6 Helpful Tricks To Avoid Paying ATM Fees

Are you tired of getting hijacked by ATM machines with big charges when you want some cash? Do you find yourself paying 25 percent or more of the amount you want to get out? Want to know how to avoid those fees?

There are many tips and hacks you can use to stop being hit with big fees just to get at your money. We’ve given this some careful thought because we’re also tired of the insane charges ATM operators put on using their machines.

So, read on to learn about six of the best ways to avoid ATM fees. From research and planning to choosing the right account, we’ve got your back so that you don’t pay for your own cash anymore.

1. Use ATMs for Your Bank

Using ATMs that are part of your bank’s network is the best and easiest way to avoid ATM fees. Big, chain banks have a lot of fee free ATMs to use, especially in larger urban areas. These ATMs won’t cost you anything when you withdraw cash from them. 

You can search your bank’s website or mobile app for no fee ATM near me to find ATMs run by your bank. However, if you do use an ATM that isn’t run by your bank you could incur a fee from your bank as well as the company that runs that particular ATM.

So, always try to search for an ATM that is part of your bank’s network if you can.

2. Open an Account at Banks with no ATM Fees

If you are considering opening a new bank account, do some research to find banks with no ATM fees.accounts. Or, if you find yourself always having to pay for cash from an ATM, it might be time to think about switching banks. In that case, look for a bank where you can get an account that doesn’t charge you ATM fees. 

Many online banks have agreements with ATM networks that mean you don’t have to pay the network’s ATM charges. These online banks will usually have an ATM finder service as part of their website and app. Use this service to locate the nearest no fee ATM when you need cash quickly.

3. Get Cash Back at the Grocery Store

Another great way to get cash for free is to ask for cash back when you make a purchase at a grocery store or other shop. This works best if you pick up cash as part of your regular shopping trip. Then keep that cash handy in your wallet.

However, if you need cash quickly, you can still use a store as your ATM. Simply make a small purchase at the store. Because ATM fees are usually three pounds or more, buying a chocolate bar or bottle of water, for example, will cost you far less than the ATM fee. 

4. Keep More Cash on Hand

Although you can’t always plan ahead to know how much cash you’ll need and when, a little forethought can go a long way to reducing the chances of unwanted ATM fees. When you do get cash out, try to get more than you need right then. Having some extra cash at home or in your wallet or purse will reduce your ATM fees.

Taking larger sums out of the ATM when you do visit also means that if you do have to pay a fee, you’re getting more cash for the charge. So, you’re cash costs you less if you have to pay for it.

Putting together a home budget for each month will give you a sense of how much cash you generally need. With your budget in mind you can go once a month to the ATM and withdraw what you need all in one go. Then, just keep your wallet or purse topped up with the cash you’ll likely need that week.

5. Find Out Which Other Banks Your Bank Has an ATM Fees Agreement With

Many banks have agreements with other banks or ATM operators. These agreements let you withdraw cash from those ATMs without a fee. Check with your bank or search online to find out what other ATMs you can use.

The ATMs that are part of your bank’s network agreement might also include non-bank ATMs. These ATMs are the ones you find in shops, bars, or petrol stations. Those ATMs are often the most expensive to use for cash withdrawals. 

6. Go Cashless

A really easy way to avoid ATM fees is to try not to use cash. Fortunately, this is becoming much easier. Mobile apps, debit and credit cards, iPay and equivalents, Venmo, Paypal, and so on, all offer the opportunity for cashless transactions

With the exception of some entertainment options and small shops in out of the way locations you can often choose not to spend cash if you really don’t want to. Some shops and services still have a minimum transaction amount to use your card. But those minimums are often still less than an ATM fee.

Reducing the amount of times you need cash means you won’t need to hit the ATM very often. The fewer times you have to go to an ATM the less you will spend on those pesky fees. 

Stop Wasting Money on ATM Fees

ATM fees can quickly add up. If every time you use an ATM you pay three or more pounds for the privilege of taking your own money out, your monthly costs will soon make getting cash out not worth it.

As you can see from our list of tricks to avoid paying ATM fees, though, there are plenty of ways you can reduce the chance you’ll get stuck with those charges.

Plan ahead and have ecash on hand. Get a bank account with a large network of ATMs to use for free. Use your bank’s app to find free ATMs near to you when you need one or try to use less cash in the first place!

For more money-saving tips, insights on the economy and your finances, or business news and more, check out our blog. We’ve got you covered with insider hacks and business news and ideas. 

The fall of Arcadia: what does it mean for the future of the high street?

The high street is changing. There’s no question. Predictions suggest over 18,000 high street premises could be left empty by the end of the year, while mainstays like high street banks are estimated to close their doors a final time by summer 2032.

