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Internet payments to clear immediately

The Association of Payment Clearing Services have agreed that by next year, internet payments will be credited or debited straight away.


The new payment system was announced after it met last week to discuss modernising the 200-year-old cheque clearing system. Cheque and debit card payments could also be speeded up under the reforms.


At the moment, payments made from an internet bank to another bank or building society take at least three days. Critics say banks take advantage of delays to earn interest on the floating money.


Government&#39s banking watchdog Don Cruickshank called the current system &#39cumbersome and inflexible&#39 and &#39only slowly adapting to the demands of e-commerce&#39 in his recent report.

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Cricket - thumbnail

England vs Australia: pensions

Well, the cricket season is here, and England and Australia are stepping up to the wicket. Although we compete with each other in the sporting world, when it comes to pensions, Australia’s pension programme is held up as a model for our auto-enrolment initiative. Auto-enrolment was introduced because people weren’t saving enough into their pensions, and it is still early days but signs are positive. However, in Australia, saving into a pension is compulsory, and in fact employers are the ones who have to pay in. Employees in Australia can make additional contributions into their pensions, but they don’t have to. Should the onus be on the employer or employee to save? Well in the UK we think it’s both, but to get ‘adequate’ savings for retirement it’s the employee who has to pay more in.

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