Personal Finance: The trouble with Ernie

DON'T put your children's names on Premium Bonds, Mrs Worthington, now the stakes are even higher.

Somewhere in Surrey a new millionaire is getting used to riches. The first pounds 1m premium bond payout announced last week went to the holder of 29JZ644125. It was part of a holding of pounds 10,000 worth of bonds, so was more likely part of an adult holding than the smaller gifts held by children.

But what if a child should win? Commonly money from parents, grandparents or godparents is divided between all the children in a family, and premium bonds bought in their individual names. Bonds have to be bought in individual names. They cannot be held jointly and they cannot be held in trust.

What then if one child becomes a millionaire while the others get nothing in Ernie's lottery. Too bad. Parents of the under-16s cannot legally give away one child's cash to the other siblings to smooth things over. It is a real recipe for family strife.

The safest way of getting over the problem is for the parents to hold the bonds in their own names and then sign a trust deed to say that they are holding the bonds for all children equally.

Any solicitor could draw up such a simple document, which should not cost too much. Parents could always risk taking matters into their own hands as long as they, or their nearest and dearest, were the source of the funds in the first place. It all depends how 'understanding' the children are going to be when Ernie pays out to one and not the other.

THERE was a time when savings rates only moved as part of a Big Bang change in interest rates - when mortgages and savings moved at roughly the same time, in the same direction.

But over the past few weeks, bank and building society savings rates have been creeping stealthily down - with no corresponding movement in mortgage rates.

While variable-loan rates have remained stationary, fixed-mortgage rates have in fact been rising - but that's another story.

One by one those 'tombstone' adverts have been appearing in newspapers. The ones that show a grey list of numbers are the ones to watch out for - they are the ones that sneak in the gloomy news for savers.

They do not tell you what the rates were before, or even that they have moved. They merely record the new - inevitably lower - rates.

Cheltenham & Gloucester and Skipton Building societies have just moved some of their rates. So if you have a standard C&G loan, you will still pay 7.64 per cent. But if your savings are in the London share account, the rate dropped last week to 4.09 per cent from 4.27 net, and the Tessa rate for maximum investments dipped from 6.5 to 6.25 per cent.

Does that seem fair?

OVER one million people are eligible to attend the annual general meeting of the Bristol & West Building Society.

Usually only a handful turn up. But on Friday 22 April, there should be a better turnout at the Grand Hotel, Bristol, following the revelation that Tony FitzSimons, the former chief executive, who presided over the society as it slid into problems, is walking away with nearly pounds 500,000. Even worse, he isn't even walking away - he will get pounds 50,000 a year, plus VAT, for 'consultancy services' for three years.

Some members of the society may want to ask why, if he was not good enough to be kept on the staff, his 'consultancy services' are worth pounds 50,000 a year.

Unfortunately the members of the society - in theory the owners - are not being asked to approve any of the payments to the former chief executive. But at least the meeting will give them a chance to express a few opinions, and perhaps this may act as a deterrent to other building societies.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive / Foreign Exchange Dealer - OTE £40,000+

£16000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Foreign Exchange Dealer is re...

SThree: Experienced Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £40000 per annum + OTE + Incentives + Benefits: SThree: Established f...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE 40/45k + INCENTIVES + BENEFITS: SThree: The su...

Recruitment Genius: Collections Agent

£14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company was established in...

Day In a Page

The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

They fled war in Syria...

...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

Kelis interview

The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea