What was in the weekend’s papers? (25/01/2021)

Category: News

NS&I boss apologises for customer service amid rise in withdrawals

The Guardian covers how NS&I have apologised after low staffing levels left them unable to cope with “unprecedented” demand of savers withdrawing their cash.

Savers pulled £26.5bn from the bank in the final three months of 2020. This came after it dramatically reduced the rates if offered savers. These cuts have been so drastic it has warned it is likely to be nowhere near its funding targets by March.

Whilst for some it may be appropriate, where savers are chasing interest rates it may be that they should think about investing the money for the long term instead.

Are you due a cut of £3bn in lost shares and dividends? How to track down forgotten investments

Around £3bn is owed to shareholders in unclaimed shares and dividends, according to an article on MailOnline. It covers the story of a woman named Julia Martin receiving a surprise phone call worth £30,000.

There is a huge amount of unclaimed shares and dividends. They come from companies losing contact with shareholders when they move home and do not update their contact details, or when investors change their name. Or, as in the case of Julia Martin, someone passes away. In this instance, it was her father, who had died 18 years before she received the call to say Alliance held £30,000 in his name.

Regulations exist, which state shares must not be cancelled the company cannot trace the shareholder. if a holder cannot be traced. The article says companies can keep any unclaimed dividends, usually after 12 years have passed.

Trapped by the private equity mortgage vultures

This article in The Times details the story of a Lisa Kelsall who has a mortgage deal five times worse than the best one available but cannot escape her current contract.

The article says some 250,000 homeowners have mortgages that were sold off by the government-backed UK Asset Resolution to private equity firms, hedge funds or obscure lenders. Many of the so-called “mortgage prisoners”, it adds, have loans that are now with companies not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority after being sold off multiple times.

While many of these mortgage prisoners are free to secure a better deal elsewhere few are accepted.

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