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Current accounts

A current account is the form of transactional account found in the United Kingdom and other countries with a UK banking heritage; a current account offers various flexible payment methods to allow customers to distribute money directly to others. Most current accounts come with a cheque book and offer the facility to arrange standing orders, direct debits and payment via a debit card. Current accounts may also allow borrowing via an overdraft facility.

Lending

Current accounts have two different ways in which money can be lent: overdraft and offset mortgage.

Overdraft

In the UK, virtually all current accounts offer a pre-agreed overdraft facility the size of which is based upon affordability and credit history. This overdraft facility can be used at any time without consulting the bank and can be maintained indefinitely (subject to ad hoc reviews). Although an overdraft facility may be authorised, technically the money is repayable on demand by the bank. In reality this is a rare occurrence as the overdrafts are profitable for the bank and expensive for the customer.

Offset mortgage

An offset mortgage was a type of mortgage common in the United Kingdom used for the purchase of domestic property, the key principle is the reduction of interest charged by "offsetting" a credit balance against the mortgage debt. This can be achieved via one of two methods: either lenders provide a single account for all transactions (often referred to as a current account mortgage) or they make multiple accounts available which allow the borrowers to notionally split their money according to purpose whilst all accounts are offset each day against the mortgage debt.

Interest

In the UK some online banks offer rates as high as many savings accounts along with free banking (no charges for transactions) as institutions which offer centralised services (telephone, internet or postal based) tend to pay higher levels of interest. The same holds true for banks within the EURO currency zone.

 

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Mutual fund

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article is about mutual funds in the United States. For other forms of mutual investment, see Collective investment scheme.

A mutual fund is a type of professionally managed collective investment scheme that pools money from many investors to purchase securities. While there is no legal definition of the term mutual fund, it is most commonly applied only to those collective investment vehicles that are regulated and sold to the general public. They are sometimes referred to as "investment companies" or "registered investment companies". Most mutual funds are open-ended, meaning stockholders can buy or sell shares of the fund at any time by redeeming them from the fund itself, rather than on an exchange. Hedge funds are not considered a type of mutual fund, primarily because they are not sold publicly.

In the United States, mutual funds must be registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission, overseen by a board of directors (or board of trustees if organized as a trust rather than a corporation or partnership) and managed by a registered investment adviser. Mutual funds, like other registered investment companies, are also subject to an extensive and detailed regulatory regime set forth in the Investment Company Act of 1940. Mutual funds are not taxed on their income and profits if they comply with certain requirements under the U.S. Internal Revenue Code.

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Debit card

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A debit card (also known as a bank card or check card) is a plastic payment card that provides the cardholder electronic access to his or her bank account(s) at a financial institution. Some cards may bear a stored value with which a payment is made, while most relay a message to the cardholder's bank to withdraw funds from a payer's designated bank account. The card, where accepted, can be used instead of cash when making purchases. In some cases, the primary account number is assigned exclusively for use on the Internet and there is no physical card.

In many countries, the use of debit cards has become so widespread that their volume has overtaken or entirely replaced cheques and, in some instances, cash transactions. The development of debit cards, unlike credit cards and charge cards, has generally been country specific resulting in a number of different systems around the world, which were often incompatible. Since the mid-2000s, a number of initiatives have allowed debit cards issued in one country to be used in other countries and allowed their use for internet and phone purchases.

Unlike credit and charge cards, payments using a debit card are immediately transferred from the cardholder's designated bank account, instead of them paying the money back at a later date.

Debit cards usually also allow for instant withdrawal of cash, acting as the ATM card for withdrawing cash. Merchants may also offer cashback facilities to customers, where a customer can withdraw cash along with their purchase.

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Mortgage loan

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A mortgage loan, also referred to as a mortgage, is used by purchasers of real property to raise money to buy the property to be purchased or by existing property owners to raise funds for any purpose. The loan is "secured" on the borrower's property. This means that a legal mechanism is put in place which allows the lender to take possession and sell the secured property ("foreclosure" or "repossession") to pay off the loan in the event that the borrower defaults on the loan or otherwise fails to abide by its terms. The word mortgage is derived from a "law French" term used by English lawyers in the middle ages meaning "death pledge", and refers to the pledge ending (dying) when either the obligation is fulfilled or the property is taken through foreclosure.

Mortgage borrowers can be individuals mortgaging their home or they can be businesses mortgaging commercial property (for example, their own business premises, residential property let to tenants or an investment portfolio). The lender will typically be a financial institution, such as a bank, credit union or building society, depending on the country concerned, and the loan arrangements can be made either directly or indirectly through intermediaries. Features of mortgage loans such as the size of the loan, maturity of the loan, interest rate, method of paying off the loan, and other characteristics can vary considerably. The lender's rights over the secured property take priority over the borrower's other creditors which means that if the borrower becomes bankrupt or insolvent the other creditors will only be repaid the debts owed to them from a sale of the secured property if the mortgage lender is repaid in full first.

 

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Certificate of deposit

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A certificate of deposit (CD) is a time deposit, a financial product commonly sold in the United States by banks, thrift institutions, and credit unions.

CDs are similar to savings accounts in that they are insured and thus virtually risk free; they are "money in the bank." In the USA, CDs are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) for banks and by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) for credit unions. They are different from savings accounts in that the CD has a specific, fixed term (often monthly, three months, six months, or one to five years) and, usually, a fixed interest rate. It is intended that the CD be held until maturity, at which time the money may be withdrawn together with the accrued interest.

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