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.

Voices
On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
voicesIs a huge gamble on oil keeping the First Minister up at night?
Life and Style
techApple has just launched its latest mobile operating software – so what should you do first?
Arts and Entertainment
Pointless host Alexander Armstrong will voice Danger Mouse on CBBC
tv

Much-loved cartoon character returns - without Sir David Jason

Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't
tv

Liam Neeson's Downton dreams

PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Actor and director Zach Braff
tv

Arts and Entertainment
Rosalind Buckland, the inspiration for Cider with Rosie died this week
booksBut what is it like to be the person who inspires a classic work of art?
Arts and Entertainment
tv

Arts and Entertainment
The former Doctor Who actor is to play a vicar is search of a wife
film

Matt Smith is set to join cast of the Jane Austen classic - with a twist

Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Messi in action for Barcelona
filmWhat makes the little man tick?
Arts and Entertainment
Meera Syal was a member of the team that created Goodness Gracious Me
tv

Actress to appear in second series of the hugely popular crime drama

Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: An undercooked end (spoiler alert)
News
i100
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding
musicThe singer said 'the last thing I want to do is degrade'
Sport
Cesc Fabregas celebrates his first Chelsea goal
footballChelsea vs Schalke match report
Arts and Entertainment
Toby Jones (left) and Mackenzie Crook in BBC4’s new comedy The Detectorists
tvMackenzie Crook's 'Detectorists' makes hobby look 'dysfunctional'
Life and Style
fashion

Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas

News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Property Underwriter

£70-90,000: Saxton Leigh: Our client a London Market Insurer are seeking a Pro...

Operational Risk Manager - Asset Management

£60,000 - £80,000: Saxton Leigh: Our client is an leading Asset Manager based...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant Birmingham

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Comission: SThree: The SThree group is a world lea...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Birmingham - Real Staffing

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Real Staffing are currently lo...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week