Wednesday, 30 June 2010

MoBank - a #creditfree future in your hands?

Hmmm... could banking on hand held devices be the future? Could it give us greater control of our finances? Help us to eliminate debt?

Your comments are MOST welcome!

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Ironing?!

For delicate fabrics and floaty wear, always hang, never fold. Use a padded hanger to secure lightly after washing, but don't iron till ready to wear. Excessive heat causes damage, so unless you are coaxing your garment into shape, keep the distressed look as another credit free option to render new from old. Dr Clean is about the best resource for caring for your wardrobe that Zero-credit has found on the web.

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Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Osborne hails 'progressive budget' but does it stack up?

Everyone knows the government faced some terribly difficult decisions, but the Budget's impact is likely to place tremendous strain on the demand for the services of charities and community groups. For all the talk of ‘fairness' in George Osborne's first budget, an initial assessment appears likely to hit poor people very hard. Raising VAT, rather than raising income tax, is deeply regressive and disproportionately affects poorer households. The three-year freeze on Child Benefit, will affect lots of poor families - and let's not forget that around 1 in 4 children in the UK live in poverty.

The Chancellor offered assurances that the richest would pay proportionally more than the poorest but there are some major caveats to this claim. At face value, the measures put in place to protect the vulnerable, such as raising the threshold for income tax allowance and £2bn in tax credits for the poorest families, will insulate the poor households from other cuts. However some of the measures announced will not come into effect (or be known) for some time, such as cutting the benefits bill. Cuts of 25% for government departments, will mean huge reductions in public services, which will most affect poor people who rely on these services. Analysts, including the Institute for Fiscal Studies, have questioned the Chancellor's assertion that the most vulnerable will be protected, even without being able to fully assess the impact of the departmental cuts. It's also worth pointing out that 25% is an average across Whitehall and if the cuts announced last month are anything to go by, the figure could be far higher for some key frontline services. Communities and Local Government has had to reduce its budget this year by 17% already.

There's been a lot of talk about satisfying the markets with this budget and George Osborne deserves some credit for that. The risk of the UK's credit rating being downgraded is very real and the cost would be enormous. You only have to look at Greece, which effectively now has its national debt on a credit card, with the rate of interest it's now paying. The rallying response of the bond markets and generally positive response of financiers is good news, as the already bleak picture could become far worse if the markets were less positive.

The levy on banks is welcome, insofar as it goes. The bank tax, which the Chancellor (quite rightly!) described in terms of the banks compensating us for the risks they have (and continue to) pose is expected to raise £2bn per year. That may sound like a lot, but it's the same amount that last years' tax on bankers' bonuses generated. If the levy is intended to be proportionate to the banking sector's size, then it's surely far too little. How can a tax on the entire banking sector only be the same size as taxing its top paid staff? £2bn represents less than 1% of the amount spent bailing out the banks. And with the reduction in corporation tax, won't they recoup some of this anyway?

Commentators and analysts had suggested we might expect a levy of around £3bn, and the rise in the share price of the largest banks suggests they've got off more cheaply than they anticipated. There was nothing in the Budget about a ‘social responsibility levy' which was in the coalition agreement, but let's hope this has not been kicked into the long grass.

Although we cannot make a conclusive judgment yet on how the cuts will affect the poorest households, as we'll have to wait for the detail of the Spending Review on 20th October. Nonetheless, the evidence so far, the statement that ‘we're all in this together' does seem to be questionable.

 

 

Toby Blume

Chief Executive 

Urban Forum

 

E-Mail: toby@urbanforum.org.uk  Web: www.urbanforum.org.uk

Tel: 020 7253 4816                     Fax: 020 7253 4817

Urban Forum is the trading name of Diverse Cities, a company limited by guarantee, number 3418682, and a registered charity, number 1096131. Registered address: 33 Corsham Street, London N1 6DR.

 

Twitter: http://twitter.com/tobyblume/ 

Facebook: http://tiny.cc/UFonFB

Precious!

