Last year, at the start of the summer, the last bank in Dorset seaside resort of Lyme Regis closed. The only way for its 3,600 residents and thousands of tourists to get hold of their money was to join the lengthy queue at the post office or via a single ATM which regularly ran out of bank notes. Those who needed an over-the-counter service had to make the six-mile commute to the nearest bank, in Axminster. Residents with no access to a car or online banking have been left stranded and even ice-cream sellers have been forced to invest in card-payment technology. “It’s caused real hardship,” says a spokesperson for the local ironmongers, Arthur Fordham. “If you didn’t accept card payments, you faced going out of business because customers couldn’t get cash, but card payments are more expensive to process.” A year on, the shop has agreed to host an ATM to get cash flowing through the town again, and the queues to use it often stretch down the … [Read more...] about The rise of cashless Britain: the poor suffer as banks and ATMs are closed
Deal investment banking
As any saver will tell you, these are bleak times. And it could be set to get worse next year. Last month, the prospect of another drop in interest rates increased when two members of the Bank of England’s monetary policy committee, which decides on the official rate, called for an immediate cut. It is now expected by sections of the financial markets that the rate will drop by 0.25% next year, even though it has been at rock-bottom levels for the last decade. So what should anyone who wants to make some money from their savings to do? Stay with cash Rates on the high street vary hugely – on a balance of £10,000, the amount of interest that it is possible to earn goes from £10 to £145. The lesson? Shop around, don’t be limited by the mainstream banks, and be sure to look at those providers that may be less familiar. HSBC’s easy-access Flexible Saver will garner just 0.15% while Goldman Sachs’ online savings account will bring in 1.45%. … [Read more...] about With rates still at rock bottom, is there anything savers can do to get back up?
Power always reveals. Robert Caro, the brilliant biographer of Lyndon Johnson, puts it extremely well: “When a man is climbing, trying to persuade others to give him power, concealment is necessary. But as a man obtains more power, camouflage becomes less necessary.” This insight came to mind when considering the prospects for our country now that another politician called Johnson has secured a great deal of power. His successful gamble on a snap election has just taken the Conservatives to their largest parliamentary majority since Margaret Thatcher was at her zenith in 1987. This will make him unchallengeable within his party for the foreseeable future. A lot of the fresh faces and many of the grizzled ones on the Tory benches in the new parliament will feel a deep personal debt to the man who delivered on his primary promise to his party, which was that he would win them an election. With a large stock of capital in the bank, he will be free to do as he likes, at least … [Read more...] about We will now find out what a triumphant Boris Johnson really wants and believes