Money latest: Supermarket caught out over 'fake farm'; bank boss reveals interest rate prediction (2024)

Top news
  • Lidl rushes to remove 'fake farm' references after MP grilling
  • HSBC chair predicts when interest rate cut will come
  • Prescription charges rose this week - but there are ways to pay less
  • Weak US jobs news sparks rise in bets on interest rate cut
Essential reads
  • Mortgage rates are rising - here's everything you need to know if you're a first-time buyer right now
  • Which cereals have least sugar? Your guide to a healthier breakfast without paying a fortune
  • How to nab yourself a free upgrade on a flight
  • You're probably washing and storing your clothes wrong. Here's what you should do instead
  • Money Problem: 'Builders won't repair dodgy work - what are my rights?'

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New ISA paying 4.5% launched

A cash ISA offering an interest rate of 4.5% has been launched today by Melton Building Society.

The interest is paid annually on 31 March and can be added to the account, transferred to your bank account or transferred to an existing Melton savings account.

Here's what you need to know...

How do you open an account?

  • You must be a UK resident and be aged 16;
  • Accounts can be opened with a minimum amount of£25and the maximum that can be held in this account is£500,000.

Can you withdraw money?

Yes, you can withdraw money as long as you give the bank 180 days' notice in branch, by post or phone

Once you have done this, all or part of the investments in the ISA, including any interest earned, will be transferred to you.

You can also access your money without giving notice, but you will be charged 180 days' interest on the amount you withdraw.


Electric cars being discounted by up to 20% due to slow demand

A lack of demand for new electric cars has led some brands to begin slashing prices.

Even some of the UK's best-selling electric cars are thousands of pounds cheaper than a year ago, according to Auto Trader figures shared with The Times.

Among the most heavily discounted vehicles are the Honda E, down 20% versus a year ago at £29,600, and the Peugeot E-2008, which has fallen in price by 15% to £30,000.

The Vauxhall Corsa-e and Mokka-e are both being advertised at a 20% off sale price, while the MG ZS and MG5 are discounted by 15%.

Meanwhile, Ford's flagship electric car, the Mustang Mach-E, has fallen in price by 14%.

Ian Plummer, Auto Trader's commercial director, said lower prices are good news for car buyers and that it was "encouraging" to see more affordable electric cars on the market.

He said the discounts had been "driven by a softening in consumer demand, coupled with the introduction of the zero-emissions vehicle mandate, which is putting pressure on manufacturers to comply with the new regulations or face heavy fines".

The government's zero-emission vehicle ( ZEV ) mandate requirers manufacturers to produce a certain percentage of zero-emission cars and vans each year.


'Absolutely embarrassing': Angry concert-goers share their frustration at Co-op Live cancellations

It started when comedian Peter Kay, who was supposed to be the first official act for the new Manchester Co-op Live on 23 April, had his performances rescheduled.

Rick Astley's performance on 20 April was a "test event" for the venue but ticket capacity was slashed just hours before his gig was due to begin.

Astley fans who had their tickets cancelled were instead offered seats to see US rock band The Black Keys play - but their show has also been affected.

And to add to the chaos, this week Olivia Rodrigo's concerts, scheduled for 3 and 4 May, were postponed.

Then, Take That announced they were moving their shows from the venue to the AO Arena in Manchester.

A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie concert was also postponed just over an hour before the rapper was set to perform.

Today, Barry Manilow also said he had a "back-up plan" to move his Manchester performance from the beleaguered venue.

The ongoing mayhem has left disgruntled concert-goers voicing their frustration, with some calling for travel and accommodation to be reimbursed and others calling the situation "embarrassing".

"There will be countless people who would've booked travel and hotels just for you to stitch them up because you couldn't meet assured deadlines," one person wrote on X.

Another person said the music venue should "at the very minimum" be "looking at refunding travel/hotel costs for people that can prove they paid for cancelled dates".

And another person asked: "How do I get a refund for parking? There's no info on your site or app."

Organisers at Co-op Live said the venue would be taking "a short pause to events" before welcoming members of the public to the arena from 14 May.

A Co-op Live statement said: "At this time, we do not expect further impact on our opening season. We are aware our actions have frustrated and angered ticketholders."

Tim Leiweke, chairman and chief executive of Oak View Group, which developed Co-op Live in partnership with the City Football Group, has said they cannot run any event until it is "absolutely safe to do so".

A Co-op Group spokesperson said: "As naming rights sponsor for Co-op Live we are disappointed with these further schedule changes.

"Co-op is a sponsor and does not own or run the venue, and we have made it clear to Oak View Group, who are responsible for the building, that the impact on ticketholders must be addressed as a priority."


Itsu product urgently recalled | UK attraction reopening after four years | HMRC Welsh-language app barely used |

An Itsu freezer product is being urgently recalled over fears it could contain plastic.