I just added a spot of sparkle to my son's holiday wardrobe this weekend, cleaning his gold chain with hot soapy water and a toothbrush before he left today!

Items which are valuable or decidedly of an era will, no matter how passé, come back into vogue, so hang on to them. To hoard everything is impossible, so focus on what's special and store it well, as with this tip for chains!

Wrap jewellery in tissue paper to prevent tarnish and fade. Store in a box with compartments, so fittings do not crush.

Cuff-links are especially prone to poor treatment, lethal if you only wear them rarely and are dressing shortly before an event.

The National Association of Goldsmiths offers plenty of jewellery care tips and if you fancy trying basic repairs yourself, Andrew Berry has uploaded loads of clips like the above.

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Monday, 28 June 2010

Fivers from the hole in the wall?

Those were the days, eh? Well, they're back - thanks to today's launch of £5 only cash machines from Bank Machines, an ATM company committed to the "Fight for Fivers". Due credit to them for flying in the face of financial exclusion!

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Sunday, 27 June 2010

School Library never looked so good

E-book gum, how cheap is that subscription? A real credit free must have for children, students and adults broadening their horizons...

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Saturday, 26 June 2010

create e-waste or innovate credit free?

Fit for purpose is the Zero-credit motto when it comes to technology. There's no point buying a gadget which has a vast list of features you'll never use, least of all when you're borrowing to pay for it. Rather than purchase routinely the latest update or model, consider what you may assemble credit free from the kit you already have. Do you really need to replace VHS with DVD and now, Blueray? For movies your family may outgrow, perhaps not. And besides, as Greenpeace amply demonstrate, there's the environmental impact to consider too.

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@Google #bAdsense

Should the OFT have allowed loans at rates of 2,500% a year?

??

Report gives payday loan companies green light as calls grow for mainstream lenders to offer more low-cost credit

By Rosanna Spero

Saturday, 26 June 2010

    Hurrah for the 2356percent campaign!

    Three cheers for The Independent for covering it!

    And no, the OFT should damn well not have allowed loan rates of 2,500% a year...

    However, a big fat #WTF goes to Google (click the article link) for persisting with sponsored links next to content of this kind for logbook and payday lenders not to mention that old chestnut, writing off your debt.

    Google - do you seriously think THIS government has funds to repay our personal debts?

    Trend it to end it - #bAdsense.

    Zesty!

    Mixed with olive oil, lemon juice acts as a stain removing moisturiser, or squeeze the quartered fruit through fingers to remove stubborn stains.

    Make a paste with lemon juice, salt and bicarbonate of soda for a tooth whitener come breath freshener and for an even complexion, bathe your face in equal quantities of milk and lemon juice.

    Media_httpdingocare2c_eobew

    Use lemon peel with grape seed oil and sugar for an exfoliating body scrub - the sugar dissolves gradually, so it's never too abrasive. You can add sugar to just about any lotion - try it with washing up liquid after checking the car oil.

    Not surprisingly, Italian food site, Alimentare Italiana has the low down on everything olive oil and there's more credit free tips from pantry to party at Care2.

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    Wednesday, 23 June 2010

    Fruity Home Beauty


    Stephanie's Home Beauty Salon
    via stephanieshomebeautysalon.com

    There is a host of goodies in your larder which you can use to good effect when you find yourself short of a bob or two. The only reason we hear less about them is because the market is so sophisticated that to deny it leaves us out in the B.O. cold. Lemons have bleaching and cleansing properties, for instance - their juice is a deodorant, especially good if you're afflicted with sensitive skin.

    Stephanie's Home Beauty Salon is a reasonably priced eBook, which you may read before you buy. She's a charming Canadian lady, sharing family secrets with a superb knowledge of nature's remedies!

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    Microfinance solves poverty?

    Media_httpwwwrnwnldat_gabnf
    via rnw.nl

    Interesting 26 minute video clip of debate around microfinance from Radio Netherlands Worldwide, featuring Faisal Rahman of Fair Finance, among others. Access to credit or access to good credit? Good question...

