close of 2008.


In the 12 months following the stock market’s peak in October 2007, more that $1 trillion worth of stock value held in 401ks and other “defined-contribution” plans was wiped out, according to the Boston College research center.

Alan Weir, who turns 60 this month, showed 60 Minutes his latest 401(k) statement, which he hadn’t had the courage to open up. “I’m afraid,” he told correspondent Steve Kroft. There’s good reason for his trepidation: nearly half of his life savings have vanished in a matter of months. “It went down again,” Weir told Kroft after opening the statement. Overall, he said he was down about $140,000.

Another woman in a similar situation told Kroft her 401(k) was worth less now than it was in 2005. “And another one went down almost $40,000. One was 80 – 88,000. And then, and then it went down to 50(k),” she told Kroft, crying. The saddest part of this story is that it is being repeated all over the country.

In eastern Pennsylvania, 59-year-old Iris Hontz lost her accounting job and half of her 401(k) investments.

“Unlike Wall Street executives, American families don’t have a golden parachute to fall back on,” said U.S. Rep. George Miller (D-CA).

www.401kinvesthelp.com is a site designed to assist the Individual in their noble attempt to save for retirement. How does it guide investors? The number one problem investors have while saving for retirement is the potential of suffering devastating losses of 30% or more in stock mutual funds. The ideology of just “buy and hold,” “invest for the long term” only work a small percentage of the time. In addition to the latter problem, 80%-90% of the mutual funds offered within these retirement vehicles are more risky than the benchmark or index they follow. It’s about time someone stepped in to assist Americans with their retirement accounts rather than leaving them helpless and alone. The indicators used within the site are designed to give individuals a sneak peek into the economy and the financial markets. Is it safe to be invested fully? Should I take some off the table and be only partially invested? These are questions everyone has and generally know the answers to, but need someone to help reinforce that decision. The indicators are updated every 1st business day of each week and an email is sent to each subscriber alerting them of any changes, as well as a brief commentary on the financial markets. Investing smart bodes well for those who understand, “It’s just best to sit on the sidelines and watch the fireworks at times.”

If you would like more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview with Leonard M. Rhoades, please call Andrea Rhoades at 616-581-5696 or email support@401kinvesthelp.com.

Via EPR Network
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Lloyds Banking Group Has Announced Its Participation In The New Electronic ISA Transfer Process Which Is Being Introduced

The Group has been working with the British Bankers’ Association (BBA) and other savings providers to adopt the process ahead of the new tax year.

cash isa

Lloyds TSB, Halifax and C&G will now be able to send and receive cash ISA transfers electronically via the Bankers’ Automated Clearing Services (BACS). These changes will speed up the transfer process by reducing the delays caused by sending cheques in the post.

Colin Walsh, managing director of savings and investment with Lloyds Banking Group said: “The industry wide delays experienced by customers last year were largely due to the outdated cheque and postal system on which the ISA transfer market was dependent. The move to electronic transfers is an important step forward but it is essential we continue to work together as an industry to improve the process.”

Ahead of the new tax year, Lloyds Banking Group has conducted a thorough review of its own internal procedures to ensure the transfer process is as efficient as possible. As a result, the bank has invested in its tracking systems to provide customers with up to date information on the progress of their funds.

The BBA estimates that during the peak ISA season, up to 1000 transfers a day could move more efficiently thanks to electronic transfers.

Colin Walsh continued: “Given today’s unprecedented low rate environment maximising your full tax free allowance has never been more important. As the UK’s largest provider, with a market share of 24 per cent, Lloyds Banking Group is fully committed to participating in the ISA transfer market, both through the use of electronic transfers and by allowing customers to transfer in historic ISA funds.

“However, we have always said this needs to be an industry wide initiative and, as and when other providers introduce the electronic transfer process, more customers will be able to reap the benefits. I believe there will be significant improvements this year, but there is still work to be done.”

About Lloyds TSB:
Lloyds TSB offers customers a wide range of current accounts, savings accounts, insurance, personal loans and credit cards, investment and cash ISA accounts designed to meet different customers’ needs. Lloyds TSB Bank plc and Lloyds TSB Scotland plc are authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority and signatories to the Banking Codes. Lloyds TSB Bank plc Registered Office: 25 Gresham Street, London EC2V 7HN. Registered in England and Wales no. 2065.

