Connect with us

Business

Why is it so difficult to sell my AIG shares over the telephone

Published

on

why is it so difficult to sell my aig shares over the telephone

I am a shareholder in AIG, or British Airways. I received a prospectus from Computershare for the AIG offer of buying new shares for holders of original shares.

I have read the prospectus and decided on my course of action. Reading the prospectus it informs me that I should phone Computershare on the number it lists in the prospectus which I have done.

On getting through you have a choice and I picked the one for AIG, waited on hold for 20 minutes and eventually spoke to a lady. 

I explained to her my choice of options and she informed me that I need to go online to register and do my business there.

Customer choice: I want to sell my shares over the phone because I don’t trust the internet (Stock image)

Customer choice: I want to sell my shares over the phone because I don’t trust the internet (Stock image)

I informed her what the prospectus said, whereby she said she would not discuss this matter and she would terminate the call, which she did.

I find this a strange way for a company to do business. I am concerned as this attitude could prevent me from obtaining the monies I could receive from selling my allotment. As a pensioner this money would be beneficial to me.

I was wondering if you would look into this matter, as there must be a lot of pensioners like me who invested in British Airways and are entitled to this new offer, and like me would rather sell their options.

By the way I am not confident enough in this IT thing to do any monetary transactions on the internet as it is so unsafe these days and there are plenty others my age who feel the same.

Tanya Jefferies, of This is Money, replies: Many shareholders still prefer to trade over the telephone, and it is possible to do this though more expensive.

We asked Computershare to comment on your case and it appears it was keeping both communications and transactions during the AIG capital raising digital as far as possible, for reasons it outlines below.

The firm tells me that if you contact it direct about your customer service experience, it will investigate your complaint thoroughly.

If you still want to sell your AIG shares over the phone, we asked a stockbroker offering traditional services to explain the process and likely cost.

It sounds like you have paper share certificates, and the pros and cons of holding stocks this way and the newer ways of doing so are also explained below.

A spokesperson for Computershare replies: We’re always sorry to hear when a shareholder isn’t happy with our services.

Our contact centre staff members are currently working from home and, while we’ve managed to keep our services running throughout the pandemic, some callers have experienced longer wait times.

On top of this, as a capital raising under Spanish market requirements with a limited window of opportunity for UK shareholders to take part and make their election, this was a complex transaction, which resulted in high call volumes.

Nevertheless, whenever a shareholder lets us know directly that they are unhappy, our complaints team investigates thoroughly.

As a result of the pandemic we are currently working with our clients to communicate with their shareholders digitally whenever possible.

Shareholders wanting to take up the offer to buy or sell new shares as part of this transaction needed to do so via our website rather than use physical mail.

Mark Feely: Increasingly investors are converting their paper shares into digital format

Mark Feely: Increasingly investors are converting their paper shares into digital format

This safeguarded everyone in the process, and meant that the offer could go ahead regardless of any local, pandemic-related restrictions that may have been put in place.

As public heath restrictions begin to lift, we will of course review the way in which we can provide services and discuss with our clients the best options.

Mark Feely, head of Charles Stanley Investment Choices, replies: Dealing in shares electronically is now the preferred method of trading shares for many investors with large volumes now being transacted via investment platforms which allow purchases and sales for a nominal fee.

However, there is still a large section of the investor community that prefer to trade via telephone and by speaking directly to a dealer or investment professional particularly where paper share certificates are held. 

How do you sell your shares over the phone?

Since you don’t want to trade online, it sounds like you still hold paper certificates for your AIG shares.

Holding shares in paper form is the oldest method of doing so. Trading in this format is often expensive and slow and trading is not available online, but an investor will benefit from their name being held on the company’s register.

This will mean qualification for shareholder perks and a having a vote at shareholder meetings, and there is no restriction on which stockbroker is used to sell them although not all offer certified dealing.

Taking up options on paper held shares can be time consuming and will often require contact directly with registrars with whom the share is registered.

An increasing number of them will require online notification of acceptance or rejection of the offer.

If selling the shares held in paper form is the aim, this can be accomplished online, by phone or by post by taking the following steps:

I hold one single certificate for lots of Diageo shares

I only want to sell them slowly to avoid a big tax bill. How can I do this? Read more here. 