The announced administration of the Arcadia group should come as no surprise in the current climate. The pandemic has sent earthquake-scale tremors through our shops and retailers. But in spite of this, there has to be some shock in the industry – after all, Arcadia, and many of the other fallen businesses, are and were huge entities. So how do businesses with such apparent strength fall with such devastating impact?

The answer lies in technology. Technology has underpinned many of the world’s greatest advancements but in retail, take up of advancements has been slow enough to shake the foundations of some of our most loved stores and leave them weak and vulnerable.

The collapse of the Arcadia group is systematic to an organisation that has failed to grasp the opportunities of technology, especially of online. The pandemic may have spearheaded online shopping’s growth, but consumers have been shopping online – or using bricks and mortar stores as ‘showrooms’ to then buy online – for years. And while stores like Primark have done well with no online presence, they have a very different value-based proposition which means it’s worth the trip to the shop to rummage through the aisles – whereas the premium products that Arcadia Group sells can make people think twice about the effort when better deals are available online.

Arcadia would have always been heading into a red territory regardless of Covid-19 due to their lack of online penetration.

Then there’s the growing movement to shop small and shop local. This, of course, is a positive movement that supports fledgling and growing brands. But it’s also a movement that puts big businesses in an even weaker position. In order to thrive in 2021 and beyond, retailers will need to consider not just their investment in technology to facilitate convenience, but in their wider values and how they support communities and initiatives that benefit the world. Focuses on environmentalism (without ‘greenwashing’) and sustainability will play an even greater role in the year to come.

Is A Fixed Rate Personal Loan The Best Option For Financing A Big Purchase?

People take out loans for many reasons. Some people take out loans for a house remodel, a new computer for work, or a wedding. Whatever the reason for taking out a loan, it’s always a big decision. 

When making a big purchase, you want to consider every option so you get the best rate possible. Many vendors provide their financing solutions. However, it is in your best interest to consider other options. 

One of the best options for purchasing is a fixed rate personal loan. But what is a fixed-rate loan, and why are they better? 

What Is a Fixed Rate Personal Loan? 

Many people prefer fixed-rate loans because the interest rate and monthly payment of the loan are consistent throughout the loan’s life. That’s ideal for people on a tight budget who need to plan for a specific amount each month. 

One common example of a fixed-rate loan is a thirty-year mortgage. With these kinds of loans, purchasers keep the same fixed payment amount for the entirety of the loan until it is completely paid off. The loan doesn’t have to be for a house, though. You can take out a loan on just about anything. 

Most banks will require a statement of what the loan is for before they give you the money. As long as it’s for nothing illegal, and you have the income that shows you can make the payments, you should be good to go for whatever it is. 

Interest rates depend on the loan amount and your credit score. As a rule, the larger your monthly payment, the lower your interest rate. In other words, the quicker you pay off the fixed-rate loan, the less interest you’ll pay in total. 

Fixed-Rate Loan vs. Seller Financing

Many vendors will offer in-house financing for their items. This is tempting because you don’t have to wait for loan approval and experience that instant gratification. 

However, before you commit to seller financing, it is in your best interest to explore other loan options. With a personal loan, you will get a better interest rate. That results in a lower overall purchase cost. 

 With a personal loan, you can decide how much money you need to make the purchase. Instead of financing the entire purchase, you can finance only part of the purchase. 

Seller financing typically has much higher interest rates. So, if you do not plan on paying off the loan within a short amount of time, you will end up paying more in the end. 

With a fixed-rate loan, you know exactly how much you’ll spend overall on the purchase before you sign the contract, no matter how long it takes you to pay the loan. 

What to Consider Before Getting a Personal Loan

Before getting a personal loan from a bank, it’s a good idea to determine a few things. First, figure out how much money you need to borrow. Most lenders have a minimum requirement for personal loans. Some minimums are as low as $500. However, others are twice that. 

You don’t want to take out a loan that’s bigger than you need. If your loan is under $500, consider other options.

Before you qualify for a loan, consider how long it will take to pay off. Some loans can be paid off in a matter of months, others years. Depending on your monthly payments and the loan amount, you have to decide how long you’re willing to take. 

Finally, the most important factor to consider is whether or not you can afford the monthly payments. No matter how big or small the payment is, you have to pay it every month on time to avoid extra fees. 

Credit Scores and Loans

Your credit score determines the kind of rate you get on the loan. It could also determine what kind of loans you have access to. If your credit score is too low for the kind of loan you want, you have two options. You can wait to make the purchase and build up your credit in the meantime. Or, you could have a co-signer on the loan. 

Another thing to think about is how the loan will affect your credit. If you don’t have much credit, having a loan and paying it off may improve your credit.

