Firstly my mortgage company Standard Life have announced that since base rates have been cut by 2.5% since November they will cut their standard rate by 0.8%. That means my mortgage payments will fall much less than I had hoped. They cite:
"There have been significant and unprecedented changes within the economy and mortgage market in recent months. As a result, we have adjusted our standard variable rate accordingly and with a view to offering a sustainable rate in the long-term...."What they really mean - the current volatility gives us an excellent opportunity to increase our profit margins. Thanks for your continued custom. :)
Well, there is an argument that banks need to encourage savings and therefore they shouldn't be forced to cut rates. But, I think 80 basis points out of 250 is still a bit greedy.
Direct Debit and a Clever Way for Firms to increase Cash FlowSecondly, I pay electric and gas by direct debit. I always seem to be in credit to them (pay more than I use). My balance is currently in credit by £58. Anyway, they say that next year the direct debit will increase from £53 a month to £71 a month - stating something about seasonally adjusted consumption rates compared to average consumption levels.
I could argue with them and try to negotiate a lower monthly rate, but, the opportunity cost of wasted time talking to call centres means there is a strong incentive to ignore it.