1. Contact the stockbroker or dealing service you wish to use. This could be the registrar for your shares or a company through which a dealing account already exists for example.

2. Notify the dealer how many shares you wish to sell. It is worth noting that if multiple shares are held on one certificate that it is not necessary to sell all of them if capital gains tax is a concern.

3. A pre-filled CREST (Certificateless Registry for Electronic Share Transfer) transfer form will be issued for completion and return. This is a legal document required to transfer ownership to the purchaser of the shares.

4. Upon receipt the sale will be completed with the proceeds sent via cheque or BACS (Bankers’ Automated Clearing System) payment, normally within two to three weeks.

By way of example, Charles Stanley would charge a minimum of £75 to sell shares held in paper form.

Investors that hold CREST accounts are able to trade online and also retain the registration of the shares in their own name.

Any notification of a corporate action, such as a new issue of the shares, will be received directly with the investor communicating their intentions directly with the company.

However, due to the high overheads generated in running a CREST account with the consequence that a high admin fee is charged to the client, they are declining in popularity. 

What are the benefits of holding digital shares?

Increasingly investors are converting their paper shares into digital format to simplify and reduce the time taken to administer them.

There is an initial cost in doing this. For example, at Charles Stanley the cost is £50 per transaction. Once completed the share is held in nominee account on behalf of the client.

Online valuations are generally available with charges for trading dependent upon the service that is offered. For example, where the service is a digital only platform, overheads are reduced with trading costs lower compared to a telephone-based service requiring human interaction.

Holding shares digitally reduces the administrative burden for the companies that hold the shares on the client’s behalf.

Interaction with the client is quick with the client placing an order online to buy or sell with the trade normally completed within a matter of seconds and the share being listed on the online account straight away.

Any corporate actions relating to individual shares, such as the offer to purchase additional shares at a discount during a fundraising exercise, will also be dealt with digitally.

Confirmation of the investor’s wishes would normally be accepted either via email/secure message or verbally.

The problems with nominee share ownership 

Simon Lambert, of This is Money, adds: One thing investors may want to note is that while the overwhelming trend towards holding shares electronically through nominee accounts, as explained above, has made buying and selling cheaper, there are concerns it has eroded shareholder rights.

Holding shares through nominee accounts makes it harder – but not impossible – to vote on shareholder issues and attend AGMs, while your holding is also not direct and so creates potential extra issues if the broker you hold the shares through a nominee account with folds. 

This was an issue with the collapse of broker Beaufort Securities, where for a while investors risked having their holdings above the £50,000 Financial Services Compensation Scheme limit (now £85,000) raided by the administrators. The case and issues around nominee share ownership are explained in more detail in this article about Beaufort

There is pressure on the investment industry and regulators to come up with an improved form of electronic share ownership that could better replace old-style paper certificates.

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

Business

SSC dethrones Bugatti as Tuatara hypercar sets record speed of 331mph

Published

on

By

ssc dethrones bugatti as tuatara hypercar sets record speed of 331mph

American car brand SSC has been confirmed as setting a new world record top speed for a production vehicle when its Tuatara hypercar clocked 331mph outside Las Vegas earlier this month, toppling the much-debated previous claim of Bugatti’s Chiron.

The average speed clocked over two runs saw a recorded 316.11mph, which beats Bugatti’s previous best of 304.77mph, which has been in question having only been clocked in one direction last year.

The Tuatara’s two efforts were clocked at 301.07mph and 331.15mph on the morning of Saturday 10 October near Pahrump, Nevada, along a closed seven-mile stretch of State Route 160 – also setting new records for the fastest flying mile, flying kilometre and highest speed achieved on a public road. 

The world's fastest car: The Shelby SuperCar (SSC) Tuatara set a record production vehicle top speed of 316mph earlier this month in America, clocking a massive 331mph on one of two runs

The world's fastest car: The Shelby SuperCar (SSC) Tuatara set a record production vehicle top speed of 316mph earlier this month in America, clocking a massive 331mph on one of two runs

The world’s fastest car: The Shelby SuperCar (SSC) Tuatara set a record production vehicle top speed of 316mph earlier this month in America, clocking a massive 331mph on one of two runs

To make its attempt as credible as possible, SSC – which stands for Shelby SuperCars, though founder Jerod Shelby is no relation to famed American car designer Carroll Shelby – claims the vehicle used is one of the 100 production models to be produced, and the runs were conducted using street tyres and non-race fuel.  