As long as you pay the monthly payments every month on time (or if you pay the loan off early), your credit score shouldn’t be negatively affected. 

Paying Off Credit Card Debt With a Personal Loan

If you have several maxed-out credit cards, you can use a fixed rate personal loan to consolidate the debt into one payment. Since fixed-rate loans have better interest rates and lower fees than credit cards, this can save you some money as well. 

Some loan companies will pay the loan money directly to the credit card company. That way, you only have to worry about paying the one fixed-rate payment a month. 

Other people choose to refinance their student loans into fixed-rate personal loans. This is an option for people who cannot afford their previous monthly rates. However, this keeps you from taking advantage of any government assistance with your student loan.  So, whether that is helpful to you or not depends on the amount of student debt left on the loan. 

Find More Finance Advice

If you’re thinking about making a purchase, consider all your options. Before you go through with seller financing, look into your fixed-rate personal loan options. That could save you money and hassle in the future. 

Before settling on a loan, make sure you can afford the monthly payments, check your credit score, and ensure you have a regular, reliable income. If you do those things, a fixed rate personal loan is a good option for you. 

If you found this article helpful, visit our blog for more financial advice. 

5 Painful Bank Fees You Might Not Know About and How to Avoid Them!

If you have a checking or saving account with a bank, you may know something about bank fees. Yes, those dreaded fees that come up ever so often. They are pricey and bothersome as they tend to come up in times that you may not have money in your account to pay for them. 

It seems that nowadays banks have a fee for everything. These fees can certainly add up fairly soon. Too many, and you might end up having to close your checking or saving account as you will find yourself having a low account balance or, even worst, find yourself in the negative. 

It is important to be familiar with the bank fees that are imposed by your bank. You can avoid many annoying fees that arise when using your bank. We all know that saving each penny matters, so learn how not to fall victim to charges.

1. Overdraft Fees

Bank fees can hit you from the left and right. One of the most common is the overdraft. You may be familiar with this fee if you have withdrawn more money then what you had available in your account. 

This is a bank fee that one can find themselves paying if they have purchased something that cost more than the money they have in their account. In the case of an emergency, you may find yourself having to pay for this fee if you end up buying something and you don’t have the money for it. 

The amount that you are charged for an overdraft depends on the bank. Fortunately, there are ways to avoid overdraft fees. Contact your bank associate to inform him or her that you want to opt-out of the overdraft service. This will prohibit a transaction from being approved if you don’t have the funds available in your account. 

2. Monthly Maintenance Fees

One of the most dreaded bank fees is the monthly maintenance fee. This is like a fee that you can expect to see every 30 days. Some banks have it in writing that they charge a fee to maintain your account. They inform you of this when you open the account. 

In most cases, monthly maintenance fees are avoidable. You have to meet certain criteria to avoid monthly maintenance fees. For example, if you have a large balance in your account, you may not need to pay such fees. If you have direct deposit, you may not need to pay for monthly maintenance fees.  

3. Card Replacement Fees

Card replacement fees are what you have to pay to the bank if you need to order a new debit card. If you lost your debit card or accidentally damaged it, you may have a double whammy. Not only do you no longer have a debit card, but you must also pay the bank to receive a new one. 

The bank will charge you a fee for this service. The new card may take about a week to be mailed to you. If you want it to come faster, some banks give you the option of expedited service. Pay a little bit more for rush delivery.

Yes, this is like rubbing salt into your wounds. 

Unfortunately, there is not much you can do this avoid this bank fee. If you lose your debit card, you will need a replacement one. You need to keep your debit card safe so you do not lose it or damage it. 

4. ATM Fees

There are fees that you may have to pay for if you use an ATM that is out of your bank’s network. If you find yourself in an area where there are no ATMs sponsored by your bank and you have an emergency, you may have to withdraw from an out-of-network ATM. 

This is a bank fee that can cost you double. The owner of the ATM may charge you a small fee, and your bank will charge you another fee. 

To avoid this type of bank fee, make sure you carry money, especially in the case of an emergency where you may need to pay with cash as credit cards may not be accepted. If you are looking to open a new bank account, make sure to open an account with a bank that has a large network of ATMs.

Also, consider asking your bank if they can reimburse you for the ATM fees. This is a service that some banks may provide you. 

5. Inactivity Fees

You may be asking yourself, “Why do banks charge an inactivity fee?” Quite shockingly, many banks do charge inactivity fees. If you have a bank account and have not used it in a specific period, expect to see this type of bank fee in your bank account statement. 

Banks do not want to have customers who have inactive bank accounts. It is not good for their business. You may find yourself having to pay for this fee if you have not had any activity in your account in a year. 

