Halifax pays new Reward Account customers £159 in the first year

Halifax is offering a tempting £135 cash carrot when you open one of its Reward or Ultimate Reward current accounts.

Halifax hands out £159 in the first year including monthly rewards and its cash incentive

While existing customers have lost out thanks to this move, new customers benefiting from the boosted switching incentive can recoup the losses. 

The polished cash incentive means new customers can currently earn £159 in the first year. 

If you add the £2 monthly reward customers can earn a total £159 in the first year.

You also get a fee-free arranged overdraft for the first six months. After that you pay 1p per £7 borrowed.

Now is a good time for switchers with most banks offering boosted cash incentives. 

Natwest and Barclays are the latest banks to up their switching appeal.

Its Reward Account also pays 2 per cent cashback on bills, worth an average £83 per year.

Cash bonus: HSBC currently offers the largest golden hello

To earn the maximum, you need to have a Barclays mortgage and home insurance policy though. 

However simply paying two direct debits per month earns you £132 after annual fees of £36. 

You get £150 to switch and then an extra £50 after a year,but it re pay in at least £1,750 per month and have two active direct debits. This offer ends on 25 November however.

You can currently bag yourself anything from an Amazon Echo Spot or Bose headphones to £150 Expedia vouchers. 

It also has a decent overdraft buffer of £100 and offers loyalty points for spending. 

Remember the best current account for you will of course depend on how you use your bank account. 

To earn the £2 cash each month from Halifax you must pay in £750 or more a month, have two direct debits set up and stay in credit.

To be eligible for the cash carrot you will also need to have used your debit card to pay for something at least once, and registered for paperless correspondence and statements.

Existing customers can get their hands on the cash, but only if they use the current account switch service to move a balance and direct debits over from another bank to an existing Halifax account.  

This effectively means you can only benefit as an existing customer if your Halifax account is not your main bank account.

You won't benefit if you have received a switching incentive from the bank since January 2012. 