At the wheel was Manchester-born racing driver Oliver Webb, and the speeds he reached in the hypercar were measured by 15 GPS satellites. 

In accordance with record criteria, the Tuatara traveled in opposite directions, clocking its speeds within one hour, to break the world record for ‘Fastest Production Vehicle’.

Officials were on site to verify all world record criteria was met.

The Tuatara’s record isn’t the first time SSC has gone for the Bugatti jugular, taking the same title from the iconic French manufacturer in 2007 when it’s Ulitmate Aero hypercar set a new record of 257.41mph, which dethroned the Bugatti Veyron’s previous record from 2005 of 253.81mph.

SSC founder and CEO Jerod Shelby (left) - no relation to famed US car designer Carroll Shelby - posing with British racing driver Oliver Webb (right), who was at the wheel for the high-speed run

SSC founder and CEO Jerod Shelby (left) - no relation to famed US car designer Carroll Shelby - posing with British racing driver Oliver Webb (right), who was at the wheel for the high-speed run

SSC founder and CEO Jerod Shelby (left) – no relation to famed US car designer Carroll Shelby – posing with British racing driver Oliver Webb (right), who was at the wheel for the high-speed run

The average speed clocked over two runs saw a recorded 316.11mph, which topples Bugatti's previous best of 304.77mph, which has been in question having only been clocked in one direction last year

The average speed clocked over two runs saw a recorded 316.11mph, which topples Bugatti's previous best of 304.77mph, which has been in question having only been clocked in one direction last year

The average speed clocked over two runs saw a recorded 316.11mph, which topples Bugatti’s previous best of 304.77mph, which has been in question having only been clocked in one direction last year

The Tuatara's two efforts were clocked at 301.07mph and 331.15mph on the morning of Saturday 10 October near Pahrump, Nevada, along a seven-mile stretch of State Route 160

The Tuatara's two efforts were clocked at 301.07mph and 331.15mph on the morning of Saturday 10 October near Pahrump, Nevada, along a seven-mile stretch of State Route 160

The Tuatara’s two efforts were clocked at 301.07mph and 331.15mph on the morning of Saturday 10 October near Pahrump, Nevada, along a seven-mile stretch of State Route 160

‘It’s been ten years since we held this record with our first car, the Ultimate Aero, and the Tuatara is leagues ahead. Its performance reflects the dedication and focus with which we pursued this achievement,’ said Jerod Shelby, CEO of SSC. 

‘We came pretty close to meeting the theoretical numbers, which is astonishing to do in a real world setting on a public road. America’s new claim to victory in the ‘land-based space race’ is going to be tough to beat.’   

The Tuatara was first announced in 2011, though the production-ready hypercar wasn’t shown until the 2018 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. No official price has yet to be confirmed, though Shelby claimed back in 2013 it would ring in at around $1.3million (£1million).

The Tuatara now also holds records for the fastest flying mile on a public road, fastest flying kilometre on a public road and highest speed achieved on a public road

The Tuatara now also holds records for the fastest flying mile on a public road, fastest flying kilometre on a public road and highest speed achieved on a public road

The Tuatara now also holds records for the fastest flying mile on a public road, fastest flying kilometre on a public road and highest speed achieved on a public road

The SCC Tuatara has a twin-turbo charged 5.9-litre V8 engine, producing a massive 1,750bhp on E85 ethanol fuel, or a lesser 1,350bhp using 91 octane unleaded

The SCC Tuatara has a twin-turbo charged 5.9-litre V8 engine, producing a massive 1,750bhp on E85 ethanol fuel, or a lesser 1,350bhp using 91 octane unleaded

The SCC Tuatara has a twin-turbo charged 5.9-litre V8 engine, producing a massive 1,750bhp on E85 ethanol fuel, or a lesser 1,350bhp using 91 octane unleaded

The hypercar has one of the fastest-shifting transmissions ever, with the seven-speed roboticised CIMA 'box capable of changing gear in less than 100 milliseconds using the paddles behind the steering wheel