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    DIY Dosh Down your Way

    10 steps to creating your own local currency, via The Ecologist

    Media_httpwwwtheecolo_gfdvc

    Really like the concept of local currencies - a model that the soon to be Zero-credit Ltd will promote in this little corner of the East Midlands!

    Monday, 21 June 2010

    A-hem!

    Repair-hem-1

     

    Create a pile of things to alter or mend, then do a blitz one rainy weekend to see a credit free boost to your wardrobe. Hemming is easy with sites like e-How and lovely as Wonderweb is, there's no substitute for know how with a good old needle and thread. Pay attention to the detail to create pick me up repairs too - a few quid on an unusual set of buttons is truly an investment, but before you throw out an old top, look out for what can be saved. Few off the peg clothes come with good finish, so budget wear won't look quite so cheap when you make a subtle switch. 

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    Sunday, 20 June 2010

    Parlez-vous Strine?

    Media_httpwwweducatio_fqinc

    Not to be confused with http://www.languagesonline.org.uk/ this Australian site is really super. Learn Chinese, French, German, Indonesian or Italian credit free with videos, songs and games. Great for home educators, great for revision and with quality native speakers on site too, great for adults with a sense of adventure!

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    Your mobile credit record...

    If you're not plagued with a poor or no credit history, the mobile world is your oyster, although buyer beware - late payment on contract bills can damage your credit rating as the BBC's One Show points out.

    The Credit Crunch has seen a dramatic increase in the number of phone companies offering no credit contracts, complete with a range of no credit check restrictions, handset models and risky lending rates. Whilst there may be circumstances where these deals are useful, their purpose is to stimulate demand for new updates and models, not to finance your mistakes.

    Pay As You Go is the true credit free option, especially if you only need the occasional text message and calls. And the best anti-theft device is to buy the cheapest model possible, then hang on to it for as long as you can. Don't forget to ditch the deal brokerage of comparison sites, by using the consumer led Review Centre to compare tariffs too! 

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    CCCS Debt Remedy

    Check out debtremedy.cccs.co.uk because Arch Bishop of Canturbury, Rowan Williams backs this first-ever free online debt counselling tool, from the Consumer Credit Counselling Service. It certainly has potential for those in more isolated areas who may have difficulty accessing an advisor face to face and indeed those who prefer NOT to speak to someone.

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    Shop Local at Starbucks?

    Photo_2

    Saturday morning is a credit free foray to Coalville Market and local discount stores. Twenty quid goes a long way when you shop local and there's always a laugh to be had - like this Starbuck's!

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    Saturday, 19 June 2010

    The New Poor - Peddling Relief...

    Media_httpgraphics8ny_xhezp

    Thanks to @mudlarklives on Twitter for this link to the New York Times, DO read the article! It does not require "financial capability" to work out that in recession, consumers in financial difficulty are a vulnerable and growing niche to be exploited.

    You can bet your bottom dollar Zero-credit will have some UK market analysis stats on this over the summer! Soon to be a social enterprise, owned by individuals affected by personal debt, those of us who've been there or are there shall have the authority to report, campaign and influence for ourselves.

    GOOD DIY!

    GOOD DIY? Get Out Of Debt - Do It Yourself!

    Debtors are not a homogenous body - we each have different circumstances and responsibilities. Awareness of the various approaches to managing debt is essential to getting out of it. Successful decisions are not made in the confusion of fear and anger.

     

     

     

    This self-help pack is rather neat: it uses plain language, has columns to make notes and gives real-life examples, as well as a sample letter to creditors. It is ideal for taking the first step in creating a Statement of Affairs and approaching creditors with this. Remember creditors are human - they want payment for whatever goods and services you have purchased, just as you would!

