Moneynet Takes Finance PersonallyWritten by Rachel Lane
Moneynet, personal finance specialist, is expanding its range of product guides to include financial lifestyle information to appeal to families, students and other consumer markets. Moneynet, most established consumer research website in UK has taken initiative in response to concerns that consumers are becoming alienated by complex finance information.
The family finance guide is sixth publication to be released by moneynet and initially incorporates two sections, with intention of future content expansion. The first section covers financial basics for parents, with a summary on financial resources that are available to families, including Child Benefit, Statutory Maternity Pay, Child Tax Credits, Child Trust Funds and Education Maintenance Allowance. The second section offers some suggestions to parents who wish to encourage their children to become financially aware and responsible with money.
The family finance guide will be extended later this year to encompass issues such as financial practicalities of bereavement, inheritance tax, financial protection for family, planning your child’s education, and divorce.
With increasing pressure on personal finance product providers to present more transparent information for consumers, companies which proactively seek a more positive interaction with customers are welcomed by public. In terms of managing customer expectations online, moneynet can appreciate increase in internet users going online to research and manage their money #, whilst acknowledging fact that most consumers have yet to feel comfortable with their finances. Credit Action reported in May this year that half people who take out credit in shops, had not intended to do so when they left home, whilst a report published by Cambridge University allegedly revealed that nine million Britons suffer from financial phobia. These factors secure moneynet as a highly relevant tool to assist consumers with their financial homework.
BBC announces online financial health checkWritten by Richard Green
Controlling your finances in UK has never been more difficult; national levels of personal debt spiralling out of control, house prices out of reach for most first-time buyers, high street banks warning of increased numbers of people unable to pay off their debts, and oncoming pensions time bomb looming in distance. The question exercising economic analysts and institutions is what can be done to resolve?
Over past few years, due in part to expansion of online services, there has been an explosion in number of sources providing financial information to consumers. You can find address of your nearest financial adviser (http://www.searchifa.co.uk/), compare credit cards or loans (http://www.moneynet.co.uk/), check your credit score (http://www.mycallcredit.com/), and seek help when difficulties arise (http://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/index/getadvice.htm or http://www.nationaldebtline.co.uk/). These sites provide a wealth of information, however often problem is simply down to knowing where to start looking for help, or even acknowledging that there might be a problem in first place.
Now BBC along with Financial Services Authority (FSA) have just announced launch of a new collaborative initiative to help people gain a better understanding of their financial situation, and provide useful links to information and checklists that can be used to sort out your budget and plan for future.
With just a few mouse clicks BBC (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/4551471.stm) aims to give consumers access to articles and tips to take some of distress out of sorting your finances. Although it may not be most exciting site on web, it is extremely informative, containing up-to-date information and links, and with backing of FSA financial regulators, there is an assurance that information is kept accurate.
Hopefully this new resource, coming from BBC, will mean there is an increase in level of financial awareness in UK. The timing of new service corresponds with calls in Scotland, by Executive, for “not-for-profit” organisations to come up with new innovative ways to prompt working population to save for retirement. The Scotsman newspaper asserts that this “translates as hammering home message that we must all save more to support ourselves in old age: as government has no intention of doing so.”