The hypercar has one of the fastest-shifting transmissions ever, with the seven-speed roboticised CIMA 'box capable of changing gear in less than 100 milliseconds using the paddles behind the steering wheel

The hypercar has one of the fastest-shifting transmissions ever, with the seven-speed roboticised CIMA ‘box capable of changing gear in less than 100 milliseconds using the paddles behind the steering wheel

In order to set such an apoplectic top speed, the Tuatara has a twin-turbo charged 5.9-litre V8 engine, producing a massive 1,750bhp on E85 ethanol fuel, or a lesser 1,350bhp using 91 octane unleaded.

Records set by the the SSC Tuatara 

34607762 8858695 image a 37 1603185207429

34607762 8858695 image a 37 1603185207429

– Fastest Production Vehicle at 316.11mph  

– Fastest Flying Mile on a Public Road at 313.12mph

– Fastest Flying Kilometer on a Public Road at 321.35mph

Highest Speed Achieved on a Public Road at 331.15mph 

Unlike rival hypercars, all the power is sent only to the rear wheels, putting enormous stresses through the rubber fitted to the back wheels. 

It also has one of the fastest-shifting transmissions ever put into a road car, with the seven-speed roboticised CIMA ‘box capable of changing gear in less than 100 milliseconds.

It is built on a carbon fibre monocoque chassis, and the lightweight material is also used for the car’s body. As a result, it tips the scales at a mere 1,247 kilogram – which is around the same bulk as a Ford Fiesta supermini.

Because no vehicle can be deemed a hypercar unless it has crazy doors, the ones on the Tuatara are dihederal – though they’re power operated, opening and closing at the push of a button.

Despite hitting an incredible speed of 331mph on a closed public road, Webb claims the Tuatara could have gone even quicker.

‘There was definitely more in there. And with better conditions, I know we could have gone faster,’ the British driver, who competes in the FIA World Endurance series, said. 

‘As I approached 331 mph, the Tuatara climbed almost 20mph within the last five seconds. It was still pulling well. As I told Jerod, the car wasn’t running out of steam yet. The crosswinds are all that prevented us from realising the car’s limit.’

In order to set a record fastest speed, attempting cars and their maker’s need to adhere to a number of strict rules. 

Because no vehicle can be deemed a hypercar unless it has crazy doors, the ones on the Tuatara are dihederal - though they're power operated, opening and closing at the push of a button

Because no vehicle can be deemed a hypercar unless it has crazy doors, the ones on the Tuatara are dihederal - though they're power operated, opening and closing at the push of a button

Because no vehicle can be deemed a hypercar unless it has crazy doors, the ones on the Tuatara are dihederal – though they’re power operated, opening and closing at the push of a button

Unlike rival hypercars, all the power is sent only to the rear wheels, putting enormous stresses through the rubber fitted to the back wheels

Unlike rival hypercars, all the power is sent only to the rear wheels, putting enormous stresses through the rubber fitted to the back wheels

Unlike rival hypercars, all the power is sent only to the rear wheels, putting enormous stresses through the rubber fitted to the back wheels

It is the second time SSC has held the record for the Fastest Production Car in the world. In previously took the title in 2007 with the Ultimate Aero, which also took the crown from Bugatti, with the Veyron setting the record in 2005

It is the second time SSC has held the record for the Fastest Production Car in the world. In previously took the title in 2007 with the Ultimate Aero, which also took the crown from Bugatti, with the Veyron setting the record in 2005

It is the second time SSC has held the record for the Fastest Production Car in the world. In previously took the title in 2007 with the Ultimate Aero, which also took the crown from Bugatti, with the Veyron setting the record in 2005

The vehicle used must be a production vehicle, so identical to cars customers will be able to purchase using conventional fuel and road tyres.

The recorded speed must be clocked while driving the same route in opposite directions, conducted within an hour of each other and the average of the top speeds on each run used as the overall figure. 

