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Money Saving Tips to Get You Through This Festival Season

festival moneysaving tips for moneybright.co.uk.jpg

It’s Glasto weekend! And everyone’s favourite Somerset farm-based blowout normally heralds the beginning of a string of festival happening across the UK. Festivals aren’t cheap, and if you’re not careful, your budget could soon go completely off-course.

So to help all of you who are currently packing for a weekend of music and fun with mates, here’s a couple of helpful money saving reminders.

Set a budget!
You may feel all boho and carefree in your flower crown and hot pants, but even the hardest worn festivalgoer will be fanatical about sticking on budget. Simply work out how many days you’re going away for, list the amount of things you may need to realistically buy and then set yourself a daily target. Only bring cash to the festival and leave your card at home – this will stop you splurging after one too many ciders! It’s also worth having an emergency stash of money hidden somewhere in case you lose your wallet.

Wear a bumbag
You’ll thank us for this one. Bumbags are a great way of carrying essentials securely and without the faff of bag straps and remembering to bring your rucksack everywhere.

Organise travel in advance
This especially applies if you’re taking the train. Keep an eye out on special deals, see what savings can be made if you split the journey and book well in advance. If you’re driving, see if you can split the petrol costs with your pals. If you’re really struggling, check out sites like GoCarShare and see what members of the public are travelling to the same place as you and have a spare seat.

Booze rules
Some sites let you bring booze in, some don’t. Find out what the rules are of the festival before you haul six crates of lager through the gates. On one hand, if you’re allowed to bring in your own alcohol, you’re saving a small fortune on buying at the bar. If you don’t check and they end up not allowing you to bring your own supply, you’re waving goodbye to a lot of expensive booze.

Volunteer
A lot of festival tickets are prohibitively expensive. If you’re desperate to be there, sign up as a volunteer. This could be working for a charity on site, handing out wristbands, working behind bars, cleaning rubbish or acting as a steward. Whatever the job, it allows you to attend the festival for free. Turn up on time and do your job well, and you’ll make it easier to be shortlisted for the festival and others next year.

Bring your own food

Cereals, chocolate bars, crisps, breakfast bars, fruit, water – packing as many food items as possible allows you to save money on meals. As much as the BBQ stalls and falafel vans serve up decent grub, it’s an expensive way to live, so do a food shop before your journey.

Use an old phone
If you can avoid bringing your expensive smartphone to a festival, leave it at home and swap the SIM card into an old model. Something like a Nokia 3310 is perfect for a weekend camping, the battery last ages, and its virtual indestructible. And if you do end up losing it while pogoing to DJ Shadow, you’re not losing an incredibly pricy bit of kit.

Save £££s with our money saving calculator!

We all know the drill: you leave the house for work in the morning, hop on the bus, grab your coffee-to-go and maybe some breakfast, then arrive at the office feeling ready to take on the day. But while these little treats make you feel good, they’re bad for your wallet – just think about how much you could save without forking out for your morning pickmeup?

With our calculator, you can pick some of the ‘essentials’ that you think you’ll be fine living without, and see how much you can save if you went without them for a period of time. With these savings, you could save enough cash for a holiday, or even put something towards a deposit on your first home!

Some ways you could save money include:

  • Walking to work instead of driving or taking the bus
  • Bringing your own flask rather than buying a coffee every morning
  • Bring a packed lunch into work instead of buying it from the shop or cafe

So give it a try and see how much you could save!





*Costs:
A night out – resource.
A takeaway – resource.
*According to recent research carried out by OVO energy, Brits take, on average, two baths a week, costing 0.31-0.89p per bath.

ASA Upholds Complaint Against PPI Claims Management Company Ltd (Lion Claimline)

PPI Claims Management Company Ltd (trading as Lion Claimline) have recently been the cause of a complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority, the UK’s independent regulator for advertising.

The complaint was upheld and centred around the wording on a marketing email sent out by Lion Claimline. The full adjudication can be read here.

ASA adjudication against lion claimline

Screenshot from ASA website.

The issues concerning the complainant were two fold. Firstly, the company claimed in its marketing email that it only sends emails to people who’ve provided their permission to receive them but this was a claim that couldn’t be verified and was therefore considered misleading. And secondly, this therefore made the email unsolicited and therefore in breach of the CAP Code.