These Bank Fees Can Add Up 

No one likes to lose money, especially if they have to give it away to a bank. Bank fees can add up. And for the most part, they can be avoided. 

Make sure that you are aware of the bank fees that your bank charges. This information you can find on a bank’s website. Take the actions that are necessary to avoid bank fees. 

Consider joining a private bank that may not impose these charges. If you would like to read more about private banks or finance-related topics continue to explore the website

The Islamic Development Bank Group, in cooperation with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, organized a webinar on the Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on the Global Investment Outlook

The Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group hosted a webinar on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global investment outlook, which was organized in collaboration between the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the Country Strategy and Cooperation (CSC) Department, IsDB on 17th November 2020 to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on FDI and trade in OIC member countries.

The Islamic Development Bank Group, in cooperation with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, organized a webinar on the Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on the Global Investment Outlook

 The main objective of the webinar is to present the key findings of the World Investment Report 2020 – International Production Beyond the Pandemic with a highlight on FDI trends in foreign direct investment (FDI) worldwide, at the regional and country levels and emerging measures to improve its contribution to development. In addition to presenting IsDB Group Strategy during COVID-19 and its impact on OIC Member Countries and Investment Promotion Agencies (IPAs).

The Webinar also proposed adopting policies and strategies to revive investment and trade in member states to advance investment promotion activities, in order to support the IsDB Group efforts to assist Investment Promotion Agencies (IPAs) in member countries by assisting them in devising appropriate investment and trade policy responses to the ongoing pandemic

Mr. Oussama Kaissi, CEO of the Islamic Corporation for the Insurance of Investment and Export Credit (ICIEC), stated that “the COVID-19 pandemic has created a devastating global health crisis. According to UNCTAD’s 2020 World Investment Report, global flows of foreign direct investment (FDI) will be under acute pressure this year as a direct result of the pandemic. In order to combat these implications in member countries, IsDB and its group members have implemented a number of initiatives to maintain trade and investment flows. ICIEC will be an important part of the long-term recovery, supporting the growing demand for risk mitigation solutions”.

Mr. James Zhan, Director, Investment & Enterprise Division, UNCTAD, made a presentation which highlighted the key findings and policy recommendations found in its World Investment Report 2020: International Production Beyond the Pandemic.

Mr. Amadou Diallo, the Acting Director-General, Global Practices at the Islamic Development Bank in his speech stated that during COVID-19, the Bank provided technical assistance programs for the Islamic Development Bank Group such as RCI and ITAP to support the Member Countries by assisting them in developing suitable plans for investment and trade policy to confront the ongoing Corona pandemic. This is in the framework of a tripartite approach centered around the “response, recovery and rebuilding” pillars.

Mr. Mohammed Bukhari, Senior Investment Promotion & Regional Cooperation Specialist, CSC Dept., IsDB delivered a presentation on the impact of COVID-19 on MCs, particularly in foreign direct investment (FDI), domestic investment and investment promotion agencies (IPAs).

It is noteworthy that the private sector institutions of the Islamic Development Bank Group played an important role during COVID-19, as Mr. Asheque Moyeed, Division Head, Infrastructure & Corporate Finance,  the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) made a presentation which focused on the efforts related to promoting investment in member countries, where the IsDB Group private sector institutions pledged with IsDB to provide $ 700 million to stimulate investment, finance trade, investment insurance and export credit in member countries. Two D-8 Egypt and Turkey are going to utilize around $270 million of this package.

The webinar brought together over 500+ participants from 113 countries, including government officials, Presidents & CEOs of local/international private sector companies, multilateral and financial institutions, individual investors, entrepreneurs, chambers of commerce & Industry, business associations, and investment promotion agencies

55 Leading International Asset Owners and Asset Managers Ask Companies to Use SASB Standards

The Investor Advisory Group (IAG) of the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) today issued an updated statement calling on companies to use SASB Standards in disclosures to investors.

The IAG’s 55 members represent 12 countries and $41 trillion in assets under management (AUM). Among the updates made to the IAG Statement, when compared with the founding Statement, is the affirmation that “other reporting standards and frameworks may complement SASB Standards, but are not replacements for them.”

The IAG’s Messaging Working Group (one of six IAG working groups) took the lead in revising the Statement, which hadn’t been updated since the IAG was founded in 2016. By strengthening the statement in several key areas, the IAG seeks to send a clear market signal that leading international investors are calling for SASB-based disclosure as a foundation for corporate sustainability disclosure to investors.

Among sustainability reporting standards and frameworks, SASB Standards are tailored specifically to help companies communicate with investors. Because they are industry-specific, metric-driven, and focused on financial materiality, SASB Standards improve the comparability of ESG-related data and enable integration of ESG considerations into investment and stewardship decisions across global portfolios and asset classes.

