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Smart Money 1996 - Latest blog from Paul Whitlock, Director of Savings

07 September 2016

1996. That was quite a year.

It was the year that Dolly the Sheep was born; my favourite Dr Who, Jon Pertwee left us (I prefer to think he regenerated); and the Spice Girls arrived like a force of nature.

Where did those 20 years go?

1996 was also the year that I began a new career in Financial Services and so, for me, 2016 is a reasonably large milestone in my life in the world of savings.

Having a few years under my belt, I was asked recently ‘what’s the best piece of advice you could give your younger self?’ It’s a great question and it really got me thinking, not least of all because I have a 14 year old son and I find myself imparting more and more dad-wisdom nowadays, everything from: ‘Always ask nicely’ to ‘Brush your teeth before you put on your tie’

When it comes to money though, there’s one piece of advice that I try to drum into him at every opportunity: That’s certainly something I’ve lived by, and it’s led me to think about other money-related things I’d like to have known 20 or 30 years ago:

  • When it comes to work, do something you love. Don’t worry about the money…that will follow. And if it doesn’t, at least you’re doing something you love.
  • No matter how little, start saving and investing early, do it every month and don’t stop doing it. Ever.
  • Don’t try to keep up with the Joneses...they’re trying to keep up with someone too (it may even be you!).
  • Don’t miss out on the trip of a lifetime.
  • It may seem expensive today but the memories will last forever.
  • Impulse-buying can be an expensive habit. Break the habit. If you think you need something, wait 48 hours before buying it. You’ll be surprised how many times you don’t go back to make the purchase.
  • If you do nothing else, have an emergency fund. Squirrel it away and don’t even think about it. One day you might be very glad you did. Hopefully though, you never will.

If you’re lucky enough to be in your 20s and think some of these can be useful to you, then great…why learn the hard way! Why not benefit from the mistakes of those who have a chronological head start on you. If you’re a little older and, like me, you’re able to look back 20 or 30 years, then don’t forget that you can’t change the past but you can take your combined experiences and learnings and apply them today, tomorrow and next week so that hopefully they can bring you a brighter future.

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Charter Savings Bank Newsletter - Issue 3 August 2016

02 August 2016

Issue three of our newsletter takes a look at online security and the ways you can protect yourself online. We also have our handy savings tips as well as Smart Money, Paul Whitlock's latest blog.

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Top saving tip - could YouTube be the key to saving you Money?

01 August 2016

It’s that time of year when we start to think about getting round to all those DIY jobs we conveniently put off until it was warmer and dryer.

On the plus side, doing things yourself has the added benefit of giving your finances a rest. I know it’s easy to dismiss and maybe, like me, you’re one of those people who don’t like or simply can’t do certain things for themselves, but wherever possible it can be advantageous to do the smaller tasks ourselves.

Handing over £20 here and £30 there in return for someone mowing the lawn, ironing your clothes, cleaning your windows, or washing your car may not seem much on an individual basis but it soon adds up.

If there’s a ‘big’ task that you think might be beyond your capability then consider that the best instructor is free and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week…even Christmas Day.

YouTube!

YouTube could save you lots of money on expensive call-outs thanks to plumbers, carpenters and all manner of tradespeople uploading videos showing how to stop taps from dripping or doors from creaking. And you can do this at a time that’s convenient for you, and you definitely won’t charge yourself a call-out fee for what turns out to be a simple fix. Finally, you’ll have a tremendous sense of achievement and a certain satisfaction that money can’t buy.

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Happy 1st Birthday Charter Savings Bank

02 March 2016

Today marks the first birthday for Charter Savings Bank, a big thank you to all our customers who have supported us in our first year.

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Wolverhampton Firm Tops Sunday Times List

01 March 2016

Charter Court Financial Services (CCFS) which is based in Wolverhampton has been ranked tenth in The Sunday Times Best 100 Companies to Work For 2016.

The firm employs over 350 people at its headquarters in Wolverhampton Business Park and owns Charter Savings Bank, one of the UK’s leading challenger banks with over 40,000 savings accounts and balances in excess of £1.7billion since its launch in March 2015.

Over the past eight years CCFS has experienced unprecedented growth, and is a significant employer in the area. Since 2008 the workforce has grown from just 20 employees to 362.

Ian Lonergan, CEO of CCFS commented: “With the launch of Charter Savings Bank and developments in our mortgage business, the business has trebled in size in under two years. But we don’t want this growth to change how we do business or alter our friendly work environment. We have a fantastic team and we always look for ways to make work a more positive and rewarding experience for them so it’s great to have our efforts recognised by our employees and The Sunday Times. We are always on the lookout for more talented people to join our team and this award will undoubtedly help us achieve that in the future.”

The Sunday Times Best Companies to Work is a highly prestigious award which champions the importance of maintaining a happy and motivated workforce in successful high growth businesses.

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Smart Money - Latest blog from Paul Whitlock - Director of Savings

09 December 2015

Looking forward to 2016

As mortgage borrowers across the UK breathed a sigh of relief, savers took yet another blow last month with the Bank of England announcing that interest rates are to remain unchanged with a future rate rise looking unlikely any time soon.

For over six years, UK savers have been trapped in a low interest rate environment, struggling to achieve any notable returns on their nest eggs – especially those with savings languishing in high street accounts paying paltry rates of interest. Indeed, our recent research found that more than a fifth of UK adults are earning interest of 0.50% or less on their primary savings account.

The level of people’s disappointment at the Bank of England’s latest guidance was perhaps inevitable, especially when you consider that just 4 months ago it was Carney’s view that rates could rise as early as the end of this year. Following this latest postponement, however, the Governor has now been dubbed in some quarters as ‘the unreliable boyfriend’ or ‘the boy who cried wolf’.

There are a plethora of factors which influence the UK’s interest rate, and while the continuing growth of house prices initially made a rate hike appear more likely, ultimately volatility in the global financial markets and low inflation have prompted the Bank of England to err on the side of caution once more.

All eyes now turn to the US, where savers have been battling against a base rate of 0.25%. Just a couple of months ago, it looked like there would be a race for which major central bank would be first to increase rates. But with this latest deferment from the Bank of England– not to mention the European Central Bank suggesting they were prepared to cut rates – it appears the US Federal Reserve is now likely to be first out of the blocks in the interest rate race.

It’s not all doom and gloom for savers in the current environment though.

Low inflation means things like doing the weekly shop, putting petrol in our cars and even stocking up for Christmas can all cost less, which all adds up to having more money in our pockets and so we should all be able to spare a little more every month for our savings.

And if most savers are only getting rock-bottom rates offered by the mainstream providers, then many may feel compelled to hunt out the better deals that are available. Indeed, the low interest environment has magnified the benefits of increased competition from challenger banks, like Charter Savings Bank, and this increase of competition can only be a good thing for savers.

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Financial Services Compensation Scheme

Financial Services Compensation Scheme

Your eligible deposits with Charter Savings Bank are protected up to a total of £85,000 by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, the UK's deposit protection scheme. Any deposits you hold above the limit are unlikely to be covered. Please click here for further information or visit www.fscs.org.uk.