The following savings providers are participating in electronic transfers:
* Lloyds Banking Group: Lloyds TSB, Halifax, Bank of Scotland and Cheltenham & Gloucester
* Full participation from Birmingham Midshires, IF and Scottish Widows is currently being rolled out 
* RBS Group: RBS, NatWest, Coutts
* Santander: Abbey


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The New M&S Advantage Cash ISA Option Is Attracting Record Numbers Of Savers, With Over Twice As Many Accounts Opened Since Its Launch In January Compared With During The Whole Of 2008

Customer feedback indicates that many are basing their choice to save with M&S Money not only on the rate itself, but also on brand trust and security. Recent research reveals that for a third of people (34%) the most important factor when choosing a home for their money is a savings provider they can trust*.

As well as seeking a trustworthy provider, customers are looking for value in terms of pricing, quality and service**M&S Advantage Cash ISA is currently one of the most competitive in the market. Fixed rate options are also available, and customers can split their annual Cash ISA allowance between variable and fixed rates, using one simple application form.

Colin Kersley, M&S Money Chief Executive, commented; “Financial stability is a priority for savers in these uncertain times, with trust and value becoming key factors for customers when choosing a savings provider. Record numbers of savers are applying for new Cash ISAs with M&S Money or transferring from other providers, and they tell us it’s because they have trust in the brand.”

All cash savings with M&S Money are protected under the UK Financial Services Compensation Scheme, so the first £50,000 per customer of any cash savings are 100% guaranteed. M&S Money is part of HSBC, one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organisations.

Advantage Cash ISA option
Minimum deposit £100 lump sum, or £25 by monthly direct debit, up to Cash ISA allowance of £3,600 per tax year, transfers from other ISA providers allowed. The Advantage Cash ISA interest rate of 3.10% includes a 1% bonus until 21st April 2010, after which the rate will revert to 2.10% AER/tax-free variable.

Fixed Rate Savings
Within an ISA – minimum deposit £500 up to Cash ISA allowance of £3,600 per tax year, transfers from other ISA providers allowed. Outside an ISA – minimum deposit £500, maximum £1 million.

This is a strictly limited offer and is available both inside and outside an ISA. Early withdrawals are permitted during the term but will be charged at a fixed flat withdrawal charge (£50 for 1 year term, £75 for 2 year term, £100 for 3 year term). The charge may mean a customer gets back less than they originally deposited if they withdraw their savings before the term end date. Partial withdrawals are not permitted.

* Research carried out on behalf of M&S Money by YouGov 9th – 11th January 2009, among 2,120 people aged 18 and over.
** YouGov and the Credit Crunch, 21st November 2008 – key factors in consumer choice (savings), c.35% safety/security/confidence/reputation, c.25% price-related factors (interest rate).

About M&S Money
M&S Money (the trading name of Marks & Spencer Financial Services) was founded in 1985 as the financial services division of Marks and Spencer Group plc. The company is now a top ten credit card provider and the secondlargest travel money retailer in the UK. M&S Money also offers a range of insurance cover, including home insurancewedding insurance and pet insurance, as well as loans, savings and investment products.

Via EPR Network
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Lloyds TSB Announces That It Will Be Increasing Rates On Its Fixed Rate Cash ISA By Up To 1 Per Cent

Available from 24th March 2009, the rate on the Lloyds TSB Fixed Rate Cash ISA is guaranteed for 12 months from the date of account opening. Accounts can be opened with a minimum deposit of £3000 and will accept transfers from previous tax years.

Colin Walsh, managing director savings and investment at Lloyds TSB said: “This latest rate increase is just one example of how we are working to help savers make the most of their money in today’s difficult economic climate. Given the current low rate environment, it is more important than ever to make use of your tax free allowance and we would encourage savers to take action before the tax year end on April 5th.”

Existing customers who already hold a balance within the improved tiers will also see their rate increase from the 24th March. This means customers who have a balance of £9000 or more will earn a guaranteed rate of 3 per cent for 12 months.

Research from the bank shows that almost half of savers would prefer a fixed rate, in today’s uncertain economic climate.

Colin Walsh continued: “The ISA market has been active for ten years now and many savers have built up a substantial tax free nest egg. Unlike a number of the headline ISAs on the market, our product allows customers to transfer in their previous ISA savings, so they can earn a competitive rate on the maximum balance.”

More information on the Lloyds TSB Fixed Rate ISA is available through branches of Lloyds TSB or online.

Rate increase applies to 2009 Fixed Rate Cash ISA launched on 16th
February 2009. Rates on 2008 Fixed Rate ISA remain unchanged.

About Lloyds TSB
Lloyds TSB offers customers a wide range of current accounts, savings accounts, insurance, personal loans and credit cards, designed to meet different customers’ needs. Lloyds TSB Bank plc and Lloyds TSB Scotland plc are authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority and signatories to the Banking Codes. Lloyds TSB Bank plc Registered Office: 25 Gresham Street, London EC2V 7HN. Registered in England and Wales no. 2065. 

Via EPR Network
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