“Amidst growing momentum this year, global investors agree that we need more standardized data on the ESG factors that impact enterprise value creation,” said Eivind Lorgen of Nordea Asset Management, North America and Chair of the IAG. “As expressed in our updated statement, the IAG wants companies around the world to use SASB Standards in order to improve the comparability and quality of ESG information we need as investors.”

“Within the broader landscape of sustainability disclosure, SASB Standards are specifically designed to meet investor needs,” says Ole Buhl, Vice President and Head of ESG at ATP and a member of the SASB IAG. “That’s why the IAG is asking companies to use the SASB Standards as a core part of their disclosure.”

SASB’s IAG was originally founded in 2016 to demonstrate investor demand for improved quality and comparability of ESG data and provide investor feedback and guidance to the organization. “I joined the IAG as Founding Chair on the condition that the IAG would be action-oriented and get things done. This updated statement—from a group that has more than doubled in size in just four years—reflects the growing momentum, strength, and internationalization of investor support for SASB-based disclosures,” says Christopher Ailman, IAG Chair Emieritus and Chief Investment Officer at the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS). “I’m proud to see what the IAG has accomplished and I challenge the IAG to achieve and accomplish even more in the years ahead.”

A variety of sustainability standards and frameworks assist companies in communicating with wide-ranging stakeholders. SASB is involved in efforts to integrate ESG reporting standards and frameworks into a comprehensive, global system for sustainability reporting, most recently issuing a joint statement with CDP, CDSB, GRI, and IIRC outlining a shared vision. Within this system, SASB is gaining support as a helpful tool for investor-focused disclosure. Most recently, the UK Financial Reporting Council encouraged UK public interest entities to voluntarily report using the TCFD Recommendations and SASB Standards to meet the needs of investors.

To make progess towards the vision for a comprehensive corporate reporting system, SASB is committed to working with other standard setters and frameworks and global leaders including the IFRS Foundation, IOSCO, the European Commission, and the World Economic Forum’s International Business Council.

To read the updated Investor Advisory Group Statement, click here.

About SASB

SASB connects companies and investors on the financial impacts of sustainability. SASB Standards enable companies around the world to identify, manage, and communicate financially material sustainability information to investors. SASB Standards are industry-specific and are designed to be decision-useful for investors and cost-effective for companies. They are developed using a process that is evidence based and market informed. To download any of the 77 industry-specific Standards, or learn more about SASB, please visit SASB.org

8 Tips on Opening Up Checking Accounts for Beginners

Most people need only two bank accounts: one checking account and one savings account. This keeps things simpler and your finances easier to manage.

Savings accounts limit your access to your money, which is why they’re best for saving. Checking accounts, though, allows you easy access.

These are for spending, so they’re for paying bills, withdrawals, and so on. That’s why every person must have them.

If you’re a beginner to all these, you’re in the right place. Keep on reading for some tips on opening a checking account.

1. Know Your Needs and Frustrations

When opening a checking account, you first need to choose a bank. However, all the options can overwhelm you.

There are online banks, traditional banks, and even credit unions. Then, there are lots of options under each category.

To start choosing a bank, know your needs and frustrations first. What services are important to you? How about perks you’d like to get with your checking accounts?

Then, know what frustrates you, as well. Do you want to avoid huge fees? Do you have issues with certain features or requirements?

If you travel a lot or are online often, you may also want to use mobile banking. Check if the bank offers that as well.

Knowing what you like and don’t like will allow you to shortlist banks and the types of checking accounts.

2. Review the Features of Different Banks

Once you have a shortlist of different banks, it’s time to review their features, fees, and services. Check the minimum balance requirements and any fees, like the monthly service fee, overdraft fee, ATM fee, printed statement fee, and other fees you can incur.

You should also check out the insurance that the bank provides. Make sure it’s from either the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) or Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

The interest and rewards will also vary per institution. Check which features are more convenient or more preferable to you. The ATM network is something to consider, as well.

3. Consider a Lower Risk Account

Some banks and credit unions don’t allow you to overdraft. Meaning, you can only spend the money you have in your account. Even for online bills payment and checks, the account won’t let you overdraft.

Such accounts pose lower risks as you won’t get surprised with an overdraft fee or other common banking fees. These can go unnoticed, especially when people think they still have money they don’t have. You also cut the risk of losing your account privileges only because of some unpaid overdrafts.

Don’t hesitate to ask the bank if they have a “no-overdraft” account. Some have them but don’t market them, while others may not have them at all.

4. Visit the Bank In-Person

Modernized banks and online banks allow you to do everything online – from applying for accounts to sending e-documents. This makes for a smoother experience as you can open an account without stepping foot out of your home.

