Money round-up video: Low-rate mortgages; comparison sites; ethical finances

The Independent’s Personal Finance Editor Simon Read talks over the latest news with Luke Blackall

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The Independent Online

This week they discuss mortgages that trick people into paying more than they need to; why you can’t get the best deal through a comparison site; and how you make sure your finances are in sync with your moral and ethical beliefs.

Super-low mortgage rates are tricking borrowers into paying more than they need to.

HSBC yesterday became the latest lender to join the intensifying mortgage war by launching a deal at less than 1 per cent.

To get that low rate – in fact it’s 0.99 per cent – you’ll need a hefty deposit of at least 40 per cent of the value of the property. You’ll also have to stump up a fairly hefty arrangement fee of £1,999, which makes the deal a lot less attractive, depending on how much you borrow and for how long. 

In fact the £1,999 fee works out at £83 per month over two years. Meanwhile Norwich & Peterborough has a 1.44% deal where the fee is just £345. That works out as £910 cheaper on a £150,000 mortgage.

Full story here.

Comparison sites have been accused of misleading consumers by not showing them the best deals.

But few people appear to realise that that they are mega companies making millions in profits, not consumer champions.

They do give you the opportunity to find a range of deals at the touch-of-a-button, which is hugely convenient. But the chances of actually finding the best deal through a comparison site are extremely slim.

That means if you’re relying on them to save you as much money as possible, you’re likely to end up disappointed.

Full stories here and here.

It’s Good Money Week and time to think again about ethical money.

That means finding banks, savings, investments that don’t fund things you disagree with, such as human rights abuses, arms, drugs or pornography.

According to Ethex’s Annual Report on Positive Investing 2014 a record 1.7 UK million people are saving or investing £3.25bn directly in businesses that create a social or environmental impact.

That includes £2.1bn in credit unions and £800m in ethical banks and building societies, organisations that can really demonstrate to their members the benefits of taking an ethical approach to finances.

But evidence suggests that ethical investment has failed to make a decisive breakthrough into the mainstream.

Full story here.

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