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the stampede of banks moving toward genuine Internet banking, rather
the first wave of dial-up accounts, is former building society the
and Leicester, which went online in January 2000. Services available
balance information, transaction details, statement requests and
orders. There's a limited capacity to move your money around, allowing
you to pay bills and transfer funds to previously mandated accounts.
three-tier encryption which should allay any security fears.
must be a bit of a blow when you get knocked for being too successful.
Prudential's online banking arm suffered bad publicity when demand for
its credit card became so enormous late last year that new customers
having to wait weeks for their accounts to be opened. But now the
had died down you have to admit it, it's a great product. Egg has been
moving towards an Internet-only existence, and the fact that egg makes
you the customer do all the work means it can offer top rates.
named, HSBC's offshoot was the UK's first direct banking service, with
years of experience of telephone banking behind it. A new twist is that
First Direct has not only made the move to Internet banking, rather
the dial-up kind where you had to download its own software, but it's
become a free Internet service provider. And that means your account is
even cheaper to access and run.
itself as Europe's first internet-only bank, First e-com is the
of a consortium of companies who've decided to take on the banks at
own game, cut out the branch network and offer business and personal
preferential rates of interest. Interesting to note that one of the
is Intel - there's a better than even chance that it made the processor
that powers your home computer - a company with every reason to get as
much business online as possible.
|As well as checking
balances,paying bills, viewing recent tranactions, and more,
gives you useful information on things like going on holiday, buying a
car, moving home or starting and running a business. As we update it
make it more interactive natwest.com is sure to have lots to interest
do you do to switch to online banking? That's right, stick with the
you've been with for the last 15 years and blithely sign up for their
But the beauty of the internet is that you can shop around, and not
in your local high street. Want a bank in Bahrain, Bali or Boston? This
is the place to look.
Schwab has over 25 years of brokerage experience in the US and over 12
years in the UK, and there is some justification for its boast to be
leading online brokerage firm'. Schwab Europe aims to provide a
execution-only service for the private investor. In other words,
you click onto its 'UK Market' or 'US Market' service, you pay a low,
fee for your trade, rather than a big commission for expert advice.
the first generation of Internet banking was the bank's piecemeal and
attempts to hook up their existing accounts to the net, then smile is
of the second wave - joining egg as a bank that exists in cyberspace
It's part of the Co-op Bank, a selling point in itself with the Co-op's
ethical investment policy and, not having to pay for branches, it joins
egg in offering excellent interest rates on current accounts, student
and credit cards.
and Peterborough Building Society
mutual movement may be under threat in Britain, as building societies
over themselves to become banks, but there are big advantages for
and borrowers who stick with a building society - higher rates for
and cheaper mortgages. And just because the Norwich and Peterborough
stuck with tradition doesn't mean there's anything old-fashioned about
their set up. This site offers true Internet banking, and you can
your accounts online.
and authorative US site that digs beyond stock market listings and
to examine the economic background to the markets. Rather similar in
to our own Financial Times or the Wall Street Journal, reading Bridge
you a frontiers-free view of world news. The breaking news on the day
surfed included BT's move for a Norwegian telecoms company; the merger
of Germany's HypoVeirens and Dresdner banks; and the People's Bank of
selling off its silver reserves.
Gordon Brown handed over the reins five years back these are the
chaps running UK plc, so if you want to sort your macroeconomics from
microeconomics, this is the place to start. Every press release, every
forecast, every bill about to wend its way through Parliament, plus
you need to know about the euro, the price of gold, and details on how
to visit the Bank's museum in Threadneedle Street.
