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Written by

Cherry Reynard

Content correct as of

05 April 2018

5 ways you're being rinsed by the finance industry

While we don’t want to speak ill of the finance industry, like a 5-year old with a sweetie tin, you have to keep an eye on it, otherwise it can misbehave.

  1. Innovative finance

Peer to peer lending, disintermediating those big banks, power to the people and all that, that’s all fine. It’s more the way it’s being sold. Some groups flog this as a ‘cash-like’ product. It isn’t. And worse, you’re not paid much for the risk you’re taking. Innovative Finance ISAs don’t have the protection of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. Proceed with caution.

2.The big bad energy companies

It takes 10 minutes to walk through a comparison site to plug in your details and find a better deal. The average person can still save north of £200 by doing this.

  1. Overdrafts

Overdrafts from some of the mainstream banks are now in excess of 50% of the balance.

The FCA is likely to turn its attention to mainstream overdraft fees soon, but in the meantime, don’t pay them. Change bank accounts, get a loan, get a balance transfer credit card, find any cheaper option you can.

  1. Auto-renewing your insurer

A recent FCA report found that insurance companies are not implementing new rules to increase transparency. So, don’t let them win. We had one report of a medical insurance premium increasing by 50% year on year, with no improvement in the cover and no change in the circumstances of the insured. They’re sneaky. Watch out. Take 10 minutes to shop around on comparison sites to see what other deals are out there.

  1. Being seduced by investment fads

Yes Bitcoin, we’re talking about you. Or the company that’s just on the verge of finding rocks of gold in the Peruvian desert. Or about to covert pebbles into US dollars. It’s nonsense and will lose you money. Invest properly, for the long term, in a diversified collective fund and don’t muck about with single stocks unless you really, really know what you are doing. Bear in mind that the finest investment minds, who spend all day analysing investments still get it wrong around 30-40% of the time.

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