However, some people might prefer doing this process in person. If this is you, don’t hesitate to visit the bank you’re interested in. This also gives you an idea of their locations and if they have one near you.

This is also the preferred choice of other banks that are yet to modernize. In that case, you’ll have to schedule an appointment.

5. Ask the Right Questions

When you visit a location in person, prepare a set of questions to ask the teller, particularly about opening a checking account balance. Don’t hold back; opening up an account can be a long-term commitment.

Ask about all kinds of fees you can incur and how you can avoid them. Make sure you know the minimum balance requirements. And, clarify if this is for one account only or for across all accounts you have with them.

Clarify the withdrawal and transfer limits, as well. Then, ask how much are the fees if you go over the limit.

6. Look for Online and Mobile Features

Not all banks are up-to-date with recent technologies. As such, don’t expect them all to have mobile and online banking features.

A bank app is a must because it makes banking more convenient. You won’t have to fall in line to transfer money, for example, and you’ll have access to your balance at all times. Some of them will even let you deposit checks via a mobile app.

So, before you sign any contract, make sure the bank has an app you can access online or download to your phone. Seeing as how we spend an average of 6 hours and 42 minutes per day on the internet, online banking is a non-negotiable feature.

7. Prepare the Minimum Deposit

The initial deposit should matter in your decision-making because, in some banks, the opening deposit can go as high as $100. Most usually ask you to deposit around $25 to $100 to open an account.

Find out if your chosen bank and account needs a deposit and prepare that before applying. Even if you’re qualified and you have all the documents you need, you won’t be able to pursue the application without it.

Some accounts don’t require a deposit right away, though. Look for these accounts if the deposit is an issue for you.

8. Bring the Necessary Documents

To ensure a smooth process, research all the documents you need to bring when going to the bank. It’s a fairly simple process, but only if you prepare everything you need ahead of time.

Research the requirements for a checking account from your bank of choice. Remember that these may be different when you’re underaged or more than one person is opening the account.

Aside from the filled-up forms, banks usually require identification documents. In general, you’ll need a government-issued ID, SSN or TIN, and proof of address. You may also have to bring your student ID, power of attorney, or anything else for special cases.

Review Checking Accounts Before Committing

What we can take away from this is that you should review checking accounts before opening one. This ensures you get the best option for you and you’re satisfied with all the features, requirements, and terms before signing a contract.

If you have any questions, though, we’ll be happy to help. Contact us today.

7 Private Bank Benefits: Everything You Need to Know

Do you keep the bulk of your money in the bank? Are you looking for alternatives to increase your capital gains amidst challenging times? In the United Kingdom, small and medium-sized businesses are feeling the impact of the pandemic. The same thing goes for the real estate markets. Hence, people are looking for investment options that will help reduce the financial impact of the pandemic. 

But with or without the pandemic, strive to look for investment options that offer flexibility and higher returns. This is where private banking enters the picture.

But what are the private bank benefits that should convince you to shift some of your money? Continue reading below and learn about the advantages of private banking.

1. The Digital Edge

One of the key private bank benefits that attract investors is its digital edge. This doesn’t mean the kind of digital banking that all the other conventional banks offer.

Instead, it involves mobility through apps and chats. Through these technological methods, private banking lets you connect with your private banker anytime and anywhere you want.

Before the pandemic, the opening of new private banking accounts increased by 43%. A perfect example is Standard Chartered Bank. The financial giant incorporated real-time file sharing and instant messaging features in its mobile app.

Furthermore, other private banks partnered with existing platforms. These include WeChat and WhatsApp that DBS Bank uses.

2. A Dedicated Manager

Like wealth management solutions, private banking also gives investors a dedicated account manager. The role of the dedicated manager is to oversee the financial assets of the investor. He handles a single client’s money spread across various accounts.

Since the set-up is a one-to-one affair, the manager provides personalised banking services to his client. This means you will enjoy focused attention from the private banker. He can make life easier for you to conduct various banking tasks.

Examples of which include initiating wire transfers; ordering checks; and depositing checks.

But personalisation doesn’t limit the account manager from coordinating with other professionals in the bank. In case he needs help on something, he can connect with a wealth management specialist; an investment analyst; or a tax attorney, to name a few.

3. Investing in ESG

Private banking also lets you experience personalised Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) investing. An ESG is a type of sustainable investment. It aims to generate positive returns and leave a long-term impact on the business, environment, and social sectors.

Though ESG investments are available off-the-shelf, they don’t offer a high level of personalisation. Through private banking, you can experience ESG investing that aligns with your ethical considerations. 

For example, you may want to invest in the energy transition. The problem with an ESG investment that is not personalized is that there can be stakeholders that you do not agree with. In this case, the investment may involve an oil stock that is against the promotion of renewable energy.

