Top money stories - 9th - 15th June 2007

Top Tip:

Fed up with the rain? The weather might be letting you down so far this summer but you can take steps now to make sure your bank balance doesn’t end up washed out too. With further interest rate rises predicted, now is the time to think about using the Moneybasics  mortgage calculator to check you can stay in control of your repayments.

All week

Bank charge reclamation

A number of stories this week have reported confusion for those trying to reclaim bank charges. Some judges are throwing out claims but others are allowing them to proceed.

However, none of these cases have taken place in a court high enough to set legal precedent, so you still might be entitled to some money back. If you have been hit with penalty charges in the last six years it’s still worth considering a claim. Visit an independent site like www.moneysavingexpert.com for help on the process.

Wednesday 13th June

Base rates set to rise

Mervyn King, Governor of the Bank of England, warned this week that further interest rate rises could leave borrowers struggling to meet their repayments. “Anyone who borrows at a variable rate should recognize that the interest rate they will pay in the future may vary.”

King’s warning comes at a time when borrowing is at an all time high. Total mortgage borrowing amounts to £1.1 trillion, with the average family owing £102,000. This could mean a monthly increase of £58.83 for borrowers if their current variable rate mortgage increases from 5.5 to 6.5 per cent over the coming months.

Friday 15th June

The week ended on a high note as two more utility companies cut their prices for gas and electricity. That means that all the big six UK gas and electricity suppliers have now cut bills since wholesale energy prices started to fall last year. Good news!