This is in order to take into account the wind and road grade that may have favored the vehicle as travelling in only one direction – a stipulation Bugatti didn’t adhere to in 2019 when it tried to stake claim to the title for the Chiron Supersport

In order to be recognised as the fastest production car, the vehicle used must be identical to cars customers will be able to purchase using conventional fuel and road tyres

In order to be recognised as the fastest production car, the vehicle used must be identical to cars customers will be able to purchase using conventional fuel and road tyres

In order to be recognised as the fastest production car, the vehicle used must be identical to cars customers will be able to purchase using conventional fuel and road tyres

The US hypercar is built on a carbon fibre monocoque chassis, and the lightweight material is also used for the car's body. As a result, it tips the scales at a mere 1,247 kilogram - which is around the same bulk as a Ford Fiesta supermini

The US hypercar is built on a carbon fibre monocoque chassis, and the lightweight material is also used for the car's body. As a result, it tips the scales at a mere 1,247 kilogram - which is around the same bulk as a Ford Fiesta supermini

The US hypercar is built on a carbon fibre monocoque chassis, and the lightweight material is also used for the car’s body. As a result, it tips the scales at a mere 1,247 kilogram – which is around the same bulk as a Ford Fiesta supermini 

The Tuatara was first announced in 2011, though the production-ready hypercar wasn't shown until the 2018 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. Just 100 will be made, each expected to cost in the region of £1million

The Tuatara was first announced in 2011, though the production-ready hypercar wasn't shown until the 2018 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. Just 100 will be made, each expected to cost in the region of £1million

The Tuatara was first announced in 2011, though the production-ready hypercar wasn’t shown until the 2018 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Just 100 will be made, each expected to cost in the region of £1million

Bugatti’s Chiron Supersport top speed run of 2019 and why its claim for fastest road car is in question 

Iconic French brand Bugatti staked claim to the world's top speed for a production car in August last year. However, it was found to have failed to adhere to rules for setting land speed records

Iconic French brand Bugatti staked claim to the world's top speed for a production car in August last year. However, it was found to have failed to adhere to rules for setting land speed records

Iconic French brand Bugatti staked claim to the world’s top speed for a production car in August last year. However, it was found to have failed to adhere to rules for setting land speed records 

The record speed needs to be an average of the highest speeds set in both directions of the same track. Bugatti confirmed last year that it only drove in one direction

The record speed needs to be an average of the highest speeds set in both directions of the same track. Bugatti confirmed last year that it only drove in one direction

The record speed needs to be an average of the highest speeds set in both directions of the same track. Bugatti confirmed last year that it only drove in one direction 

Bugatti announced it had smashed through the 300mph barrier in a road car on 2 August 2019 – the first time any manufacturer has officially accomplished the feat in a type-approved model that can legally be used on the street.

Its modified and tuned £4.2million Chiron Supersport 300+ hypercar – with Briton Andy Wallace at the wheel – was clocked at a speed of 304.77mph at a test track in Germany, beating the previous record set two years ago by almost 27mph.

But while the speed run was verified by the TÜV, Germany’s Technical Inspection Association, the legitimacy of the achievement has been cast into doubt.

That’s because The Guinness Book of World Records refuses to acknowledged Bugatti’s figure – and it’s all because of one major technicality.

The awarding body stipulates that a land speed figure is only eligible if it has been set over two runs on the same course in opposite directions within an hour of each other. 

An average of the highest speeds hit in both directions is then taken as the final figure. 

Bugatti’s problem is that the 304.77mph speed measured at the Volkswagen Group’s test circuit at Ehra-Lessien in Germany was only set driving in one direction.

The car maker said it couldn't use the VW test track in both directions due to safety concerns, as decades of vehicles careering around the test track in a clockwise direction had modified the tarmac

The car maker said it couldn't use the VW test track in both directions due to safety concerns, as decades of vehicles careering around the test track in a clockwise direction had modified the tarmac

The car maker said it couldn’t use the VW test track in both directions due to safety concerns, as decades of vehicles careering around the test track in a clockwise direction had modified the tarmac

The car maker said this was a safety call, as decades of vehicles careering around the test track in a clockwise direction has modified the tarmac.

It said a run in the opposite direction would go against the grain of the surface, which could cause the tyres to overheat.

With very little in terms of run-off areas – and banked curves at the end of the straights – the hypercar brand says it was restricted by the limits of its own test facility. 

