Simon Read

Simon Read is Personal Finance Editor at The Independent. He edits the Saturday Your Money section as well as writing for the news and business pages of the Independent and i newspaper.

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A Cash Converters store on a London high street

Cash Converters' 'Kiss Me Quick' payday loan ad banned

Will they never learn? A company which offered payday loans so that people could use the cash to “put towards a ‘Kiss Me Quick’ hat for the beach” has been criticised today.

Ban home loan fees, whatever they're called

Lenders admit they charge excessive fees so they can lower the headline rate

First Utility promises to cut switching time

Government hopes to force gas and electricity firms to reduce switching time to just 24 hours

Doorstep crime getting worse as crooks target elderly and vulnerable people

Doorstep crime is getting worse. Older and vulnerable people in particular are being targeted by unscrupulous crooks who knock on their doors and pressure them into paying extortionate prices for unnecessary jobs or goods.

Bargain Hunter: You don't have to burn too much cash on fireworks night with Aldi

If you're planning to light up the sky with a spectacular Guy Fawkes Night extravaganza from the comfort of your back garden, head to Aldi (aldi.co.uk) for some bargain fireworks.

Weekly Money: round-up of the personal finance stories you may have missed 27-31 October

If you’re frightened by ghosts this Halloween, don’t tell anyone – it could wipe up to a fifth off the value of your home.

Nationwide Building Society launches kids account - but it's not what you think

A current account for kids? That’s what the Nationwide Building Society has launched today. But before you raise your hands in horror, consider the benefits, for there are some.

Bargain Hunter: Saturday morning at the movies - the kids can go cheap in half-term

With half-term upon us, parents will be glad to hear of low-cost ways to keep the children entertained.

Five Questions On: Comparison sites

They're the consumers' friend, yes?

Money alert: Tax return deadline is looming

If you don't complete your tax return by the end of October, you could be in line for a fine. Paper self-assessments must be returned to HM Revenue & Customs by this Friday – 31 October.

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Day In a Page

A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all