Comments: It's the ninth day of summer today

I'm not sure about your interest rates, BW. If you have to let the Bank have the first £3000 at zero interest, then the next £3000 at 3% does not really amount to much of a rate overall, does it? Have you tried Tesco Bank? Their interest rates comes in on the first £2000 or £3000 (cannot remember which) and they dont ask for any debits.

Good luck with the Perseids. I stood outside last night at 1.30, but was rather disappointed to see only a few stars. The high cloud came in shortly after that so I gave up. The grass was surprisingly warm and dry to bare feet, but it might be chillier tonight.

I'll take up your hints on legal costs cover at next renewal. Thanks.

Posted by Temp on 12 August, 2016 at 10:31 PM

Ah, I expressed that badly Temp - with BoS you get 3% on everything up to £5K, provided you have at least £3K in there. IIRC you get less interest below that, but I never let the balances go below £3K.

I wouldn't touch T£$co anything with a barge pole. Even if they offered 10% or free food. I am a Witch of Principle.

Posted by Blue Witch on 13 August, 2016 at 8:48 AM

The 'T' word is an expensive one in this house, since it brings on a need for alcohol, albeit bought at 5 for 6 with extra discount;)
And I can't emphasise enough the encyclopedic knowledge BW has of domestic finance. If there is any way of working the 'offers' to find that loophole to earn more, then BW will find it.

Posted by Mr BW on 13 August, 2016 at 9:14 AM

Because someone has just asked me which BoS account, it's a normal current account, and you ask to add 'Vantage' (it's free, but it's a bit hidden - and it's rarely mentioned in the best buy tables, no idea why):

And the interest rates are:

£1+ = 1.5%
£1,000+ = 2%
£3,000+ = 3%
(you always get the highest amount on the whole balance once you are across the threshold for that rate).

Gross interest on £5K is £12.76 per month in a 31 day month.

Therefore if there are two of you, you can have £30K in 6 accounts, which is £900 in interest per year.

£12.76 doesn't sound much, but £900 does...

You have to remember to move the interest away, because nothing over £5K gets paid interest.

Posted by Blue Witch on 13 August, 2016 at 10:45 AM

I've just been persuaded to start opening more current accounts to chase interest. I was amazed at the difference in procedures. TSB gives you a sort code and account number in minutes after an online application. Nationwide is still making us jump through hoops over a week later, asking us to visit a branch etc etc.

Posted by Tim on 13 August, 2016 at 11:06 AM

I totally agree Tim.

I got £60 out of Nationwide for the appalling way they dealt with my initial applications (and even that took 3 BW Special Letters of Complaint - write to Head Office and they send it straight to the Branch who then continue to ignore you). And isn't the NW online banking system tortuous? They need to look at the competition's systems.

BoS can be opened online (instantly like TSB - they use the same basic online platform) through the BoS portal, and will then magically appear on your Halifax online banking (and vv), which makes moving money easy), if you have Halifax accounts already.

Are you opening the TSB and NW linked saving accounts? TSB gives you 5% up to £250 saved a month and NW 5% on up to £500 a month.

I move money around all our accounts (to make the minimum necessary account pay-ins) manually at the beginning of each month, which, now it is set up, takes about half an hour. If you do it through standing orders etc, you lose three or four days interest as you have to be sure the money has hit one account before it bounces on to the rest: usually standing orders don't clear until the end of the banking day (and you can't be sure what time they will arrive), whereas when you do it yourself, faster payments are instantaneous.

The only difficult one is RCI which never sends money requested the same day, despite claiming to be instant access (this currently pays the best instant access rate - 1.45% - so I use it when I have too much one month for my current and linked savings accounts, but will need it again the next month) (NB it's French not UK regulated).

Posted by Blue Witch on 13 August, 2016 at 11:23 AM

Haven't got as far as seeing the Nationwide online banking system yet - still a few hoops to go! Thanks for the info re linked savings accounts, will definitely look into them.

Posted by Tim on 13 August, 2016 at 11:38 AM

PS - re credit scores, as you mention they're not really worth much. But you can see your CallCredit score for free, and get a monthly full credit report, from

Posted by Tim on 13 August, 2016 at 11:43 AM

Hope you saw some Perseids...we had quite a good show down here...

Posted by NiC on 13 August, 2016 at 3:55 PM

Sadly not NiC (good photo at yours though). The Perseids were invisible - I concluded that there are too many very tall poplar trees in the north/easterly sightline from The Coven. Not really into driving a mile down the road in the early hours...

Posted by Blue Witch on 14 August, 2016 at 10:35 AM

Re Credit Score checking - as Tim said above, you can see the CallCredit scoring via Noddle (but I seem to recall you telling me about that one anyway) and either Equifax or Experian (I'm pretty sure it's Equifax, but right now the log-in is down) can be found (for free, monthly) at ClearScore ( )

I haven't yet found a freebie Experian one (because they're about as forward-thinking as Nationwide) but the other two have proven useful so far, including handling some stuff that was being mis-reported, and is now fixed.

Posted by Lyle on 17 August, 2016 at 10:01 AM

There are differences between credit reports - 3 agencies, Experian, Equifax and CallCredit, all of which are statutorily required to provide copies of your full credit file (showing what accounts you hold, and your record of payments to them) on request for £2, and credit scores, which are numbers usually only available from one of the paid-for services (or, increasingly, as an 'account benefit' from eg Barclaycard).

The latter numbers are irrelevant (other than to massage one's ego, or scare hell out of one, depending on your credit standing), but the former are essential to check at least annually, for just the reason Lyle says - things do get mis-reported.

Posted by Blue Witch on 17 August, 2016 at 6:51 PM

Oh, I know the scores are irrelevant. They're handy as an indicator, but nothing else. Every lender has their own criteria etc.

Plus, I did a bundle of work with Experian and Call Credit a few years back, and I know precisely how much of the credit-score side is bullshit and guesswork. (The safe answer is "all of it")

Posted by Lyle on 17 August, 2016 at 11:04 PM