It meant that Koenigsegg was officially still recognised by Guinness as holding the record road car speed of 277.87mph, set in an Agera RS in 2017, before SSC’s attempt this month.

The Guinness Book of World Records lists the Koenigsegg Agera RS as the fastest road car on the planet, with a speed of 277.87mph set in 2017 over two runs in Nevada

The Guinness Book of World Records lists the Koenigsegg Agera RS as the fastest road car on the planet, with a speed of 277.87mph set in 2017 over two runs in Nevada

The Guinness Book of World Records lists the Koenigsegg Agera RS as the fastest road car on the planet, with a speed of 277.87mph set in 2017 over two runs in Nevada

CARS & MOTORING: ON TEST

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

Continue Reading

Business

Monzo Premium costs £15 but offers 1.5% interest and a metal card

Published

on

By

monzo premium costs 15 but offers 1 5 interest and a metal card

Monzo has embraced the industrial revolution in banking by following Apple and Revolut in launching a debit card made of white steel.

Its new Premium account costs £15 a month and comes with features including phone and travel insurance, making it more like a packaged bank account than Monzo Plus, its previous attempt at a subscription service.

It also pays 1.5 per cent interest on balances of up to £2,000, but the maximum over a year would be £30, which would be eaten up by two months of account fees. 

In fact, the account will cost a hefty £180-a-year in total and fans should weigh up not just how much they really want a metal card, but also whether they can get cheaper and better insurance elsewhere.

Monzo has become the latest to embrace the trend of metal debit cards, following Apple, N26 and Revolut

Monzo has become the latest to embrace the trend of metal debit cards, following Apple, N26 and Revolut

The account’s forerunner Monzo Plus launched in July this year and signed up 65,000 customers within eight weeks, but was designed more as a money management service, allowing customers to view accounts from 14 different banks in one place and share transactions into multiple spending categories.

While Monzo’s new metal offer includes these features, it is more like the original Monzo Plus which was launched in April 2019 but scrapped just five months later, as it emulates packaged accounts like Nationwide FlexPlus and NatWest’s reward accounts.

As well as the insurance, it offers 1.5 per cent interest on balances of up to £2,000, compared to the 1 per cent paid by Monzo Plus, and lets customers withdraw up to £600 each month from overseas ATMs with no fee, compared to £200 usually and £400 for Plus customers. 

But the most visually  eye-catching element is undoubtedly the card itself, made from 16g of white steel.

Metal debit cards have become increasingly popular since the start of last year, with Google Trends data reported on by This is Money finding there had been a big increase in the number of people searching for ‘metal bank card’ in Britain in 2019.

Monzo was rumoured to be planning a metal offering last year with a £7.50 monthly price tag, half what it will charge customers now, but a substantive product failed to arrive before this deal.

The trendy card follows in the footsteps of fellow digital banks N26 – the German challenger that closed the accounts of its 200,000 UK customers in April – and Revolut, which both already offer customers premium accounts with metal cards.

Apple partnered with Goldman Sachs to launch an app-based credit card with a white metal card like Monzo’s, although this is only available in the US and there are no suggestions it plans to introduce it here anytime soon.

Monzo’s chief product officer, Mike Hudack, said: ‘In building Monzo Premium we sought to provide great value for money and build on the success of Monzo Plus by adding our most requested features like phone and travel insurance and a beautiful metal card.’

How does the account stack up?

Monzo claims its Premium packaged account could save customers ‘almost £80 a year on insurance alone’.

The metal card invites an obvious comparison with Revolut, but as a packaged account it can be compared to existing offerings from established high street banks.

Monzo’s phone insurance covers accidental damage, loss and theft worth up to £2,000 a year, plus damage to accessories of up to £300. It comes with a £75 excess and is provided by Assurant.

Experts recommend comparing this carefully against cover you may already have on your home contents insurance and standalone mobile phone policies. 

Monzo's new metal Premium account is structured more like a packaged bank account. It offers worldwide travel insurance through Axa with an excess of £50

Monzo’s new metal Premium account is structured more like a packaged bank account. It offers worldwide travel insurance through Axa with an excess of £50

The travel insurance is valid in the UK and abroad and is provided by Axa. It covers medical bills of up to £10million, lost valuables of up to £750, and cancellation costs of up to £5,000 as well as delays of more than four hours. It also includes winter sports cover and the excess is £50.

