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26 April 2018: TSB Online Banking: Compensation now offered

TSB bank has been in meltdown for days following a move to a new online platform which has left customers unable to access their online banking.

The bank has finally called on outside help to clear the situation up faster.

Promises to customers have now been made by TSB boss Paul Pester due to the length of disruption caused. These include no overdraft fees or charges to be paid by customers for the whole of April.

The bank was originally attempting to move all of their customer accounts across from their previous owner Lloyds to a brand new platform under its Spanish owner.

This transition has somehow left nearly half of TSB’s customer base without access to their online banking.

Pester has confirmed that those with a reasonable case for compensation will be able to claim when the situation is cleared.

Despite these reassurances of compensation, many customers are still angry as the issue causes disruption to their everyday lives.

This includes not being able to pay other people online, not being able to pay bills or change standing orders, and not being able to move money around your own accounts or check balances.

If you wish to switch your current account you can click here.

18 April 2018: Car insurance: First price drops in 3 Years

Prices of car insurance policies have fallen for the first time in three years.

This comes following changes to the law on whiplash. The way in which compensation is paid out by insurers for long term injuries has also been reviewed.

These changes have made it harder to make fraudulent claims and therefore lower the cost of insurance.

The price drop, which was suggested to have been 2% in one year, comes after three years of rising prices.

Although this was mainly credited to changes in compensation pay outs, there has also been a significant rise in the number of female drivers on the road.

A rise of 21% since 2007 was noted. Traditionally, female drivers pay less on their car insurance due to them generally having smaller and cheaper cars and claiming less for high cost accidents.

The cost of car insurance began to rise due to compensation for insurers to reduce costs of long term injury claims, were reduced. This effectively made it harder for insurers to afford pay outs to customers when they claimed, meaning costs of policies went up.

But with the government now revising this, insurance companies can again reduce their policies.

However, most people will still not see changes in costs when it comes to renewing their policy. The best option is to compare and switch policies to start benefitting and saving money.

Compare car insurance HERE

28 March 2018: Third party access to your data on social media – Why worry and how can you prevent it?

The scare around personal data is growing fast at the moment, as we’re sure you will have noticed. With new laws on personal data already being implemented, people are becoming much more aware of where and why their personal data is being used.

As you’ve probably heard, social media is one of the places under scrutiny, yet many still don’t understand how their data is being used or why.

We’ve written a quick guide as to when and why you may have been affected, and how you can change your settings to prevent this whilst still enjoying use of your social media accounts.


Firstly, it’s worth knowing that even activities you didn’t think would be able to harvest your data may actually well do. If you log into other websites using your facebook log in details, or if you’ve played a game on facebook or similar, these actions give third party applications access to your personal data which is on facebook.

Most boxes that you tick agreeing to ‘terms and conditions’ before signing into anything using your facebook log in will allow access to your personal data.

The data which can be accessed depends what is available on your facebook profile, but normally includes:

-    Email
-    Phone number (if you’ve provided it)
-    Photos
-    Birthday
-    Where you live
-    Relationship status
-    Where you work
-    Groups/pages that you’ve ‘liked’

Obviously this breaches privacy, but also means that you may get spam email and calls.
You can limit which data these applications have access to, take access away completely, or request that they delete the data they already have.

How to limit access:

1 – In Facebook on desktop, click the drop down menu, then ‘Settings’/On your phone, hit the three horizontal line icon then ‘Account Settings’.
2 – Click ‘Apps’ and then ‘Logged in with Facebook’ to see the apps which have access to your data on Facebook.
3 – Select each app separately to view the data which each app can access.
4 – Click the blue ticks to select which data you’d like the app to have

How to delete your data:

1 – Once you’ve clicked on the specific app to see which data it can access, click ‘Report App’ then ‘I want to send my own message to the developer’.
2 – You can then send a message to ask them to remove your data from their database, and they have to honour this.

Review your data on Facebook

You can view your personal data held by Facebook by selecting ‘Settings’, ‘General’, and then clicking ‘Download a copy of your Facebook data’. You can delete certain parts of this data from here.

Instagram & Twitter 

Further to the warning surrounding Facebook, there’s now concerns about other social sites including Instagram and twitter. Below we’ll show you how to reduce data sharing on these sites too.


Many people are not aware that Instagram is actually owned by Facebook, and therefore many of the rules surrounding data are shared between them. Instagram’s privacy policy states that they can log all information posted on the app, as well as whatever data you have allowed the app to access from your phone or other device such as your contacts.

This information can then be shared with advertisers on Instagram so that they can target their advertising, meaning it’s going beyond just Instagram.

Even If you have made your settings on Facebook more secure, the fact that Instagram can share it’s information with business partners means that Facebook will still receive them, so all of your security efforts are useless without securing all your social media accounts.

Here’s how you can limit Instagram’s access:

Disconnect your contacts list

Once you’re on the Instagram app, go to settings and then ‘contacts’. Make sure the toggle is turned off.

This will stop access to your phone contacts for both Instagram and its partners.

