08 Feb 2018 More than three quarters of parents with children aged 18-40 said they still felt responsible for their child’s financial security some or all of the time, according to new research from Legal & General.

The insurer surveyed over 1000 parents with children aged between 18-40, with the findings showing that the majority of parents (90%) felt responsible some or all of the time for their adult child’s overall well being.

The new figures come as part of Legal & General’s ‘Forever a Parent’ campaign, which aims to highlight the importance of parents taking steps to safeguard their children financially, including by having appropriate protection policies in place. Despite this, less than half of those who said they felt financially responsible some or all of the time had taken out a life insurance policy.

The survey also found that parents were putting their money where their mouth is, by continuing to support their adult children financially. Two-thirds had provided financial assistance within the past year, with nearly a quarter (24%) gifting more than £1000. Worryingly,33% of p arents had helped with general living costs in the last year and one in ten  had helped   with mortgage or rental payments in the last five years.

However, despite the considerable support provided on housing by the Bank of Mum and Dad, which last year Legal & General research found would lend £6.5bn, less than one in ten (9%) parents had helped their children with a house deposit since their child became an adult.

Of the 87% of respondents who had provided their child with some form of financial assistance, the top 5 reasons were:

  • General Living costs (43%)
  • To pay a bill (23%)
  • Grocery shopping (23%)
  • University education fees (20%)
  • To pay for commuting or travel costs (16%)

 

Since their children had turned 18, parents had been asked to provide support on:

  • Financial advice (46%)
  • Career plans (40%)
  • Cooking (37%)
  • Car trouble (29%)

Finally, highlighting the valuable support parents continue to provide their adult children, a fifth (20%) of parents had been turned to by their children for financial advice within the last month.

John Hyde, Managing Director, Legal & General, Direct Insurance, comments:

“No matter their age, as parents we always feel a sense of responsibility for the wellbeing of our children. Whether it’s making sure they’re financially secure or helping them with life’s big moments, such as buying their first home, our research shows that parents continue to support their children, aged 18 or 40. Perhaps more worryingly, parents are still relied upon for more pressing financial matters, such as paying credit card bills and grocery shopping.

“However, no matter what support we provide, being a parent doesn’t stop after we’re gone and the question we all need to ask is whether that security will continue should the worst happen.

“With our Forever a Parent campaign, we want to encourage more parents to think about how they can safeguard their children, whether it’s making sure there’s an emergency fund if a tragedy strikes or by taking out a life insurance policy to help their families when they’re no longer around. After all, family is the most important factor in our lives and making sure they’re looked after and are financially secure is the top priority for any parent.”

06 Feb 2018 As forecasters warn that Britain is set to have the coldest week of the year as temperatures continue to plummet. Leading breakdown provider Green Flag predicts more than 114,000 breakdowns will occur on Britain’s roads this week, as the difficult weather conditions take hold.

An abundance of ice and snow showers are set to hit the UK over the coming days – and with weather conditions causing havoc on British roads, 11 breakdowns a minute are predicted to take place across the country.

In response to the adverse weather conditions, Green Flag has issued a set of tips on how to drive in snowy and icy conditions, to encourage drivers to stay safe on the roads.

A spokesman for Green Flag, said: “The plunging temperatures and icy conditions may take some drivers by surprise this week, so it’s important that drivers do all they can to stay safe in the more challenging conditions.

“By thoroughly checking their cars before they leave home, and approaching the roads with caution, drivers will decrease the risk of encountering a problem on the roads this week.”

Winter Driving Tips

  1. Check your speed and use gentle driver inputs – even if the roads have been gritted they’re likely to be slippery.
  2. Give more warning than usual to other drivers – when turning, stopping or changing lane.
  3. Keep plenty of distance between cars – you never know when you’ll hit an icy patch. If you pass the same landmarks as the car in front of you within three seconds, you’re following too closely.
  4. Check whether your car has ABS anti-lock brakes. In the unlikely event that it doesn’t, pump the brake pedal slowly to prevent the wheels locking up and skidding.
  5. Be extra-wary of black ice. It’s an invisible danger that can catch out even the most careful driver.
  6. Approach corners at a steady speed, in as low a gear as possible. Don’t touch the clutch unless it’s absolutely necessary, steer smoothly and avoid braking on bends.
  7. Ensure you’re familiar with your car’s ventilation system to prevent windows from steaming up. Air conditioning will keep windows free from mist and condensation.

02 Feb 2018 Analysis of over 11,000 UK personal current accounts (PCA) has revealed that the average holder was charged £152 in bank fees last year which, if incurred by every one of the 65 million active current accounts in the UK, suggests banks made £9.9 billion from charges in 2017.

The data, collated by Plum, the automated money management chatbot, coincides with launch of its Fee Fighters function, a free tool that enables users to check in exactly what fees they are being charged by their banks. This functionality is made possible due to the implementation of Open Banking, which aims to encourage fair competition and comparison. The European-wide regulation orders banks and credit card companies to share a customer’s data with other regulated companies if requested to do so by a customer, removing the banks monopoly on customer data.

The average £152 paid per year by current account holders includes overdrafts, foreign exchange, and transactions fees, as well other unspecified fees, such as monthly account charges. This £152 average rises significantly when considering personal current accounts with an overdraft function. In this case, total bank charges were closer to £221 per current account holder with those that have at least 1 overdraft transaction per year.

In terms of what charges were applied by the banks, 56% were due to overdrafts, both from planned and unplanned usage. Foreign exchange fees accounted for 11% of the total charges, while late transaction fees made up 6%. Over a quarter, however, (27%) of the total charges were classed as “other” which included monthly account fee, unspecified bank fees, or bank subscriptions. Some of these charges can be fairly high, with an average of £5-£10 charged per bounced back transaction it is not uncommon for users to accumulate these charges without realising it, getting charges up to £75 in “Unpaid Transaction Fee”.

To help consumers be alerted to and understand the culprits of the charges, Plum has developed a free Fee Fighter tool, first of its kind that alerts users to fees. With the implementation of Open Banking, in the coming months Plum hopes to go beyond raising awareness about hidden fees and provide solutions, helping users to identify smarter deals and more cost effective products with alternative providers bespoke to their financial requirements.