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November 09, 2018

Sources: Daily Mail

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Disparities in poverty rates along racial lines tend to be higher in highly segregated areas, and Kankakee has some of the most racially segregated neighborhoods in Illinois.</p><p>While segregated schools were outlawed as the result of the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision in 1954, the concentration of minorities in poor neighborhoods and inequitable distribution of resources can result in predominantly black and underfunded schools that put their students at a substantial disadvantage. In Kankakee, fewer than 80 percent of black adults have a high school diploma compared to more than 90 percent of white adults.</p><p>Niles-Benton Harbor is the only metro area in Michigan to rank among the worst places for black Americans. Segregation can significantly deepen socioeconomic gaps along racial lines, and Niles-Benton Harbor is one of the most segregated cities in the country. Nearly half of all black metro area residents in Niles-Benton Harbor live in predominantly black neighborhoods, more than twice the national share.</p><p>Nearly 42 percent of the city's black population lives below the poverty line, a higher black poverty rate than in all but 11 other metro areas nationwide. Meanwhile, 12.4 percent of white area residents live below the poverty line. The white-black poverty gap in Niles-Benton Harbor may be exacerbated in part by the metro area's wide unemployment disparity. The area's black unemployment rate stands at 17.4 percent, well more than double the 6.2 percent white unemployment rate.</p><p>Decatur is one of several Illinois metro areas to rank among the worst cities for black Americans. Just 77.6 percent of black adults in Decatur have a high school diploma, far less than the 91.8 percent of white adults who have a high school diploma. Individuals with less educational attainment tend to have lower earning potential, leading to similar disparities in income, unemployment, and other socioeconomic measures.</p><p>The 21.7 percent black unemployment rate in Decatur is nearly triple the 7.4 percent white unemployment rate. The typical black household in Decatur earns just $21,871 a year, less than half the white median household income of $51,662 a year. Black Decatur residents are also less likely to have as much in the way of material assets that white residents do. For example, the black homeownership rate in Decatur of 36.4 percent is less than half the white homeownership rate of 75.9 percent.</p><p>Elmira, New York, has a relatively small black population. Just 5.9 percent of the nearly 88,000 area residents are black. For reference, 12.6 percent of the U.S. population is black. The gaps in some socioeconomic outcomes between white and black Elmira residents are among the largest in the country.</p><p>The typical black household in Elmira earns just $21,767 a year, less than half the income of the typical white household of $51,101 a year. Black Elmira residents are also less likely to have as much in the way of material assets that white residents do. For example, the homeownership rate among black Elmira residents is just 22.4 percent compared to 71.7 percent among white residents.</p><p>Peoria, Illinois, is one of many cities on this list with a long history of segregation, the effects of which linger today. Black Peoria residents are much more likely to struggle financially and far more likely to face difficulty finding employment than white Peoria residents. The metro area's black poverty rate is 37.0 percent – higher than the national black poverty rate of 26.2 percent and well above the metro area's white poverty rate of 9.2 percent. Additionally, 17.9 percent of the metro area's black labor force is out of a job compared to a white unemployment rate of just 5.6 percent.</p><p>While segregated housing has been illegal nationwide since the passage of the Fair Housing Act of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, a recent federal lawsuit alleges that there are still housing codes in place in Peoria being used to unlawfully target African Americans. Filed in August 2017 by the Illinois-based nonprofit HOPE Fair Housing Center, the lawsuit claims that Peoria's chronic nuisance ordinance, which requires landlords to evict tenants from homes that have been the subject of multiple police contacts, is being selectively enforced in predominantly black neighborhoods.</p><p>The Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington metro area is one of several Midwestern cities that enacted restrictive housing covenants and exclusionary zoning policies in the 20th century. These policies still impact residential patterns today. The city is highly segregated by race and has some of the largest disparities in poverty, income, and homeownership between black and white residents of any U.S. metro area.</p><p>While the 6.0 percent white poverty rate in Minneapolis is far lower than the comparable 10.6 percent national figure, the 32.0 percent black poverty rate is above the 26.2 percent national figure. Additionally, the typical black household in the area earns $31,653 a year, just 41.5 percent of the white median household income of $76,208. Disparity in homeownership is even more stark. The 24.6 percent black homeownership rate in the Twin Cities metro area is less than a third of the 75.8 percent white homeownership rate.</p><p>Racine, Wisconsin, is one of several Rust Belt cities where social and economic outcomes for black residents fall well behind those of white area residents. For example, the typical black household in the Racine metro area earns just $26,888 a year, less than half the $63,507 annual income the typical white household in the area earns.</p><p>Racial disparities in the metro area may be made worse by disproportionate incarceration rates. In Wisconsin, black residents are nearly 12 times more likely to be imprisoned than white residents. For reference, the black incarceration rate is five times the white incarceration rate nationwide. The effects of incarceration are far reaching, as adults with a criminal record are less likely to find employment, and households with a family member in jail have one less potential income earner.</p><p>Like many Midwestern cities with similar history, Milwaukee's discriminatory housing policies from the mid-20th century still largely define residential patterns today. According to research published by the University of Wisconsin-Madison, 16 of the 18 suburbs of Milwaukee County enacted restrictive housing covenants in the 1940s, many of which remained in effect into the 1960s and 1970s. Segregation can contribute to income inequality, and today, the typical black household in Milwaukee earns just $27,834 a year – 42.5 percent of the $65,568 white median household income. While the white poverty rate in Milwaukee of 7.6 percent is one of the lowest in the country, the black poverty rate of 36.4 percent is among the highest.</p><p>Milwaukee is the largest city in Wisconsin, a state with one of the largest racial disparities in incarceration nationwide. Black Americans in Wisconsin are nearly 11 times more like to be incarcerated than white state residents. In Milwaukee County, more than half of all black adults in their 30s and early 40s have served time in a state correctional facility.</p><p>No U.S. metro area has larger social and economic disparities along racial lines than Waterloo-Cedar Falls, Iowa. Black metro area residents earn just 46.8 percent of what white area residents earn, and are far more likely to be unemployed than white workers in the city. The city's black unemployment rate is 23.9 percent, well above the 13.3 percent nationwide black unemployment rate and the second highest such figure of any U.S. metro. Meanwhile, the area's white unemployment rate stands at 4.4 percent, below the 5.9 percent national white unemployment rate and among the least of any city nationwide.</p><p>Like many U.S. cities with high economic and social inequality, Waterloo residents have struggled with several major incidents that have sparked racial tension in the area in recent years. In 2012, for example, a white police officer shot and killed a fleeing black suspect, and was later exonerated by a grand jury.</p>

    1 November 16, 2018
  • FTSE LIVE: Blue chip index opens up after Brexit drama

    FTSE LIVE: Blue chip index opens up after Brexit drama

    nt to see your hard-earned cash go further, your best bet is to head across the Atlantic.</p><p>That's according to travel experts at flight comparison website, Skyscanner, who have revealed the five best value holiday destinations for 2019.</p><p>The Mexican city of Cancun along with Los Angeles and Las Vegas make the cut, giving British holidaymakers the excuse they've always wanted to take a trip to one of the American cities.</p><p>Roughly half of households are owed money by their energy supplier thanks to overpaying in the last year, new data suggests.</p><p>Of households that have overpaid, they have typically done so by &pound;84.40,&nbsp;meaning energy companies are collectively benefitting from &pound;1.17billion of customer money.</p><p>However, just 12 per cent have asked for a refund, according to research for automatic switching firm Weflip by market research agency Bilendi.</p><p>There has been a sharp rise in the number of people receiving hoax emails that claim to be from the TV Licensing department, a crime body has warned.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>More than 2,500 reports of phony emails were sent to Action Fraud in September and October alone from those who have found one in their inbox.</p><p>The scam emails aim to get unsuspecting people to hand over personal and bank details to fraudsters who pretend to be from the TV Licensing department, according to the UK's national reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime.</p><p>Virgin Media and EE have been fined a combined &pound;13.3 million by regulator Ofcom for overcharging nearly 500,000 phone and broadband customers who wanted to leave their contracts early.</p><p>Ofcom said both companies broke consumer protection rules by failing to make clear the charges customers would have to pay if they ended their contract early and levying 'excessive' fees to leave.</p><p>The watchdog's investigation into early-exit charges at the groups found about 400,000 EE customers who ended their contracts early were over-billed, which saw customers end up overpaying up to &pound;4.3million.</p><p>The pound is now flat against the euro at&nbsp;&euro;1.1293. Against the US dollar, sterling is at $1.2822.</p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p>Your comment will be posted to MailOnline as usual.</p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p> We will automatically post your comment and a link to the news story to your Facebook timeline at the same time it is posted on MailOnline. To do this we will link your MailOnline account with your Facebook account. We’ll ask you to confirm this for your first post to Facebook.</p><p>Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday &amp; Metro Media Group</p>