Disconnect linked accounts

Again on settings, go to ‘linked accounts’. These are the other online accounts you’re giving Instagram permission to share your data with. You can edit these.

Turn off location settings

Go to the settings menu on your phone, go the Instagram app, then turn off location.


Twitter is not connected to Facebook in the same way that Instagram is, but there’s still some questionable notes in its privacy policy.

It does, however, make it slightly easier to understand and access the data it holds on you through its ‘your Twitter data’ tool.

Your data on Twitter includes:
•    Email address
•    Phone number
•    Gender
•    Age
•    Languages
•    Location
•    Devices where you’ve logged into Twitter e.g. phone vs. desktop
•    Places you’ve been
•    Other apps on your device
•    Your interests

When you choose to ask for the data that Twitter holds on you, you will be emailed a PDF summary.

Android Users

If you have an Android phone instead of an Apple phone or other, Twitter can also look at what other apps you have on your phone then use this to promote material to you.

You can stop this by going to ‘Settings > Privacy and safety > Personalisation and data > Personalised based on your apps’.

You can also just use Twitter in a web browser instead.

 To see a full list of the apps Twitter’s spotted on your device, go to ‘Settings > Privacy and safety > Personalisation and data > View your data > Apps’.

Personalised ads (Android, iOS and desktop)

Twitter, on all types of device, has the right to share your user habits with selected partners. In your Twitter settings, go to ‘Privacy and safety > Personalisation and data > Share data through select partnerships’.

‘Share data through select partnerships’ essentially allows Twitter to share your interests, based on your tweets and how you use Twitter. Twitter says none of your most sensitive data will be shared (ie, name, email address, phone number).

Outside of social media

Even outside of social media there are still plenty of things to check to ensure your personal data is secure as possible.

Create new passwords

This might seem obvious, but so many of us don’t bother to do it. Even when your accounts have not been hacked and you think they are secure, it’s best to regularly change your passwords to make this less likely in the future. The most secure passwords are very long ones. Whole sentences made into one word without spaces are normally the best option as they’re difficult for people or computers to work out.


Google’s “Takeout” tool lets you download your own data from the google products you use including those like Gmail and Google Maps. They’ll send you files of the data they have on you, including your search history, videos you’ve watched, locations you’ve been in etc. You can then go through and delete this. You can also prevent google maps from tracking your location in the first place. Sign in to Google, open Maps, then click on “timeline” in the menu. At the bottom, there’s an option to manage your location history.


Many people have old Yahoo email accounts which they may not use anymore. This will be full of personal information just like any other email account. Most Yahoo email accounts were actually hacked in 2013, so it’s a good idea to either delete it or re-secure it with a new password and two-step verification.  

‘Smart’ Products

Smart gadgets are getting ever more popular, but many are unnecessary as well as having low security and being invasive to your personal life and data. Hackers have already hit these devices hard in 2016, and unless you really think they are necessary to your lifestyle it’s best to avoid them.

Changing prices for different locations

Many sites which sell things change their prices based on your previous buying history or even based on where you live. This is all done by data they hold on you. Before you make any purchases online, particularly larger ones, we’d suggest using private browser mode to see if the price changes.


AirDrop is a feature on Apple iPhones which allows anyone near you (unless the feature is turned to contacts only) to send photos and files across to your phone.  Turn off this AirDrop function unless you really need to use is, or at least turn it to contacts only. This stops strangers around you from sending you unsolicited pictures.

1 May 2014: How will new mortgage rules affect borrowers?

!50 image Lenders will have to carry out more detailed checks as new mortgage rules come into force. Borrowers will be asked to provide more information about their income and spending when applying for home loans.

On the 26th of April 2014 the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) introduced new mortgage rules, known as Mortgage Market Review (MMR) which will require that lenders perform tougher checks to potential homebuyers and remortgagors. This new set of rules is designed to eliminate poor or risky lending practices and to protect homeowners from borrowing more than they can afford. The question that arises is how the process will change and how would these changes affect borrowers.

The most significant change is that lenders will now be required to see evidence for the income of the potential homebuyer. However, they will also go through all spending in order to check affordability. Borrowing will depend on whether after regular monthly expenditure, rather than just income, borrowers would still be able to afford repayments. Moreover, lenders will also stress-test affordability to check whether their clients will have enough money to repay the mortgage should the interest rates rise. The new rules will not affect buy-to-let mortgages.

The MMR is likely to result in an increase of the number of people being turned down for a home loan, particularly families with children and remortgagors. Furthermore, checking the client’s financial circumstances in greater detail will make the whole application process longer and more invasive than before. Interviews with new customers could now take approximately 15 minutes longer, raising the length to 2-3 hours.

While these rules are new for lenders, mortgage brokers have been required to use these processes for years. This means that brokers will not only be quicker, but they will also compare deals across the entire market, instead of just talking about their own product. Moneyhelpline has partnered up with London & Country, the UK's leading fee free mortgage broker, to offer expert advice on mortgage deals.

Click here to compare Mortgages
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