Internet Stock Report
anything, its name actually sells it rather short. Rather than just
on the happening stock market sector of the 21st Century, the Report
at the whole basis of the global economy as it shifts from physical
to hyperspace. Fascinating views of up-and-coming businesses, but also
how our world is going to change as labour disappears and information
like if there's a pie, there's Ted Turner with his finger in it,
of CNN. The CNN financial news site is as globally sussed as you would
expect from a news network that is always on the scene for world news
of where it breaks. It shares the bright, breezy and unstuffy style of
CNN television, and its unrivalled network of correspondents means that
this site is often first with economic news whatever the country.
euro's credibility may have been damaged a tad as it's plunged ever
toward parity with the Albanian lek, but good or bad, the currency of
Europe is here to stay. And even if Britain is not putting its pocket
where its mouth is just yet by signing up, it's a currency we're all
to have to deal with whether we're holidaymakers or business trading in
accessible and easy to navigate, the website of Her Majesty's Treasury
covers everything you are ever likely to need to know about taxation
fiscal matters in the United Kingdom plus, we would hazard, a whole lot
more. You'll find texts of all laws, decrees, announcements on
the euro, alterations in excise duty, reports on the latest budget, as
well as reports on the UK's current economic position.
is the right name for this extraordinarily informative, yet easy to
site. We went straight to the dictionary, which alone would make the
worth a visit, with its facility to cut through the jargon of the
advisers and tell you what 'APR' and 'pound-cost averaging' really
There's a handy bibliography of articles, magazines and market research
published on the web, and a 22-part guide to financial matters
managers in the information age.
are a host of online financial newspapers delivering you a digest of
news. Of course, that's always predigested by someone else. Finance
bills itself as the first search engine to focus specifically on purely
financial content, which means you can ask it to trawl the entire Web
news stories on Ford Motors say, or diamond prices. Every topic, from
management to syndicated finance and equities is indexed in depth.
Telegraph boasts some of the most weighty and respected business pages
outside the Financial Times. And while the Pink Un may be a bit too
of a heavy read for us finance amateurs, the Telegraph wraps them in
news and sport pages too. Finance pieces within the context of top-rate
coverage of the UK political scene, the daily Alex cartoon and the
should you need some heavy relief.
Perhaps the most compleat financial internet site.Established in 1972
incorporates the most beneficial plans for tax mitigation as well as
investment opportunities. Its city watchdog column shames rogue
institutions. News on money making, retirement, day trading,
banking, credit cards and much more.
Economist is the International journal of news, ideas, opinions and
and its website is equally prestigious. There's plenty of content
from recent issues along with a fabulous archive of articles from the
few years. The detailed reports on specific areas of the world are must
reads for business people and don't miss out on the online version of
definitive Economist Style Guide - a guide to good magazine and news
good UK site that manages to straddle the personal finance and serious
business ends of the market. A mix of up-to-date financial news (the
briefs are headed by a bar giving the date and time of last update),
prices, news briefings and clippings from the week's financial press. A
special section on Internet News will be of special interest to those
us investing our hard-earned cash in those fast-climbing IT and new
have a bit of a head start when you're the world's most famous
organ, but the FT's site doesn't disappoint. Clad in trademark pink,
website has the advantage not just of the newspaper's kudos but of
to a huge database of information. From the FT share indices
to a wealth of archive features from the paper, plus reports on
companies - it's a tremendous one-stop resource for researching firms
shares you're thinking of adding to your portfolio.
of the true stars of the personal finance online world. The Motley Fool
takes 'to educate, amuse and enrich' as its brief. Suffice to say it
all three, breaking through the arcane terminology of the professional
dealer to give the message to all of us who are scared of taking
of their own finances - 'you can do better than the professionals.'
this and you'll be disturbed just how badly the guys handling your
so much financial news coming from so many sources, you're never going
to read more than a tiny fraction of it, so what do you do? Simple. Get
someone to read it for you. A comprehensive summary, compiled by
journalists, of the business news from the quality UK weekend
The Review is available from Sunday evening by email. Get it tailored
your needs by registering the list of companies you follow and receive
only articles which relate to those companies.
online newspaper tailored to the stock markets both here (click
Week), and abroad (click International Investment Week). Very good
of moves by governments worldwide, up and coming legislation, and
programmes. All viewed, of course, through the filter of the markets
what the effect is likely to be on prices. Simple site to navigate -
headlined story has a brief synopsis so you can dig deeper or skip on.
|This Is Money
pages are clad in friendly and non-intimidating primrose yellows and
and though there are a multitude of buttons and links on the Home Page
to Savings Rates, Your Portfolio, Company Contacts and many more, the
never appears cluttered or hard to navigate. Drawing on the expertise
the financial writers at the Mail, Mail on Sunday and Standard, the
is predictably impressive, pitching heavily for the average punter who
wants to prepare for the future while managing the present a little bit
better. There are constant updates to a good news section, plus some
features - unlocking the value of your home, all you need to know about
loans - all with real-life case studies. The very good Money Savers
compares prices on credit cards, overdrafts, life cover and loans, in
if you're looking for a site that will save you money before you start
making it, look no further.
may not have too many growth industries, but car theft seems to be the
ignoble exception. Year-on-year premiums are rocketing as thieves take
a ride at our expense. Shopping around is the key to bucking this trend
of course: the Car Insurance Centre reckons the average driver could
£150 by doing just that. And it's easy - on this site a number of
brokers have got together to let you get multiple competitive quotes
has long been one of our favourite personal finance sites - it's been
for a good while, it's well organised and professionally written. The
section of the site is no exception. More than just a bland listing of
insurance brokers and their contact numbers, Moneyworld actually
guidance and help on finding the right motor, home and personal
cover for you. And of course you can get an online quote.
revolutionised the insurance market with telephone cover in the
(loads of operators working from call centres? That'll never catch on)
and now they're doing the same with the internet. The little red phone
with the annoying tune now wants to get hooked up to your modem. Home,
travel and motor insurance, and Direct Line is now in the high-interest
savings business too.
of UK Insurance Companies
Directory takes a slightly different approach to many of the online
and listings companies we've looked at here, finding you a broker by
location. Click on the South West and you'll be given brokers in
and Truro, say. While it may seem that the Internet makes geographical
location irrelevant there are still advantages in dealing with a local
firm - finding a marine insurance specialist who knows your locale may
get you a more competitive quote.
there's any confusion about what this site does, it finds online
companies for you. A very slick site that does the simple stuff very
There's a mix of brokers (who'll offer you insurance products from a
of companies), and insurance companies themselves, selling their own
All listed A to Z with a brief description of what services they
in, and a hotlink to the sites.
days of the high-street insurance brokers are numbered. For years most
of us have gone back to the same insurers again and again, not
most of us could save money by going elsewhere. But in addition to
a list of links allowing you to get the most competitive quotes,
aims to up the standard further, getting readers to vote for their
online insurer and why. Offers to find a quote for you if you've had no
premiums on the spot, then buy online or by phone" invites the website.
An irresistible offer. Screentrade isn't an insurance company but a
so it is able to offer the best deal to fit your circumstances from the
thousands of policies on the market. Brightly attractive site, simple
quick to navigate and you can buy a policy by tapping in your Visa,
or Switch number. What could be easier?
Insurance Sites in the UK
flashy about this one - but then if you're buying insurance you don't
flash, you want information and you want to save money. Detailed list
just about every UK insurance broker you can think of, each one
by a 20 word description of its specialist area - no point clicking on
the BUPA site if you're looking to insure your boat after all.
isn't for everyone - you'll need a household income of £30,000 or
more and a deposit of £2,000 before they'll consider your
but this American bank has a slick Internet operation with a number of
unusual selling points. Current accounts pay a variable but generally
rate of interest; banking is completely free. You also have access to
account information and can view and print a balance summary, account
and account activity.
five steps to financial freedom', 'Get rich slowly but surely', 'Common
sense saving and investing' - you can't accuse the Armchair Millionaire
of being short of a snappy slogan. This site sets out to make sorting
your money fun, and it succeeds in spades. Zippy cartoon-style graphics
meet real-life case studies and tutorials on 'ditching your debt for
'fund-amentals' (ho ho) and 'savvy investing'.
the thing about people who've got their financial affairs sussed, they
just can't help evangelising about the virtues of debt reduction,
interest and the importance of budgeting. Providing you don't object to
being referred to as a bonehead, you'll find loads here to educate,
and set you on the right financial road. Budget basics, investment
share dealing basics, and if that isn't basic enough, a glossary of
still the cover story,
but there are articles on the mafia, insider trading, insurance fraud,
and money laundering. plus how to do your own financial investigations
of politicians, judges, and the police, amongst others.
most of these sites are chockful of the thousands of financial products
jostling for attention in our overcrowded markets, and many offer
features on sound financial management, Personal Finance 101 is almost
unique - a school-type series of lessons on gaining control of every
of your financial life. Planning covers bank statements, getting
and taxes. You then move through Assets and Debt, Investing and so on
if you've opted for Microsoft's 50 per cent of the personal finance
you'll be wanting to click to the Money site. And even the most
hater of all things Gates would be hard pressed to knock this one.
