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Buying electric cars and insurers vs drivers: This is Money podcast

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What’s the best new or used electric car, would buying your insurance on the day you need it drive up the price, and does London’s diesel-crunching ULEZ make sense?

Those are the questions and more on this motoring special edition of the This is Money Podcast. On it, Georgie Frost and Simon Lambert are joined by deputy motoring editor Rob Hull to talk cars and money.

First up, is our exclusive on how insurers are sneakily pushing up prices for those who buy cover close to when they need it – bad news if you want to choose and buy a car and then drive it away.

The team also look at attempts to crack down on older petrol and diesel cars, such as London’s ULEZ – soon to be extended all the way out to the North and South Circular – and ask whether the crop of electric car alternatives available now are enough to tempt people en-masse.

Simon argues that one of the key problems is not how good new electric cars are (albeit they are now pretty good) but the issue of buying second hand and the limited choice and consumer concerns.

Meanwhile, Rob says that although a brand new electric car may be tempting to those committed to greener motoring, many buyers are likely to sit on their hands expecting a better choice of longer range vehicles to arrive soon.

Jaguar's I-Pace was voted 2019's Car of the Year but it costs from £60,995 - so if you don;t want luxury or even a new car, what electric car can you buy? The podcast team take a look

Jaguar's I-Pace was voted 2019's Car of the Year but it costs from £60,995 - so if you don;t want luxury or even a new car, what electric car can you buy? The podcast team take a look

Jaguar’s I-Pace was voted 2019’s Car of the Year but it costs from £60,995 – so if you don;t want luxury or even a new car, what electric car can you buy? The podcast team take a look 

One of those won’t carry a Golf badge, as VW is ditching its trusty model name for its new ID range of electric cars.

But before they arrive a new Golf will. 

The Golf is a car that has long set the benchmark for family hatchbacks, so with the wraps coming off the next eighth generation one what can we expect inside, outside, and – all importantly nowadays – in terms of tech?

How to listen to the This is Money podcast 

We publish our podcast every Friday to the player on This is Money, above, and on Apple Podcasts (iTunes) and on the podcast platforms Audioboom and Acast, both of which allow you to listen on desktop, mobile, or download an app. We also now publish to Spotify.

To download the Apple Podcasts app if you do not already have it, go to the App store. Or go to either the Apple App store or the Google Play store on Android to download the Acast, AudioBoom or Spotify app. 

Press play to listen to this week’s full episode on the player above, or listen (and please subscribe and review us if you like the podcast) at Apple Podcasts, Acast, Audioboom and Spotify or visit our This is Money Podcast page.   

THIS IS MONEY PODCAST

 

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Investors defeated in High Court fight with banking giant Lloyds

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Almost 6,000 Lloyds shareholders who claim they were ‘mugged’ by the bank’s takeover of HBOS at the height of the financial crisis have suffered a High Court defeat.

Some 20 months after the trial in London ended, a judge finally dismissed the £385m case brought by a group of 5,803 former Lloyds TSB shareholders who were hit by heavy losses.

The investors – many pensioners and Lloyds employees – claimed bosses recommended the deal in September 2008 without disclosing that HBOS was riddled with bad mortgage debt.

Signing off: Some 20 months after the trial in London ended, a judge finally dismissed the £385m case brought by a group of 5,803 former Lloyds TSB shareholders

Signing off: Some 20 months after the trial in London ended, a judge finally dismissed the £385m case brought by a group of 5,803 former Lloyds TSB shareholders

Signing off: Some 20 months after the trial in London ended, a judge finally dismissed the £385m case brought by a group of 5,803 former Lloyds TSB shareholders

They claim executives also failed to disclose that HBOS had received £25.65bn in emergency loans from the Bank of England. They have been seeking £385m to recoup their losses.

Lloyds had to be bailed out by taxpayers to the tune of £20.3 billion, with the ill-fated merger between Lloyds and HBOS completed in January 2009.

Shareholders have battled to make five Lloyds directors, including then-chairman Sir Victor Blank and former chief executive Eric Daniels, personally liable for their losses.

But The Hon. Mr Justice Norris announced that the ‘claim must be dismissed’. He was not convinced that ‘failures to provide sufficient information were in fact causative of any loss’.

Damon Parker, of law firm Harcus Parker, which represents investors, said they were ‘deeply disappointed’ and plan to appeal.

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Special effects firm DNEG shelves £600m float on Stock Exchange

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An Oscar-winning visual effects company known for its work on Hollywood films Blade Runner 2049, Inception and Sky Atlantic TV series Chernobyl has pulled its planned listing on the London Stock Exchange.

DNEG said last month it was looking to raise £150m from a float on the LSE’s Main Market. This valued the firm at more than £600m.