Hence, the birth of a conundrum. Will you push through with a promising investment if a part of it goes against your convictions? Through private banking, you can avoid such a dilemma. 

4. Specialty Asset Management

Helping you capitalize on your speciality assets is one of the key options for banks with private account managers. Special assets or “nonfinancial” assets include real estate interests, farms, and ranches. 

They can also be rights to natural resources. Examples are rights to gas, oil, and mineral properties. Your regular banks generally do not manage such assets. 

On the flip side, private banking offers management for these investments. A private bank manager can reinvest these properties to generate more money.

He can also assist in lease and contract negotiations. Additionally, he can help facilitate inspections. He can also deal with tax, accounting, and legal professionals concerning any requirement for your speciality assets.

5. Different Perks and Freebies

Private banking also comes with many perks and freebies. Some of them you cannot find in regular banking. For starters, private banks can offer discounts. 

If you are applying for a home equity loan or mortgage, they can offer a lower annual percentage rate. They can offer different commercial mortgage financing options.  Moreover, they can offer senior underwriting support, as well as priority loan processing.

They can also give a higher annual percentage yield in case you’re opening a savings account. From time to time, private banks also hold special events for their clients. However, this can be a challenge for now considering the ongoing pandemic.

6. Opens Up Opportunities for Your Business

If you are running a business, private banking can open up opportunities that will help your business grow faster. If your private banker also comes from the same bank as your business account, you can enjoy lending opportunities and other benefits. 

Moving your personal funds to your business account and vice-versa can be easier. With a call to your private account manager, you can transfer your money without much hassle. Additionally, you can enjoy promos and discounts that the main bank offers to regular clients.

You can simplify this even further if you use mobile banking. This allows you to open up private banking services and the option for paying banking fees anywhere you go.

7. Concierge and Travel Services

Private banking offers a concierge, which goes beyond financial assistance. The concierge’s main goal is to make the entire private banking experience seamless.

For example, the private bank can prepare wealth management lectures for your heirs. Others offer events planning for clients who have projects concerning philanthropy. 

Also, some private banks offer premier travel services. This is a welcome benefit for clients who often go on business travels. Here, a travel specialist can arrange everything you need to make your business meetings hassle-free.

Discover More About Private Bank Benefits, Today!

These benefits and advantages are more than enough reasons to consider private banking. After all, banking is something that should not be tedious and time-consuming. Instead, it should help you maximize your time and generate growth for your assets.

Thus, we invite you to learn more about private bank benefits and wealth management. Connect with us and we will gladly assist you in your inquiries. Take the first step to increase your knowledge of investments, today.

Biden will deliver a boost to stock markets and economy

President-elect Joe Biden will deliver a boost to global stock markets and the U.S. and world economy, affirms the CEO of one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory organizations.

The observation from Nigel Green, chief executive and founder of deVere Group, comes as the Democrat candidate won the race to become the next U.S. president, defeating Donald Trump following a nail-biting vote count after Tuesday’s election.

Biden won more than 73 million votes, the most ever for a U.S. presidential candidate.

Mr Green says: “President-elect Joe Biden will deliver a boost to global stock markets and the U.S. and world economy.

“Although a Biden win was pretty much priced-in by the markets, his victory will eliminate uncertainty – which they loathe – and they will rally further as a result.

“Even possible legal challenges from Trump will be dismissed by investors who will instead be focusing on the renewed certainty and stability that a Biden White House will bring, including in key areas such as trade tensions with China, keeping the U.S. in the World Health Organization, resigning the Paris climate agreement, and abiding by other international agreements and long-standing international allies.”

He continues: “Biden will need to work with the Republican-led Senate to secure fiscal stimulus to bolster the economy.  He might struggle to get the $3trn wanted by Democrats, but some package is likely. 

“This will buoy the markets and would have investors think about a broader-based economic recovery – rather than a narrower, tech-heavy one.

“As the world’s largest economy, sustainable, long-term growth in the U.S. will have a positive ripple effect for the world economy.”

The reduced chance of massive fiscal stimulus will also mount pressure on the Federal Reserve “to inject further liquidity,” he notes.

In addition, the Biden win without full Senate support means less risk of regulation and higher corporate and personal taxes, which will give more oxygen to the markets and economy.

Mr Green adds: “In general terms, sectors to benefit from the Biden administration’s agenda include renewable energy, industrials and infrastructure, and small caps.”

The deVere CEO concludes with a warning: “Biden will need not only to work with the Senate but to heal a divided country.

“The world is looking at America, it needs to lead the world economy in a positive, forward-thinking and smartly way – and at pace.