Customers are being told not to eat Itsu's sizzling pork gyoza, which is sold at Asda and Sainsbury's.

The 240g packs with a best before date of 8 March 2025 are those affected by the recall.

A 200-year-old Edinburgh attraction is reopening this month after being closed for four years.

The Nelson Monument is a 150ft tower overlooking the city, and was built to commemorate Admiral Horatio Nelson's victory at the Battle of Trafalgar.

It has been shut for essential works for years, but visitors will soon be able to climb its 143 steps again.

An official opening date has not yet been given.

HMRC's Welsh-language app is only being used by two in every 100 native speakers, according to a new report by The Telegraph.

A freedom of information request by the paper found that 13,831 Welsh speakers have used the app since its launch in June 2022.

That equates to 1.5% of the nearly 900,000 people who say they speak the language.

Jonathan Eida, researcher at the TaxPayers' Alliance pressure group, told the newspaper he thought the move was a "gimmick".


Huge sale to offer thousands of discounted gig tickets - including to see Doja Cat, Shania Twain and Megan Thee Stallion

Gig ticket prices may be eye-wateringly high at the moment (just like everything else, let's face it) but a big sale next week will see tens of thousands of tickets at discounted prices.

LiveNation is holding a sale for 24 hours from noon on Thursday until noon on Friday, with prices starting from £25.

Artists who you can get discounted tickets to see include Doja Cat, Meghan Thee Stallion, Shania Twain, Becky Hill, Avril Lavigne, Eric Prydz, Giggs, Glass Animals, James Arthur, JLS, Jungle, Kaiser Chiefs, Limp Bizkit, Offset, McFly, Olly Murs, Paloma Faith, Placebo, Tom Jones, Tiesto and The Streets.

You can find the full line-up of artists and venues with discounted ticketson the LiveNation website here.

The company will also be holding promotions and competitions throughout next week.


Weak US jobs news sparks rise in bets on interest rate cut

By James Sillars, business news reporter

Financial markets are strange beasts.

You would think that fewer new jobs being created in the United States would be a cause for concern.

Hardly. It is being positively celebrated.

Closely watched figures out at 1.30pm showed an easing in both jobs and wage growth by more than expected last month.

It has led to greater bets on the US Federal Reserve, the central bank, introducing its first interest rate cut in September.

A hot economy and stubborn inflation have dragged on market sentiment in recent weeks.

Investors desperately want to see cheaper borrowing costs.

In reaction, US stock market futures showed the S&P 500 would open more than 1% higher.

The FTSE 100 was also on track for another record close. It was trading 0.8% higher at 8,234.

That was despite a big weakening in the dollar.

The pound gained three-quarters of a cent to $1.26 versus the US currency after the jobs data dropped.


Apple reports biggest drop in iPhone sales since early months of pandemic

Tech giant Apple has recorded the biggest drop in iPhone sales since the early months of the COVID pandemic.

Sales for January to March were down 10% on the same period last year - something not seen since the 2020 iPhone model was delayed due to lockdown factory closures.

Overall, Appleearned $90.8bn (£72.4bn) in the latest quarter - down 4% from a year ago. It was the fifth consecutive three-month period that the company's revenue dipped from the previous year.

Apple's profit in the past quarter was $23.64bn (£18.85bn) - a 2% dip from a year ago.

It was good news, however, for the overall value of the company as its share price rose nearly 7% after investors had expected a bigger drop in sales.

You can read more here...


HSBC chair predicts when interest rate cut will come

The chair of HSBC has predicted the Bank of England willcut interest rates in June.

Speaking at HSBC's annual general meeting today, Mark Tucker said he expected the European Central Bank and Bank of England to cut rates next month, both lowering by 150 basis points by the end of 2025.

He also said he expected the US Federal Reserve to cut rates in September.

However, yesterday, one of the world's leading economic authorities, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, said interest rates, which are at a post-2008 era high of 5.25%, should stay there.

"The fiscal and monetary policy mix is adequately restrictive and should remain so until inflation returns durably to target," the OECD's economic outlook for 2024 said.


Mango plans to open 20 new UK stores

Mango plans to open 20 new stores this year as it continues to strengthen its UK presence.

The Spanish fashion retailer, which arrived in the UK in 1999, will be opening stores in several cities in Northern Ireland and central and southern England, as well as Scotland.

There are also plans to open four stores in London.

Daniel Lopez, Mango director of expansion and franchising, told Retail Gazette the expansion "will consolidate the Mango brand" and help "strengthen it internationally".

The retailer recently unveiled a spring/summer collection in collaboration with Victoria Beckham.


Lidl rushes to remove 'fake farm' references after MP grilling

Lidl has rushed to remove old references to so-called fake farm branding on its website after being questioned by MPs.

The retail chain told MPs yesterday that a picture of its "Strathvale farm chicken" was a "mistake" after telling them they did not use so-called fake farms.