Money is a brilliant package that is only improved by live information,
and Moneyextra provides it on a plate. Share prices delivered with a
time lag (fine for all but the day traders), excellent articles on
family finance, investments and so on.
pushes itself as the first UK website to publish a comprehensive and
overview of the products available in the personal finance sector. This
Is Money and the rest might quibble with that, but Moneynet is
one of the most comprehensive and easily searchable. Details of
and savings products from more than 100 providers, plus details of many
more credit cards and personal loans. Interest rates are updated daily,
plus details of the other terms that apply to each product.
balanced site, Moneywise. As well as heavyweight articles on investment
trusts, pension, mortgages and the like, many drawn from Readers
popular Moneywise magazine, the site places itself firmly in the home
featuring pages on gardening, DIY and food and health. And, surprise
there's a Prize Draw!
are two real players in personal finance software these days. One is
from the all-conquering Microsoft, but Quicken from Intuit is preferred
by many, and its online arm doesn't disappoint either, complementing
friendliness and simplicity of the finance software with an
comprehensive site. It has all the news, info and updates you'll
to make your financial moves - mortgage and savings rates, personal
news, frequently updated share prices and access to Financial Times
bid to build brand loyalty among us notoriously promiscuous net
search engines such as Yahoo are cementing ever more content into their
site. And long may it continue, if it means we get sites like UK
bristling with top-notch features, superbly organised and ordered links
to a zillion finance websites, and up-to-the-minute stock exchange
ticking along the top of our browser windows.
we here you ask, what's the point of a 'gay' financial page? Surely
and saving are blind to your sexual orientation? First off, let's say
this is an excellent personal finance site whether you're gay, straight
or would rather have a nice cup of tea, but pensions, life assurance
personal insurance raise a number of issues for gay couples that the
family never has to deal with.
is Cassandra? And why does she want revenge? She doesn't really. What
wants is for women to begin thinking about wealth, money and investing
in new, more powerful ways. Why? 'Wealth is an important tool to a
safe and productive life. When it comes to financial literacy and
women are sadly behind the curve, but it's never too late to improve
financial well being.'
want to save but don't want your money lent to people who are
the environment? Or you want to borrow, but you don't want to borrow
a bank which finances arms dealers? You can follow your conscience and
still get a good deal on your money; your first port of call should be
the Ethical Investment Co-op, a network of independent financial
who are worried about more than their commission.
guide to loans
engine Lycos does the hard work for you here, editing out the zillions
of financial institutions from all round the world who, let's fact it,
you're never going to be dealing with, and instead giving you a
list of UK financial institutions, plus a brief run down of their
and specialisations. If you want to borrow or lend money in the UK take
a look at this well-maintained and thorough index.
information, stock and share tips, investing ideas and advice, personal
finance, articles, stockmarket analysis, financial links and investment
books. Moneybags offers an independent online resource for UK investors
with attitude. 'Our sole aim is to help you get the most out of your
and the site does a good job of hunting down the best current savings
loans deals in the UK.
online Investment Guide is aimed at expert and beginner alike. Unbiased
information on over 100 different types of savings and investments,
to more than 200 pages of information in the original paper version.
and building societies, co-operative societies, friendly societies,
investment trusts, local authorities, national savings, offshore banks,
pensions, property , OEICs... is that enough for you? They claim they
101 ways to invest.
your investments, foreign currency and futures deals, auction bids and
e-shopping have left you short of funds, click onto the personal loans
site of one of the world's largest search engines, for a selection of
options. Each section - car loans, home loans, personal and so on, has
an introductory essay on the pros and cons of the loan process. Still
Then you simply click at the bottom of the page for an online quote.