“If it doesn’t, we can expect American economic dominance to ultimately be replaced by an emerging and fast-growing Asia.” 

What are potential investors looking for in a start-up business?

When potential investors scour the marketplace for possible investment ventures, the vetting process consists of a series of checks, investigations and an extensive due diligence process to help ensure that the selected investment opportunity is the right fit. The type of investor attracted to your start-up business will depend on a series of factors, such as investment returns available, financial growth opportunities and brand identity, all of which should be extensively detailed in a comprehensive and creative business plan, complemented by an innovative pitch.

What are potential investors looking for in a start-up business?

Your business plan will be the teller of all tales, detailing how you wish to breathe life into a concept, developing it into a fully-fledged business, worthy of investment. It will illustrate the direction that you wish to take your business in, your operational structure, marketing strategies, business development practices and a contingency plan. We share insight into what potential investors look for in a start-up business.

Return opportunities

There are numerous types of investors with varied expectations and offerings, such as industry background, sector experience, market share, vested interests and investment potential. The criteria will differ depending on the type of investor, such as family and friends which are typically the first port of call as they are easily accessible, there are no intermediaries involved and it’s a low-cost investment. If your family or friends contribute significantly to your business, mitigate the risk by signing a contract detailing the finer details and clarifying expectations.

You may turn to a traditional business loan to borrow start-up finance which will have less flexibility than an alternative finance facility and there are also government grants designed to support start-ups. In return, the bank may require you to sign a personal guarantee agreement in addition to committing to repayments. If you are unable to repay your start-up loan, the personal guarantee agreement will allow the lender to hold you personally liable for the debt, putting your personal assets at risk.

Corporate and entrepreneurial investors are dedicated to investing in new talent and nurturing new businesses from their inception. Many now have accelerators and incubators to support the birth of new businesses through knowledge sharing, providing seed capital and giving access to state-of-the-art resources. Angel investors are professional investors which can also offer mentorship in addition to flexible finance.

Each type of investor will expect a financial return differing in value or a stake in the business. It is also common practice to establish a set of targets for the start-up to achieve to access further investment.

Financial growth

The financial targets of a start-up are likely to be modest until the business establishes the brand, actively markets to consumers and accumulates cash from sales and investments. Your financial aims are a core determining factor for investors as they will actively look to invest to generate a profit, so prepare a realistic estimation of your forecasted income and financial targets to depict investment returns.

Service development

Investors looking to actively invest will be on the lookout for a start-up with a clear and established view of the future – not a short-sighted business plan. Ensure that you cover multiple eventualities for a service extension which are realistic and within your financial means. Focus on the imminent future of your start-up and provide a view into how you would establish partnerships and focus on business development to help expand your offering, e.g. taking the B2B route to target client clusters, in addition to B2B. This journey, if successful, will help increase your market share in addition to brand development, ongoing marketing efforts and advertising. 

Brand development

Start-ups can formally and informally approach investors through innovative platforms, sharing their growth journey from day one, including updates and offering product trials. Online reward and equity funding platforms, Kickstarter, Indiegogo and GoFundMe are examples of popular crowdfunding sites which can assist with brand exposure, in addition to encouraging contributions from professional investors and interested individuals.

If your start-up is likely to depend on establishing an online presence for conversions, invest in web development services early in the process, such as for search engine optimisation purposes. Your public relations and marketing strategy will also indicate to the investor the level of exposure your start-up is likely to receive.

Contingency and business rescue plan 

The formation of a contingency plan in the event the business takes an unexpected turn will indicate your awareness of the risks associated with starting up a business. The resilience of start-ups has been highlighted in no better way than during the coronavirus pandemic. As many have reacted fast to economic uncertainties, business growth has been inevitably limited, halting the creation of new jobs. Many young and veteran businesses have found ways to overcome the pressures of the pandemic and capitalise off new opportunities, showing how determination and creativity can help increase business prospects during unstable times.

In addition to your business plan, investors will be interested in the business driver as the success of their investment will initially lie with you. The approach you take to interact with investors will help shed light on your mind-set and risk appetite. Taking a business idea and developing this into a tangible entity requires patience and willpower, in addition to industry experience to help you make decisions in the best interests of the business. Investors are interested in ambitious start-up owners who have the passion to inspire others with their business vision, helping to build a strong infrastructure for the business.

During the vetting process, you will receive constructive criticism, helpful suggestions and recommendations, instrumental to the success of your start-up. Keeping an open mind can help give you the flexibility to steer your business in the direction required to secure investors, taking into consideration the industry understanding and market experience of your investor.

Jon Munnery is a partner at UK Liquidators, a firm of licensed insolvency practitioners providing company recovery and liquidation advice to company directors in financial distress, include Covid-19 business support services.