Author Archives: IWill41

I’ll be amazed if you read this!

It’s annoying isn’t it: half way through signing up to some online payment provider, or a music download service, you have to click “I agree”. And of course we always agree and we haven’t actually read what we are agreeing too. In fact at Think Money we recently did some research* into just this topic. […]

How to solve the problem of free banking?

 RBS recently created a storm by announcing that it would be restricting its basic bank account customers to using only its own ATMs. As well as acres of negative media coverage, and questions from the Treasury Select Committee it has also generated an online campaign against the move, complete with a petition (although at the […]

Payday PR

Payday loan firms are losing the PR battle but sales are booming. But will they avoid regulation?

Cheques, ATM charges and honest conversations

It is not fashionable to feel sorry for banks, but I’ve had a pang of sympathy this week – brought on by media coverage of ATM charges and cheques.  Banks are, by and large, businesses so they exist to serve their customers and to make money for their shareholders. And as we know, recently, they’ve […]

Killing you softly – Barclays and Standard Life Bank

When Standard Life Bank first launched we were big fans. It was one of the first with flexible mortgages – Freestyle – and we took one of those out with it, with the majority of the transaction being completed quickly and easily online and over the phone. We also opened a number of its Direct Access […]

Personal finance and “poorer people”

I am ashamed to admit that after many years working in personal finance its only in the few months that I’ve been working at thinkbanking that I’ve given any proper thought to the money matters of those on low incomes. In fact I’ve realised that the world of personal finance (product providers, journalists and marketing/PR) […]

Financial Education – is it just an excuse?

 One of the most amazing things about an iPhone (or an iPod for that matter) is that it really doesn’t need instructions. Within a few moments of opening the box you can be up and running – it really is intuitive. They are beautifully designed and engineered products that work brilliantly. Contrast this with financial […]

Relationship banking?

 Last week Lord Turner, chairman of the FSA, made some comments about free banking being bad for customers, which have been widely reported in the media. His argument was that free banking is a loss leader so bank are compelled to try and cross sell other products. In fact the strategy of retail banks doesn’t […]

6 reasons why people don’t take financial advice

For many years a big part of my job was promoting Independent Financial Advice.  In fact I worked with IFA Promotion (nowadays more commonly known as Unbiased.co.uk) for about 13 years. Personally I am a big believer in financial advice and indeed use an IFA myself. Sadly, despite the undoubted effectiveness of IFAP and its […]

Doing right by customers

Aviva’s brand seems to be everywhere these days. It pops up regularly during ITV Drama (which it sponsors), its TV ads with Paul Whitehouse are high profile, and it is sponsoring premiership rugby. Indeed Aviva’s website trumpets its “first global brand campaign, demonstrating our commitment to putting customers at the heart of our business”. And […]