Lion Claimline claimed the email addresses came from a 3rd party lead provider. The ASA deemed this was still a breach and Lion Claimline have been advised that they must not send solicited emails again.

ASA Complaints Against PPI Claims Management Companies

Lion Claimline are far from the first PPI claims management company to have a complaint against their advertising practices upheld by the ASA. You can see 13 complaints (at the time of writing) about advertisers in the PPI space since 2010 here. 12 of those were fully upheld.

The complaints visible on the ASA website include multiple complaints about text messages claiming things like “We have your records and can see you are owed £3,250,” and so on.

All UK advertisers, not just those in the PPI claims space, are expected to adhere to the CAP codes that can be viewed on the official CAP website.

 

Big 4 Banks Set Aside Close to £20 Billion for PPI Payouts

Following an announcement from Barclays a few days ago that they’ve set aside an additional £900 million for the cost of PPI, the banking giant has now set aside £4.8 billion. But how much have the 4 major banks set aside in total to payout for the PPI mis-selling scandal.

  • Barclays – £4.8 billion
  • HSBC – £2.1 billion
  • Lloyds – £9.83 billion
  • Royal Bank of Scotland – £3.1 billion

The bill for Lloyds looks set to be almost as high as for the other 3 major banks all combined.

cost of PPI for big 4 banks

(Sources: Guardian and Financial Times).

This leaves the total pot put aside by the UK’s 4 biggest banks at £19.83 billion. Massive. And there’s no guarantee this figure won’t end up increasing over time.

 

FSA issues guidelines to lenders for mis-sold PPI letters

FSA PPI CCLsThe Financial Services Authority (FSA) has published recommendations for companies writing to customers who have been mis-sold payment protection insurance (PPI).

As some lenders have already started contacting customers to let them know they may have been mis-sold a PPI policy, the FSA has produced a set of guidelines detailing best practice for these firms.

As it is still at consultation stage, the guidance is not legally binding at present. Nevertheless, it outlines the regulator’s assessment of what PPI customer contact letters (CCLs) should contain, with a view to providing a framework for clear, fair and transparent communication between PPI providers and consumers.

You can download the full PDF here.

Background on the PPI mis-selling scandal

 

In November 2005, the FSA identified dishonest sales practices and a lack of compliance controls in the PPI industry. The FSA published a report on its findings and wrote to chief executives summarising the problems it had discovered.

In September and October 2006, a number of small firms were fined by the FSA for mis-selling PPI, and ‘enforcement procedures’ were served against 24 companies.

In January and February 2007, the FSA fined a number of major PPI providers for unfair treatment of customers, and the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) referred the issue to the Competition Commission.

Over the next 18 months, more PPI providers were fined, the Competition Commission published 2 papers detailing additional issues in the PPI market, and the Financial Ombudsman Service asked the FSA to investigate whether firms are dealing with PPI complaints satisfactorily.

In May 2009, the FSA banned the sale of single-premium PPI bundled with loans, and in September 2009, the FSA launched a consultation into how firms could handle PPI complaints better.

In October 2010, the banks sought a judicial review of the new rules, but the High Court ruled against them in April 2011. In May, the British Bankers’ Association confirmed it wouldn’t be appealing.

To date, over £2 billion has been paid out in compensation to victims of PPI mis-selling.

Context for the FSA’s latest intervention

In the second quarter of 2011, PPI providers were advised that they should begin sending customer contact letters (CCLs) to any victims of mis-selling, and were given 6 months to act on this advice.

The 6-month period has now ended, prompting the FSA to issue guidance on the content and presentation of CCLs.

Key points from the FSA’s guidance on PPI CCLs

PPI providers should contact all customers they believe may have been mis-sold PPI.

CCLs shouldn’t contain any marketing material or content that may distract from the key message.

Letters should indicate to customers that they have been mis-sold PPI, how this happened, that this may have caused them financial loss, and what steps they should take to resolve this.

Once customers have been contacted, their complaint will only remain valid for 3 years, after which they will no longer be able to claim compensation.

What does all this mean for consumers?

 

The Good

The fact that the FSA is advising PPI providers to contact potential victims of mis-selling is a positive step, as it means that customers may be alerted to the problem in cases where they would otherwise have been oblivious.

The FSA’s advice puts the onus on the industry to take responsibility for the problem, and aims to shift the emphasis back to fairness and accountability in a market where customers’ trust has been massively eroded in recent years.