When it comes to coronavirus-related cover, Monzo covers cancellations if the account holder or a relative falls ill with coronavirus before they are due to travel, they are ordered to self-isolate by the Government or their trip is cut short is due to the coronavirus.

It also covers emergency accommodation, medical treatment, quarantine abroad if a customer falls ill with coronavirus while they’re away.

Importantly however, the insurance does not cover situations where a customer is forced to cancel a trip because the Foreign Office imposes travel restrictions on their destination due to the coronavirus, even if those restrictions were not in place when they booked their holiday.

Fittingly for a smartphone bank it offers phone insurance covering damage, loss and theft of up to £2,000. However phone insurance did not make it into its first attempt at a packaged account last year

Fittingly for a smartphone bank it offers phone insurance covering damage, loss and theft of up to £2,000. However phone insurance did not make it into its first attempt at a packaged account last year

Brian Brown, from the ratings firm Defaqto, said the account ‘offers wider cover than many others in the market’ when it came to coronavirus, but said consumers needed to check if the self-isolation cover ‘is dependent on having had a positive test’.

However, the absence of cover against changing Foreign Office guidance does make the account different to something like NatWest Reward Silver, which does cover cancellation due to a change in Foreign Office advice after they have booked.

That account is £10 a month and includes European travel insurance for trips of up to 22 days, underwritten by UK Insurance Ltd, fee-free purchases abroad like Monzo and mobile phone insurance covering one repair a year.

Phone a friend: 

Although Defaqto’s Brian Brown said Monzo Premium’s insurance offering seemed to represent good value, he did offer a few words of caution when it came to looking at the phone insurance policy.

He said: ‘For the mobile policy check the replacement device terms – do you get a new handset or a refurbished model?

‘Almost all mobile policies provide refurbished handsets rather than a new one. 

‘It should also be pointed out that many people may already have cover for their mobile phones under a home insurance policy in the “contents away from the home” section, which will often cover all phones owned by the family.’

It is only available to existing customers currently, but NatWest is paying newcomers £125 to switch to either its Select or Reward accounts, from which they can upgrade to the account.

Revolut’s metal offering, which comes with a black, rather than white, card, costs slightly less at £12.99-a-month. 

It offers £800 worth of fee-free ATM withdrawals abroad each month, airport lounge access at £25 per person, although the first one is free, and a personal ‘concierge’ service.

It also offers up to 0.1 per cent cashback on debit card spending in Europe and 1 per cent outside of it worth up to £12.99 a month.

When it comes to its insurance offering, it covers emergency medical treatment of up to £15million and dental treatment of up to £300 through White Horse. 

It includes cover for delayed flights of up to £320 after a four-hour delay, and trip cancellation cover of up to £5,000.

The policy also includes cover for winter sports and comes with a £75 excess.

It offers phone insurance as an add-on, the costs of which vary, with an iPhone X able to be covered for around £5.75 a month against damage with a £75 excess, although it does not cover loss or theft.

Brown added of Monzo Plus’ offering: ‘Without seeing the actual policy wordings it’s difficult to be certain, but on the face of it these products would appear to represent good value compared to the account price of £180 a year, provided a customer actually needs and uses them.’

THIS IS MONEY’S FIVE OF THE BEST CURRENT ACCOUNTS

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

Continue Reading

Business

Millions of households set to have their energy bills capped for another year

Published

on

By

millions of households set to have their energy bills capped for another year

Millions of UK households will continue having their bills capped until the end of next year, the Government has revealed.

The energy price cap was introduced in January 2019 in a bid to moderate bills for many households – especially those who had never moved from expensive standard variable tariffs.

Around 11million homes are currently saving money under the scheme with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy claiming it has saved customers around £1billion a year – equivalent to £75 to £100 per household.

It has now been extended to the end of 2021 to stop customers paying over the odds, but experts are nevertheless encouraging households on pricey default tariffs to switch.

The energy price cap has been extended until the end of 2021, as people try to save money

The energy price cap has been extended until the end of 2021, as people try to save money

In August, the independent energy regulator Ofgem recommended an extension to the cap following a review into the market. 