    Any skipped payment is potentially a default, so aim to show willing. If you haven't calculated an offer yet, attaching a small or token sum to a letter which states your circumstances can create goodwill. Keep it small though, until you are certain of any more, as it is not essential to do this. If you feel confused or find circumstances intimidating after you have made initial contact, seek help

    Funded by a network of professional financial and legal practices, The Insolvency Helpline was founded in 1997 (the last recession in fact!) to provide commercial debt counselling services. If you need more support than their guide can offer, the agency will refer you to the paid services of one of its member practices.

    Zero-credit advises you to explore both the free and paid debt counselling services mentioned on our site, because choice puts you back in control! Oh, and of course, you have our guarantee that Zero-credit is free to use and free from advertising or sponsorship!

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    Zero-credit Ltd days away...


    U.S. Banks are Losing The Tech Creativity War - Bank Technology News Article

    Brett King is a Hong Kong-based financial services technology consultant, president of his own firm User Strategy, and a firm believer that American banks are behind the eight-ball when it comes to the innovation imperative.

     

    BTN: So give us a preview, what's going to happen next?

    BK: Banking models are broken because consumer behavior has changed so significantly that the traditional model doesn't work. ...What is happening as a result of customer behavior shift and these new phones and new Internet-enabled things like PayPal, social lending networks...all of these things are separating customers away from the bank. So companies like Apple are taking control of the customer and banks are just becoming just the wires-the network that enables transactions -but they're losing control of the customer interface because they're not innovating fast enough.

    So either banks have to be extremely innovative and very aggressive from this point on, or they're just going to end up being the back-end service provider and the wires in the network that actually process transactions. And what's going to happen is other organizations are going to take control of the customer experience and take the value of the margin away from the engagement.

     

    Not sure it's just about banks not innovating fast enough? There has been a comprehensive exploitation of customer loyalty in retail banking that needs to be addressed by significantly more than cutsie adverts.

    Retail banking is predominantly a basic and NOT a premium sector and it damned well needs to wake up to what consumers want, rather than consistently trying to acquire our incomes by dubious and deceptive means.

    As to all the financial literacy and capability yada yada - it's a nonsense - no better than the Emperor's New Clothes. There are plenty of bright enough people out there who just don't get all the rates and the small print and frankly need to get on with innovating, inventing and creating what will really bring prosperity to our society.

    Read all of Brett's interview here:
    http://www.americanbanker.com/btn_issues/23_6/u.s.-banks-are-losing-the-tech-...

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    Thursday, 17 June 2010

    A lesson for "The Telegraph"

    Today, Ian Cowie blogs Why 'irresponsible lending' helped me and millions of others. Indeed, the syntax of his title (“why” instead of “how” and “me” before “others”) are perhaps the most revealing in an article which is bereft of accuracy both economically and historically, not to mention in its appreciation of human motivation.

    You might expect Zero-credit to take issue with The Telegraph over the view that rising property prices are conducive to economic stability. The correlation between average house prices at some eight times average income makes home ownership amongst younger people highly unlikely for the foreseeable future. Indeed, when the lowest income for the top 10% of UK earners is some £44kpa, even a 75% mortgage on an average home equates to a hefty 3.4 times annual salary. Quite who Ian Cowie is banking on to effect his cherished brick-based recovery is beyond me, when even our upwardly mobile seem hard pressed to afford a semi these days.

    However, of far greater concern, given the charge of “living under hedges on a diet of roots and berries” to anyone who questions the importance of credit, is the misrepresentation of the 1950s as having “social mobility falling to zero”. Average weekly earnings rose by 34% from 1955-1960; car ownership by 250% from 1951-1961 and “by the mid 1950s, only one man in three had the same social status by occupation as his father and only one son in four of an unskilled labourer remained unskilled” (Visual Arts Data Service, University College for the Creative Arts).

    Far from being “dreary”, the1950s were a veritable hive of social, economic and artistic activity. For one, Harold Macmillan invested heavily in social housing, for another we should not have had the migration of the Windrush years were there not an economy to support it. More creative recounting from The Telegraph can be seen in Ian Cowie's ignorance of the Festival of Britain, the Royal Court, John Osborne, Harold Pinter, the creation of resident opera and ballet companies at Covent Garden and the stellar rise of the likes of Mary Quant from boutique owner in 1955 to international designer by 1962.