The Bad

As things stand, PPI providers still have a long way to go before they regain the trust of consumers.

There is a possibility that, having made contact with customers directly, PPI providers may seek to settle cases as cheaply as possible. Some customers may accept settlements that are lower than what they’re entitled to because they don’t want to wait for the money or get into a protracted dispute with their bank.

Posted on in General.

PPI Claims Hit £1.9 Billion – But Billions Still Left to Claim!

PPI Claims have now hit £1.9 billion, as recently reported by the FSA. The rate at which claims were being made sped up dramatically towards the end of 2011, with a record pay out month in December, where £441 million was paid out.

 

PPI claims will undoubtedly have had a large impact on losses reported recently by Lloyds TSB.

 

However, reports in May 2011 suggested that claims were likely to reach £9 billion, suggesting that this could still only be the beginning of claims made against providers who mis-sold payment protection insurance policies for years.

 

A typical PPI claim results in around £2,750 in compensation, but there are widely reported cases of much higher claims successfully being made.

 

Sources

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-17125141

Mis-Sold Payday Loans Claims – The Next PPI?

Will mis-sold payday loans claims become the next PPI claims?

Consumers who were mis-sold payment protection insurance policies have been making PPI claims for several years now. Providers have been widely criticised for the way the policies were sold.

However, one financial product coming under more recent scrutiny is the payday loan. Lenders like Wonga, Uncle Buck, Mr Lender and a host of others lend smaller sums of money to consumers just to ‘tide them over’ until their next pay packet. The loans typically range from £50 to £750 and the sum must be paid back on the consumer’s next payday.

In many cases, the representative APR on these loans is over 4000%. So, for example, if you borrow £400.00 with Wonga.com for 30 days, you would have to pay back £525.00, but failing to make a repayment for a year could leave you owing more than 40 times what you borrowed!! Martin Lewis of Moneysaving Expert wrote a witty, if not somewhat alarming post on how long it would take to amass the equivalent of the US National Debt after borrowing £100 from Wonga! That post garnered a lot of attention!

 

Could Mis-Sold Payday Loans Claims Realistically be Successful?

Realistically, in order for anybody to make mis-sold payday loans claim, they have to be able to prove they were mis-sold the loan. Payday loans companies are generally all very up front about the product, about the representative APR and about exactly how much will have to be repaid if you take the loan out.

With PPI, common complaints included not being told you had the product with your loan or credit card. That’s because PPI is effectively a cross sell from another product (a loan, mortgae or credit card). It’s different with Payday Loans. The payday loan is the product and the consumer is aware of the product, of the cost of the loan and of its terms.

So while finance bloggers and experts speculate on whether mis-sold payday loans claims, it only takes a quick glance at the websites of the biggest providers to see the lengths they go to in order to make their fees absolutely crystal clear to potential customers. Yes, they’re an expensive way to borrow money and yes, it’s very easy to find yourself amassing debts far higher than the value of the loan, but as long as consumers are made aware of what they are being sold and as long as the product remains legal, there is no mis-selling taking place.

Number of Fatalities at Work Increases

The Health and Safety Executive released statistics last week that highlighted a worrying growth in the number of people killed at work.

In the 12 months ending March 2011, 171 people were killed at work in the UK. That is an average of more than 3 people per week. The figure for the previous year was 147.

The 171 workplace fatalities spanned a number of industries:

  • 34 in agriculture
  • 27 in manufacturing
  • 50 in construction
  • 3 in gas and electricity supply
  • 10 in water supply, sewerage, waste and recycling
  • 47 in the broadly name ‘services.’

An injury at work does not need to be fatal to be serious, though. If you have had an accident at work, you may be entitled to make a claim. At Moneybright, we can help with workplace claims, however serious the injuries. Get in touch today to find out more.

100,000 PPI Complaints to Ombudsman in Last Year

Figures from the Financial Ombusman Service released recently confirmed that, in the last year alone, there were than 104,000 complaints to the financial Ombudsman about PPI (payment protection insurance).

The complaints are not unexpected, with consumers now being made more widely aware of their potential right to make PPI claims.

PPI claims can be made by those who were mis-sold the PPI policies in recent years. This mis-selling was widespread, often deliberate and undoubtedly at huge financial cost to consumers.

At Moneybright, we can help you to make PPI claims. If you’re not sure whether you could be eligible, get in touch today and find out how we could help.