Alok Sharma, Business and Energy Secretary, said: ‘The energy price cap has been vital in ensuring customers do not pay too much on their bills, which is why we are keeping it in place for at least another year.

‘Switching energy supplier to find the best value deals is still the best way to save on bills, but this government is determined to make sure all customers are treated fairly and get the protection they deserve.’

The extension also means a further four million households with prepayment meters on default tariffs will continue to be protected from excessive prices by the wider price cap once the Competition and Market Authority’s Prepayment Meter Cap expires at the end of 2020.

Jonathan Brearley, Chief Executive of Ofgem, added: ‘The Secretary of State’s announcement means that millions of households will continue to be protected under the price cap and will pay a fair price for their energy in 2021.

‘Although those protected by the cap are paying a fair price, they can also reduce their energy bills further by shopping around for a better deal.

‘Ofgem will continue to protect consumers in the difficult months ahead as we work with industry and government to build a greener, fairer energy system.’

Ofgem’s cap is reviewed every six months and the most recent one came into force earlier this month, with the level dropping from £1,126 to £1,042 a year for default tariff customers.

Suppliers are not allowed to charge above the cap but they can offer cheaper deals for savvy customers.

The savings are bigger for prepayment meter customers who saw their bills drop by £95 from £1,164 to £1,069 on 1 October. The current cap will remain in place until April 2021 when the level will be reviewed.

The energy price cap has been introduced as a way of keeping bills down for households

The energy price cap has been introduced as a way of keeping bills down for households

Research by the Competition and Markets Authority showed that consumers on default tariffs had been overpaying the ‘Big Six’ energy companies some £1.4billion a year before the introduction of the cap. 

The news comes after it was revealed yesterday that households struggling to pay for their energy will get emergency credit this winter under new regulations from the watchdog.

Providers will now have to offer emergency credit to customers struggling to top up their prepayment meter to provide breathing space while working out alternative arrangements to pay.

Ofgem is introducing the new licence rules for suppliers from 15 December, following a consultation opened in June.

Despite the news suggesting households could save money through the price cap, industry experts have been critical of it, suggesting that households could save more money by switching supplier – instead of sticking to a pricey default tariff.

Richard Neudegg, head of regulation at Uswitch, said: ‘It’s no surprise to see the Government confirming Ofgem’s recommendation from August to keep the price cap in place for another year, given there is a lot of work still to be done reforming and modernising the way the energy market works.

‘The extension of the energy price cap will be reassuring news for millions of people who are facing financial uncertainty this winter. Unfortunately, more than half of customers are still on standard variable or default tariffs.

‘The only way to escape high bills and ensure you’re not paying more for your energy than you should is by switching to a cheaper deal. 

‘I encourage anyone concerned about their bills to take the time to compare energy deals and see if you could be getting a cheaper tariff. By switching now there is time to make substantial savings to energy bills before the cold weather takes hold.’

Peter Earl, head of energy at Compare the Market, added: ‘The cap was originally introduced with the worthy goal of preventing energy suppliers from hiking prices unfairly for their more loyal customers and charging them over the odds for their energy.

‘In practice, however, confusion about the price cap could be leading people to pay more for their energy than they ought to.

‘As the long list of tariffs priced cheaper than the cap demonstrates, the new cap is not a good price to pay for energy – far from it.

‘The cap appears to be disincentivising customers from switching provider, which is a concern as switching remains a reliable way for households to save money on their energy bills and lock in an energy tariff that is significantly lower than the £1,042 cap level.

‘With the economic environment still highly uncertain, switching to a fixed-rate tariff is an effective way for people to lower their energy bills during the coming colder months.’  

Could you cut your energy bills… or help the planet and go green? 

Millions of people could be needlessly overpaying for their energy as they fail to switch to providers who offer cheaper deal.

They may also be missing out on the opportunity to help the planet and fight climate change, by switching to green deals that offer electricity from renewable sources and more environmentally-friendly gas.

With our partner, Compare the Market, you can compare energy tariffs and exclusive deals.

Why not find out if you could save hundreds of pounds a year on your energy or go green?

>> Check to see if you can start saving money now

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2020 DiazHub.