    Moreover, as the grand-daughter of an escaped prisoner of the First World War who indeed lived on a diet of Black Forest roots and berries, returning to barter shoe repairs so as to raise a family of five -  these going on to become an independent retailer, an international car designer, an international opera singer, a senior theatre sister and a precision engineering mechanic - I see can no evidence of reduced social mobility in the 1950s whatsoever. What I do see in today's Telegraph is the misplaced opportunism of an inflated property portfolio. 

    Self-interest may be the one motivation that Ian Cowie can always rely on, but without the humanitarian motivation of Mother Theresa, Mandela or Martin Luther King, precisely where should civilised society be? Indeed, whilst we're on the subject of unintended consequences, this teacher has some homework to set The Daily Telegraph - a touch of quality creative writing, for a change: 

    Ozymandias

    I met a traveller from an antique land
    Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
    Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
    Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown
    And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command
    Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
    Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
    The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
    And on the pedestal these words appear:
    "My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
    Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
    Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
    Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
    The lone and level sands stretch far away.

    Percy Bysshe Shelley.

    Wednesday, 16 June 2010

    Post Office Budget Card

    Launched on 25th May, this little beauty replaces Post Office savings stamps as the quick and easy way to set money aside for paying bills. You can put between £5 and £250 on it at any one time and save up to £1500 every year. There are no fees or charges and you can use it to pay for all or part of a regular household bill, including car tax. Great!

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    Tuesday, 15 June 2010

    Must-See "Dispatches - How the Banks Won"

    Will Hutton

    As the government prepares an emergency budget to help pay for the bank bailout, Will Hutton investigates the banks and what they've done with our money.

    He discovers that while ordinary taxpayers take the pain, for the banks it's largely business as usual.

    Hutton analyses the banks' accounts and shows how they are using government-guaranteed funds to gamble with derivatives as they did before the crash. He also reveals how the banks are still paying vast salaries and bonuses, and City head hunters tell Dispatches how the banks hide the sums they're really paying out.

    With the help of former and current members of the Bank of England's monetary policy committee, Hutton shows how the banks' booming margins come from the free and near-free money the government and taxpayers gave them to save the banking system.

    He also investigates the banks' intense lobbying to resist government plans for reform and highlights recent research from the OECD on how Britain is internationally unusual in the extent to which bankers have key roles in the civil service and government.

    Featuring high-powered contributors such as President Obama's banking advisor Paul Volcker, former Chancellor Alastair Darling, former City minister Lord Myners and current Business Secretary Vince Cable, Hutton shows why without urgent reform we risk the prospect of another crash - this time there won't be any money left for a bail-out - plus the certainty of British business being starved of vital funding.

    With the Eurozone crisis fuelling fears of another banking crash, this programme is an urgent and shocking call to action.

    This programme will be on 4oD as soon as possible after broadcast.

    Make a note to catch this on 4oD, if you haven't seen it already (exact link will be posted as soon as it's available!).

    It really makes you wonder why on earth consumers should be gearing up to accept current account charges as the norm, when the banks summarily fail to invest in research, development and innovation, especially in home-grown SMEs. Local businesses are the life blood of our economy, creating new employment and new markets for the UK to excel in. Goodness knows, they could take you out of unemployment, in the not too distant future!

    "How the Banks" Won also explores our grotesquely inflated property market - commercial and domestic - remember the average UK house price is roughly eight times the average income in the UK! Bang goes your granny's budgeting dictum that rent or mortgage should be a third of household income. Indeed, Whilst some may be sitting pretty in a home that is worth three or four times more than they paid for it, spare a thought for our offspring if the foundations of recovery are but bricks and mortar?

    Time to vote with your feet, we say, and to do so Zero-credit recommends Better Banking.

    Sunday, 13 June 2010

    Subprime Lending Returns to the U.K. - BusinessWeek

    Subprime Lending Returns to the U.K.