Appearing in front of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee on fairness in the food supply chain, Lidl GB's chief commercial officer Richard Bourns was questioned on the fairness of supermarkets using fake farms to market their food.

Mr Bourns, who was questioned by committee member Rosie Duffield on using "Strathvale farm" branding for meat products, replied: "We don't use Strathvale farms, we use Strathvale.

"We do not use farm brands, just to be absolutely clear."

Committee chairman Robert Goodwill, who had access to the internet, said: "Oh wait a minute, we have here a Strathvale farm Scottish large chicken, for £3.85. Gosh that's cheap.

"So there is on the website at least, a reference to Strathvale farm."

Mr Bourns replied: "If there is a reference to Strathvale farms on our website I'd want to take that away and correct it.

"It could be the case that our website is not up to date.

"We do not have an online offering but I can categorically tell you we do not have farms brands in our business, just to be absolutely clear."

After the committee hearing a Lidl spokesperson said: "Any historic web pages featuring old packaging that appear via a search engine are in the process of being removed to ensure complete accuracy."

Money latest: Supermarket caught out over 'fake farm'; bank boss reveals interest rate prediction (2024)


Will interest rates go down? ›

Mortgage rates increased dramatically over the last two years, but they're expected to go down at some point this year. In March 2024, the Consumer Price Index rose 3.5% year-over-year. Inflation has slowed significantly since it peaked last year, but it has to slow further before rates will begin to fall.

Have interest rates gone up? ›

The Monetary Policy Committee of the bank, which sets interest rates, increased rates 14 times between December 2021 and August 2023, sending them skyrocketing from an all-time low of 0.1 per cent to their current high of 5.25 per cent.

Will mortgage rates come down? ›

When will mortgage rates come down? Financial markets are currently predicting the first cut in interest rates will be in June or August 2024. As a general rule: if interest rates fall, the mortgage rate forecast would be for mortgage rates to fall too.

What is the Fed rate now? ›

Right now, the Fed interest rate is 5.25% to 5.50%. The FOMC established that rate in late July 2023. At its most recent meeting in May, the committee decided to leave the rate unchanged.

Will interest rates go down in 5 years? ›

Interest rates are expected to trend down later this year and throughout 2025. Borrowers could see lower rates as soon as the fall of 2024.

Will interest rates drop in 2024? ›

The 30-year fixed mortgage rate is expected to fall to the mid-6% range through the end of 2024, potentially dipping into high-5% territory by the end of 2025. Here's where mortgage interest rates are headed for the rest of the year and how that will impact the housing market as a whole.

Why is my APR so high with good credit? ›

Key takeaways. Your credit card APR can go up if the prime rate changes, you paid your credit card bill late, your intro APR offer ended or your credit score dropped. If your APR increases, you can work on paying down your balance or transfer your balance to a card with a low or 0 percent intro APR offer.

What is happening with interest rates? ›

Interest rates have held steady since July 2023.

At its March 2024 gathering the Fed decided to keep the federal funds target rate at 5.25% to 5.5%, where it has remained since July 2023.

Will mortgage rates ever be 3 again? ›

After all, higher rates equate to higher minimum payments. So, you may be wondering if, and when, mortgage rates might fall to 3% or lower again - and whether or not it's worth waiting to buy a home until they do. Although rates could fall to 3% again one day, it's not likely to happen any time soon.

Why are mortgage rates so high? ›

When inflation is running high, the Fed raises those short-term rates to slow the economy and reduce pressure on prices. But higher interest rates make it more expensive for banks to borrow, so they raise their rates on consumer loans, including mortgages, to compensate.

What is a tracker mortgage? ›

The full name of a tracker mortgage is a variable rate tracker mortgage. This is a type of mortgage where the interest rate you pay is linked to the Bank of England's base rate. The interest rate on a tracker mortgage changes with the Bank of England base rate, which affects how much your repayments will be each month.

Will interest rates ever go down to 3% again? ›

If the Federal Reserve cuts interest rates too quickly, it could spur inflation, erasing all the work the central bank has done to curb increasing prices over the past couple of years. So, any rate cuts in 2024 are likely to be minimal and unlikely to result in mortgage rates dropping to 3%.

Will interest rates go down again in 2025? ›

While waiting to buy a home could mean a lower interest rate, there's no guarantee that rate drop will happen. If you have the budget to buy a home now, another option is to purchase today, but refinance later once rates drop further. The MBA projects a 5.5% rate by the end of 2025.

What will cause interest rates to drop? ›

Conversely, an increase in the supply of credit will reduce interest rates while a decrease in the supply of credit will increase them. An increase in the amount of money made available to borrowers increases the supply of credit. For example, when you open a bank account, you are lending money to the bank.

Will interest rates stop increasing? ›

Official interest rates will come down when inflation reaches the RBA target band of 2% to 3%, most likely in November 2024. Inflation is gradually decreasing in 2024.

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