But yesterday it said it has decided to postpone the listing due to ‘ongoing market uncertainty’. The London-based group added that it had received ‘a strong level of interest from investors’ and still intends to go public once market conditions improve.

Future shock: DNEG, which worked on films such as Blade Runner 2049, pulled its FTSE listing

Future shock: DNEG, which worked on films such as Blade Runner 2049, pulled its FTSE listing

Future shock: DNEG, which worked on films such as Blade Runner 2049, pulled its FTSE listing

A number of firms have cancelled floats this year, including Kazakh finance firm Kaspi Bank in October and Swiss Re’s British life insurer ReAssure in July. 

Although listings worldwide have slowed, in the UK uncertainty around Brexit has also been blamed. DNEG was hoping to use money raised from the float to pay down its debts and to cash in on the number of limited special effects providers capable of offering the scale and expertise needed on big-budget films and TV shows. 

It has won Baftas for its work on Interstellar and Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2, and an Oscar for moon-landing movie First Man.

DNEG was founded in 1995 in India and is part of Indian entrepreneur Namit Malhotra’s media services empire Prime Focus. The company merged with London-founded Double Negative in 2014.

In the year to March 31 it raked in revenues of £246m and made profits of £55.3m.

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Fears Britain is sleepwalking into cashless society: Tap-and-go card payments surge to £223m a day

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The number of contactless card payments has soared in the last 12 months, fuelling fears that Britain is ‘sleepwalking’ towards a cashless society.

Britons spent £223m a day on contactless cards in August – or £6.9 billion during the month – an increase of almost 16 per cent compared to the year before.

In total there were 726m contactless payments in the month, a rise of 88m or almost 14 per cent, according to the latest figures from UK Finance.

Fears: Britons spent £223m a day on contactless cards in August ¿ or £6.9 billion during the month

Fears: Britons spent £223m a day on contactless cards in August ¿ or £6.9 billion during the month

Fears: Britons spent £223m a day on contactless cards in August – or £6.9 billion during the month

Increasingly, many customers are making ‘tap-and-go’ payments for smaller transactions, such as for coffee or a sandwich, well below the £30 spending limit.

But while many appreciate the convenience, experts warn that banks are pressuring customers to switch to plastic cards and contactless technology rather than cash to cut their costs.

Some 82 per cent of credit and debit cards issued in August were contactless, according to figures by banking trade body UK Finance. In the same month last year the figure was 77 per cent.

Natalie Ceeney, chairman of the Access to Cash Revue, said: ‘My real fear is that we are sleepwalking into a future where millions get left behind.

‘If all the shops, banks and hospitals go cashless how are we going to support the vulnerable, disabled and less well-off who rely on cash? Digital payments are great, but shouldn’t come at the price of excluding the most vulnerable in society.’

Cash payments have been in steep decline.

Last year cash transactions fell 16 per cent to 10.9 billion payment, making up 28 per cent of all purchases.

At the same time bank branches are closing at an alarming rate and free-to-use cash machines are also disappearing. Recent research from campaign group Which? revealed 259 communities in the UK are living in so-called ‘cash deserts’ with no ATMs or just one in the neighbourhood.

The report also revealed that ATMs were closing at a rate of 578 a month in the first half of this year. The elderly and those living in rural areas are said to be the hardest hit.

RBS OPENS FIRST CASH-FREE BRANCH 

Royal Bank of Scotland is replacing a full-service branch in Central London with a cashless one.

The bank said the branch will have a ‘digital focus’. Instead of providing counters and cash it will have iPads and a presentation space for customers to learn about topics including fraud.

Staff will be available to answer questions about online banking, accounts and mortgages. Appointments can also be made.

This cashless branch opens next Wednesday at 49 Bishopsgate, in the financial district.

Customers who require cash will have to use outside ATMs nearby or visit a NatWest 0.3 miles away or an RBS 2.4 miles away.

In another sign that Britain is heading towards being a cashless society, up to one in ten branches at major banks are refusing to handle change.

Britain’s biggest bank, Lloyds Banking Group – which includes Lloyds, Halifax and Bank of Scotland – has 55 coinless branches, around 3 per cent of its total network. HSBC has 20 coinless branches.

Almost 10 per cent of Santander’s branches are coinless with the majority of them being attached to universities.

Rachel Springall, from data firm Moneyfacts, said: ‘More and more customers appear to be pushed to turn to card payments as there is less access to cash machines than in the past and banks cull branches. It wouldn’t be surprising to see the UK becoming a more cashless society in the years to come.’

A UK Finance spokesman said: ‘The range of payment options available in the UK allows consumers to choose to pay the way that best suits them.

‘Debit and credit cards are a convenient and secure way to pay, providing additional levels of consumer protection if something goes wrong.’

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