    Now it's called "complex" or "almost" prime

    (Correcting the fourth paragraph to make clear GE Money is not lending to people who have defaulted on mortgages.)

    Three years after defaults on U.S. subprime mortgages sparked a devastating financial crisis, lending to borrowers with less-than-perfect credit histories is making a comeback in Britain. General Electric's (GE) GE Money unit and Investec's Kensington division have started lending to customers rejected by mainstream banks. This time they say their loans are for less money and are going to clients with better credit histories than during the housing boom. And they avoid the word "subprime" to describe these borrowers, preferring the terms "complex prime" or "almost prime."

    "'Subprime' sends messages out that people are lending money to individuals who can't repay it," says Gerry Bell, marketing director for GE Money's U.K. mortgage unit. "Our customers have clear track records," though some may have had "minor credit blips."

    Kensington, which stopped offering mortgages to customers with spotty credit histories in November 2007 and halted prime mortgage lending in August 2008, restarted lending to prime customers in November and reentered what it now calls the "complex prime" market at the end of March. The lender accepts borrowers with up to two court judgments for failing to pay debts of as much as $1,080, through a product called "Prime One." Before the credit crunch, Kensington would accept borrowers with existing arrears and with judgments of as much as $10,800, says spokeswoman Karen Agombar. Today it will lend only up to 80 percent of the value of a property, down from 90 percent before.

    GE Money is lending to people who have defaulted on loans twice before and to borrowers with a single judgment. The loans are financed by GE, its parent. Bell says these loans are less risky than previous subprime mortgages: "It's very different from where we were in 2007."

    Of course, "it's different this time" is a dangerous phrase. So far, though, there are few signs of a return to the excesses of the bubble years, according to British debt advisers. "We haven't come across inappropriate lending" in the nonprime mortgage market this year, says Beverley Budsworth, managing director of the Debt Advisor, which counsels consumers on debt issues.

    Subprime has a long way to go to reach its 2006 level, when securitization, the process that saw loans packaged into bonds and sold to investors, helped fuel a lending boom. Bank of America (BAC) plans to sell off $1.1 billion worth of bonds backed by higher-risk U.K. mortgages in what would be the first public deal of its kind in the U.K. since August 2007.

    The appeal of subprime lending is the same as ever: It is more profitable for banks (unless too many borrowers default). Subprime loans can be offered at more than double the interest rates of prime products. Kensington and GE Money offer mortgages to less-than-prime customers at 5.99 percent that convert to a floating rate after two years. The most creditworthy borrowers can get a similar product from HSBC's (HBC) First Direct bank for as little as 3.09 percent.

    The bottom line: Although memories of the housing bust's losses are still fresh, lenders find it hard to resist the lure of high-interest-rate mortgages.

    Jon Menon is a reporter for Bloomberg News. Crowley is a reporter for Bloomberg News.

    More evidence that middle income Britain is a significant target market...

    Saturday, 12 June 2010

    Exposing the Poverty Industry's Profiteers

    Media_httpchangeprodu_uhunq

    This might be about the exploitation of poverty in the US but if you think it isn't rife in the UK, then you're very much mistaken.

    When UK payday lenders can charge APR that is five times what US poverty campaigners lobby about and when the amount these lenders charge has increased from some 1500% in 2008 to around 2500% in 2010, you just might like to stop and think about this.

    90% of us earn less than £44kpa in the UK relative to an average income of £24kpa and an average house price of some £200k.

    Middle income Britain is anything but affluent and very much afraid of poverty... We are a prime market for unscrupulous pedlars of:

    quick fix loans - to hide the ugly truth we cannot afford to reveal
    pseudo basic bank accounts with sign up and transaction fees
    prepaid cards without address so we can juggle our way out of benefits and debt.

