From today the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) upper limit rises from £50,000 to £85,000, this is per person per institution. But there are some points to note the maximum per person is £160k ie just two accounts so if you have your money spread to minimise the risk it is now worthwhile looking at combining some accounts up to the maximum £85k to get the best rate of return.
Some EU banks are not fully UK regulated and hence are not covered by the UK scheme e.g. ING Direct is Regulated in Holland.
Also the scheme is per institution so sister banks that share a banking licence are considered to be one institution e.g. Halifax and Bank of Scotland share a licence, so total protection's £85,000 for all accounts in both. Where as sister banks NatWest and RBS have separate licences so you get £85,000 in EACH.
Apparently the 1st of January each year is the day that most people feel depressed about their finances so why not make your New Year’s resolution to take control of your finances in 2011.
In the UK the 4th of January sees the VAT tax rise from 17.5% to 20% so if you have any large ticket items that you need to buy now is a good time to do so as you have the January sales on and you will beat the tax hike, just remember that it is only a bargain if you can afford it and not push you into more debt than you can cope with.
Barclaycard are giving new platinum card members the longest 0% interest debt shifting deal I have ever seen a whopping 17 months for a fee of just 2.9% on balance transfers. Also if you transfer more than £3,000 you get a £20 rebate. This offer is only open to new card members who must earn a min of £20k per year and pass a full credit check. Also remember to pay the min payment each month else you will lose the 0%.