    1 November 16, 2018
  •  Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg under fire over mishandling Russian meddling

    Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg under fire over mishandling Russian meddling

    that Facebook hired a Republican-linked D.C. consulting firm to plant negative stories about Facebook's competitors and critics. The move seemingly contradicts the company's public claims that it is transparent about how it handles fake stories on the platform. </p><p> Announcing a campaign targeting accountability for ads in June, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said, "we are providing much more transparency than any other advertising platform, either online or offline." </p><p> Facebook fired the D.C. consulting firm, Definers Public Affairs, on Wednesday. Zuckerberg, in a conference call with reporters Thursday, repeatedly claimed he did not know that the company had been hired, trying to distinguish Facebook's culture with repeated references to "Washington, D.C., firms." </p><p> "I learned about this relationship when I read The New York Times piece yesterday. I looked into whether this was the kind of firm we should be working with. And we’re not working with them," Zuckerberg told reporters. "This type of firm might be normal in Washington but it’s not the kind of firm I want Facebook to be working with." </p><p> Zuckerberg also defended his key lieutenant, Sandberg. </p><p> "I want to be clear, I mentioned a couple of times I was not in the loop on some of these decisions, and Sheryl was also not involved and she learned about this the same time as I did," Zuckerberg said. "Overall Sheryl is doing great work for this company, she’s been a great partner to me and will continue to be a great partner to me.” </p><p> Sandberg commented on Facebook late Thursday, saying she "wanted to address some of the claims that have been made in the last 24 hours." </p><p> "On a number of issues -- including spotting and understanding the Russian interference we saw in the 2016 election -- Mark and I have said many times we were too slow. But to suggest that we weren’t interested in knowing the truth, or we wanted to hide what we knew, or that we tried to prevent investigations, is simply untrue," she wrote. "The allegations saying I personally stood in the way are also just plain wrong. This was an investigation of a foreign actor trying to interfere in our election. Nothing could be more important to me or to Facebook." </p><p> The company has repeatedly admitted it had not done enough to prevent the spread of fake news and political manipulation on its site, which executives repeated on Thursday through multiple press statements and on a call with reporters. </p><p> "But to suggest we weren't interested in knowing the truth, or that we wanted to hide what we knew is simply untrue," Zuckerberg said at the beginning of the call, which was originally meant to tout the company's progress cracking down on fake accounts, hate speech, terrorist propaganda, bullying and child pornography. </p><p> For example, Facebook removed over 1.6 billion fake accounts between April and September of this year, the company reported on Thursday. </p><p> Instead, the call turned into a crisis management session in which Zuckerberg and other executives defended their decisions amid a barrage of media questions related to the claims in the Times story and continuing problems with bad actors on the platform. </p><p> "There are lot of things I’d do differently in retrospect," Zuckerberg said about the company's actions regarding the election meddling. </p><p> Earlier in the day, Facebook fought back against the Times story. </p><p> "The story asserts that we knew about Russian activity as early as the spring of 2016 but were slow to investigate it at every turn. This is not true," Facebook wrote in a statement. "We also saw some new behavior when [Russia-linked group] APT28-related accounts, under the banner of DC Leaks, created fake personas that were used to seed stolen information to journalists. We shut these accounts down for violating our policies.'" </p><p> When asked if Facebook monitors the messages of journalists on its platform, Zuckerberg replied, "Absolutely not." </p><p> Zuckerberg effectively said he would not step down as chairman of his board of directors when asked specifically by reporters. Many corporate governance experts said it's an inherent conflict of interest for a CEO to also be chairman. </p><p> "I don’t think that specific proposal is the right way to go," he said, when asked if he'd give up the chairman role. </p><p> Activist investors had already been pushing for Zuckerberg to step down as chair. </p><p> "I think The New York Times reporting illustrates exactly why we are recommending an independent board chair. The fact that they kept the board in the dark for so long shows us that an independent board chair is necessary," Jonas Kron, whose company Trillium Investments owns 53,000 shares of Facebook, told ABC News. "We knew that already, but the report should remove any lingering doubts."</p>

    1 November 16, 2018

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