    @simonnread one small step for financial inclusion

    Simon_read08_bigger
    Delighted by the Living without a bank account article by Simon Read in The Independent this morning, but I want more... Copied here for your easy reference:

    SPONSORED LINKS:
    Ads by Google

    Free O2 Cash Manager card
    Each time you spend we'll text yourbalance for free. O2 Customers Only
    www.o2.co.uk/money

    Cash Loans in 1 Hour
    Approved in 1 minute, No PaperworkAll Credit Histories Accepted!
    www.Cash-in-1-Hour.co.uk

    Open a Basic Bank Account
    We offer a basic bank account withGuaranteed Acceptance & No Checks!
    www.CardOneBanking.com

    How to earn Easy Money?
    Profit from your website now withWest Midlands top IT consultants!
    TechnologyAtWorkWM.co.uk

    are the sponsored links placed to the right of the column, of which there are two that fly in the face of Simon's desire to protect the vulnerable:

    "Cash Loans in 1 Hour" are basically a variation on the theme of >2000%  APR payday lending

    and

    "Open a Basic Bank Account" should be subject to further scrutiny as this is essentially a MANAGED account with FEES

    So, Simon... after I have ribbed you for so long about journalists speaking up on these issues, would you, could you, hassle The Independent to make sure that content like this is not published next to yours?

    Friday, 11 June 2010

    What must the new government do to tackle credit and debt problems?Tell them now!

    What three things must the new government prioritise if they are to tackle UK poverty and inequality? How should they meet their commitment to protect the poorest and most vulnerable from the effects of cuts? How can they best end the debt trap and promote sustainable finances?

    Church Action on Poverty is inviting everyone concerned about debt and poverty to write to the new Prime Minister, listing three things that he must do to tackle poverty and inequality.

     

    Please send your own message:

    We'll deliver all the messages to 10 Downing Street, and run campaigns to address the issues that are raised.

     

    Thanks!

     

    Liam, Church Action on Poverty

    Loyalty like it used to be!

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    Want more like this one - across Portsmouth, Fareham, Gosport, Hayling Island, Havant, Waterlooville, Brighton, Hove, Eastbourne and Southampton!

    When supermarkets charge families more for bread so the lads can have a cheap multi-pack of beers for the World Cup...

    or home insurers bank on your nan being unsure how to switch policy provider...

    or energy companies refer you to a standard tariff after you come off a saver package...

    you start to wonder what loyalty means in this day and age?

    The thing about shopping local is that it is awfully difficult to scam someone who lives on your doorstep and you see in person almost every day.

    So go on, put the love back into loyalty, shop local and make it mean something again :-)

    Wednesday, 9 June 2010

    Mandela and a Birthday

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    Until this moment, I should have said that hosting Nelson Mandela in Birmingham in November 1993 was my proudest moment, but then, today is rather special (I'm the ginge at the back, by the way)! http://zero-credit.co.uk is precisely one year old today and @Zerocredit_UK on Twitter will soon follow suit on Wednesday 23rd June.

    With six weeks to go till the end of both term and a decade in teaching, Zero-credit is set to realise its ambition of achieving an appropriate legal structure for the continued support of this website as free to use and free from advertising or sponsorship. So to all you credit free fans, old, new, and passing through, thank you. 

    Without a shadow of a doubt there are people who have helped Zero-credit with their encouragement and advice, most significantly:

    Tom Jones; Paul Beck; Helen le Brocq; Rob Dyson; Penny Ritson; Piper Terrett; and last but not least, my own dear son William.

    Credit where credit is due!

    Tuesday, 8 June 2010

    #duncansdream Quids In!?

    Quids In! is a relatively new magazine offering money management advice to people on lower incomes, predominantly in and around the Bristol area. Above is the current sample issue.

    Available to folk in social housing and using non-commercial debt / financial advisory services, landlords and agencies are distributing Quids in! for free, often as a supplement to their newsletters. A key partner in the venture is Jeff Mitchell (formerly of The Big Issue) at Clean Slate Ltd.

    Shared Interest - Ethical Investment

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    I really like giving back the true meaning to words like Credit and Interest, which is why I ask you to check out Shared Interest's new website today.