New £20 note enters circulation
The new polymer £20, with the face of artist JMW Turner, entered circulation last week. Old £20 notes can still be used. The Bank of England will give six months’ notice ahead of withdrawing the old £20 notes. The new note includes many security features to prevent forgery. The new polymer £50 will be issued next year.
Additional compensation by South Western Railway offers for those affected by December strikes
South Western Railway are offering additional compensation to season ticket holders and daily ticket holders who travelled “frequently” during the industrial action, over and above the normal delay repay arrangements. Payouts will be equivalent to the cost of up to five days of travel. The compensation scheme will run in two phases: firstly, SWR will contact directly season ticket holders to arrange compensation, then holders of other tickets, such as weekly season tickets or daily tickets, will be able to apply for compensation. SWR will give details of this phase nearer the time.
Cost of stamps to rise
From 23rd March 2020, the cost of a first class stamp will rise by 6p to 76p and a second class stamp will rise by 4p to 65p.
Email address charges branded ‘daylight robbery’
Ofcom is writing to broadband companies to ask why they are charging people to keep old email addresses. TalkTalk and BT charge a monthly amount if customers switch providers but want to keep using their email addresses. Virgin deletes those it gives to customers 90 days after they leave, but Sky lets people keep theirs for free.
NS&I to reduce chances of winning Premium Bond prizes and lowering savings interest rates
From 1 May 2020, National Savings & Investments are reducing the chance of winning Premium Bond prizes and lowering interest rates on their range of savings.
New blue British passport
Following Brexit, the Home Office will start to issue blue British passports from March 2020. Current burgundy passports will remain valid until they expire.
Fraudsters posing as bailiffs
Beware of fraudsters posing as bailiffs, threatening action unless the victim pays them. The scammers will make the scenario believable and use a made-up threat about a missed payment to intimidate the person into paying money they don’t owe.