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Market Update - May 2020

Posted: May 01, 2020

Global equity markets have responded positively to a plateauing of Covid-19 cases across the developed world, and continuing fiscal and monetary action from cental banks and governments.  Our investment partners, RSM Research, once again take a look at the current situation and the importance of this ongoing support to help businesses to get through 2020, and hopefully return to profitability in 2021.

Download our market update here:

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Market Update - April 2020

Posted: Apr 14, 2020

The pace of change in financial markets over the last couple of months has been such that our usual quarterly updates don't seem quite enough.  As cases of Covid-19 across the developed world appear to be showing signs of slowing, the stock market has rallied from the lows seen in March.  Our investment partners, RSM Research, take a look at what is driving this and where we go from here.

Download our market update here:

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Money++ Newsletter - Spring 2020

Posted: Mar 31, 2020

As the year turned, we might have imagined that the decisive general election result might bring some stability to 2020 after the turbulence of 2019. Some may have hoped we could turn our attention to pressing global issues such as climate change. But a new and even more immediate worry has eclipsed everything else: the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Key capital gains tax changes for 2020/21

Posted: Mar 31, 2020

The government is reducing two valuable tax reliefs from April, and these changes could increase the capital gains tax (CGT) bills of landlords who sell their property.

Only owners who previously lived in the property can claim these reliefs. The change is to Principal Private Residence relief (PPR) which generally exempts main homes from CGT. Up to now, the last 18 months of property ownership have been free of CGT for most people, but this period will now be cut to just nine months from this April.

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The 40% overdraft challenge

Posted: Mar 31, 2020

High street lenders, including HSBC, Santander, Nationwide and Lloyds, are pushing up overdraft interest rates to 39.9%.

In many cases, these rates have doubled, meaning that customers face significantly higher borrowing charges, even if they only dip into the red occasionally.

Banks have increased these rates after new rules will ban them from charging higher rates on unauthorised borrowing with effect from April 2020. So rates are rising on agreed overdrafts to make up for this lost revenue.

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National Living Wage versus the new State Pension

Posted: Mar 31, 2020

One is growing much faster than the other…

The new State Pension has failed to keep up with the National Living Wage in the years since they were both set up in April 2016.

The National Living Wage (NLW) and the new State Pension (NSP) both began in April 2016. Each aims to set an income floor – the NLW during working life and the NSP from State pension age. You might therefore expect their values to be closely related, but that has not turned out to be the case.

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Overcoming the gender pensions gap

Posted: Mar 31, 2020

Women are saving more than ever into pensions, but still lag behind men.

The good news is that more women are saving for retirement, and the size of the pension contributions they are making has increased, according to Scottish Widows. However, men are still saving more, benefiting generally from an additional £78,000 in their pension pot at retirement.

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Too generous by half?

Posted: Mar 31, 2020

Generous grandparents are increasingly supporting younger family members, so intergenerational gifting should take potential benefits, and pitfalls, into account.

A third of millennial homeowners received financial help from their grandparents, with an average gifted sum of £7,400, according to a survey from mortgage brokers Trussle.

Meanwhile, research by equity release provider Key found that 15% of grandparents had contributed towards their grandchildren’s higher education, with another 20% planning to over the next decade.

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Budget 2020 – a Budget for strange days

Posted: Mar 31, 2020

The first Budget of 2020 may be the most unusual for years.

The UK survived 2019 without a Budget. Finally, on 11 March the new Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, presented a postponed Budget, the first of two due this year. This proved to be primarily an emergency Budget, focused on a “temporary, timely and targeted” response to the global economic shock from the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Shifts in the savings landscape

Posted: Mar 31, 2020

Government incentives to save – like ISAs – are valuable, but recent changes present new opportunities while removing some old ones.

If you are aiming to buy your first home, investing in a Lifetime ISA (or LISA) could help. The recent withdrawal of the Help to Buy ISA means that the LISA is now the only tax-incentivised savings plan for first-time buyers. Existing Help to buy ISA holders can still contribute until November 2029.

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