James Coney  

Mend the system and bridge the finance gap

James Coney

James Coney

There are cheaper options, and if you rarely trade you can even invest for almost nothing.

But not all charges are equal, and when it comes to other fees plenty are more hidden and harder to predict than annual platform charges.

HL’s exit fees and charges for reinvesting income were always particularly grotty, not least because the former was a hindrance on competition.

Well, now HL has axed them. Hurrah. 

You may well say that it has only done this in the wake of the Woodford affair, and you would probably be right.But, so what? This is a consumer-friendly move. 

Any business worth its salt protects its reputation and moves with the times, and this is what HL is doing.

It is setting a higher bar. Now others should follow suit. 

Tax impasse

A letter from the taxman arrives. I may be entitled to a refund on national insurance contributions – simply fill out the form to show what I paid last year.

I moved jobs last year, which always plays havoc with your affairs.

Anyway, the form said my contributions from both employers could be found on my P60. Nope, just my current employer.

My P45 from my old employer didn’t have what I needed either. 

There was no option to leave the sections blank and the help sheet was adamant what I needed was on a P60. 

Once again HM Revenue & Customs has managed to create a deadlock situation.

You can bet if I owed them money they would have found a way to track down the information needed.

James Coney is money editor of the Sunday Times

@jimconey