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100 months of ultra-low UK interest rates
Finance
Thursday, 01 June 2017

5th June 2017 is a notable anniversary for the Bank of England and British savers – it marks 100 months since the Sterling interest rate was cut to the historic low of 0.5%.

It has also been 10 years now since we saw a UK interest rate hike.  The last time the Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee raised its rate was in May 2007, up from 5.25% to 5.5%. 

Then the financial crisis hit and rates kept falling until they reached 0.5% in March 2009.  They remained frozen for years until we finally saw a move last summer – downwards.  The rate was cut from 0.5% to 0.25% in the wake of the Brexit referendum, with no change since. 

The last time rates were kept low for so long was around the Second World War.  Then the rate was held at 2% (which actually sounds good today!) from 1939 to 1951. 

 
Four ways to prepare as the clock ticks down to Brexit
Finance
Wednesday, 03 May 2017

With Article 50 triggered, Britain is on track to leave the EU in under two years, on 29th March 2019. The surprise June UK general election is unlikely to change this, as the two key parties have committed to honour the referendum result.

While we still have no certainty about how Brexit will affect expatriates in Spain, there are steps you can take today to future-proof your financial planning.

 
Will your family benefit from the new UK inheritance tax threshold?
Finance
Wednesday, 03 May 2017

6th April 2017 sees the introduction of an inheritance tax reform that will reduce the amount of tax paid by most estates.  Announced in the 2015 summer budget, it effectively increases the inheritance tax threshold to a potential £1 million.  This figure is for a couple, and the increase will happen gradually over four years and only applies to property - with a number of limitations.  So will your estate benefit from a £1 million nil rate band or not?

 
No surprises in UK Spring Budget other than a sting in the tail for pensions
Finance
Tuesday, 04 April 2017

In Philip Hammond’s first and only Spring Budget, there was very little to surprise and not much that had not already been announced in the 2016 Autumn Statement.

Personal allowances 

The personal tax-free allowance will increase by £500 to £11,500 from April 2017. The threshold for the higher rate band will also rise to £45,000 (excluding Scotland, where it remains at £43,000). The budget proposed to increase the personal allowance and the basic rate band to £12,500 and £50,000 respectively from April 2020.

 
Considering a QROPS? Don’t lose a quarter of your pension to the UK taxman
Finance
Tuesday, 04 April 2017

A new overseas pension transfer tax could see the UK taxman take a quarter of expatriates’ transferred funds. Those thinking of moving UK pensions need to know the new rules.

One of the few surprise announcements in the UK Spring Budget was the ‘Overseas Transfer Charge’ – an immediate tax on certain transfers to offshore pension schemes. For some expatriates, this could divert a quarter of their transferred pension funds to the UK taxman.

 
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