April 2018

With the Independent Commission on UK Banking recently issuing its long awaited report on the state of our current banking landscape, the opportunities contained within it to improve retail banking customer service have been seemingly ‘lost in the noise’ – with our government apparently wanting to deflect attention by kicking it into the long grass.

But there is no escaping headline issues that emerged from the final report of Sir John Vickers and colleagues, namely how do we cope with banks that are too big to fail and how do we stop the risk of speculative investment banking toxifying retail accounts?

Retail UK banking, in contrast to investment banking, should be a simple business in which the bank takes our savings, marks them up and lends them to others, or vice versa. But this simple process has become an unwieldy beast with almost everyone you talk to having a retail bank atrocity story.

A recently conducted study of 1,000 nationally representative retail bank customers, with almost 70% believing that banks don’t care very much about what the public think of them, over 75% rating the public image and reputation of the banks’ retail operations as mediocre to dreadful, and an eye-watering 86% thinking that the image and reputation of the banks will not improve or will actually decline over the next six months.

Two influences, linked but not identical, seem to be at work. The first factor is the momentum towards online banking and the spotlight that puts on the slow and ponderous ‘old way’ of doing things. Ask yourself which is preferable – accessing a bank account from the train, your own home or an office, or trudging round to the bank in the rain and joining a queue? Older customers feel less habituated to the online world but the young customers ‘voting with their feet’ adds considerable impetus to this inevitable online momentum.

Thirty years ago a very senior UK bank official remarked in an unguarded moment that High Street banking was hopelessly and irredeemably uneconomic – and nothing that’s happened in the intervening years has made that judgment less telling.

The cost of maintaining a local branch network has become a dead weight hung from the necks of banks. If bearing this burden produced contented customers there might be something to be said for it, but it simply fails to do so. Branch managers have largely been deprived of the power to make decisions on loans, thereby further reducing the reasons to bother visiting the branch. When did you last do so? First Direct has responded to this economic reality with the intelligent stratagem of not having any branches. Yet how have other banks responded?

The second factor is the way retail bank brands are built, maintained and developed. Various studies show that marketing slogans, for example, have very low recognition amongst the public and the only one that had any genuine customer awareness was HSBC’s ‘the World’s Local Bank.’ This slogan was launched in March 2002, …

If you are thinking of redesigning your interiors and make room for some new furniture, it could be time to reconsider your options for bedroom furniture as well. However, it depends on your personal setting and what make you feel comfortable in your sleeping space. Deciding what you should sleep on is not a mechanical decision but should be guided by carefully planned factors. This decides how much your relaxation level is supposed to be which depends on your sleeping hours.

A deep and sound sleep is invaluable in reinforcing good health and vigour in a person. You need to keep your eyes open while making choices for your bedroom which can make a difference in your relaxation experience. It is important that you choose a solid and sturdy bed frame which provides proper support to your back but it is also vital to consider the design aspects of your bed which should complement the health side and should be aesthetically pleasing to help create a harmonious atmosphere conducive for relaxation.

You can make use of modern platform bed frames which are stylish, sophisticated and offer a high level of comfort. They have a sleek look to themselves as compared with storage bed frames which allow extra storage within their frame. However, if you have a rather compact space and wish extra storage than platform bed frames may not be the best choice. This is because they come simply with a sleep support with nothing beneath the solid surface to store articles in your personal space.

This can be both an advantage of a disadvantage depending on your needs and preferences. The aesthetics of your bedroom also matter when choosing a new bed frame or replacing an old one. It is important to make a proper combination of aesthetics and functionality for best results. Choosing wooden bed frames would set you on the path of creating a classic look in your bedroom which is more in keeping with a romantic setting. You can choose oak, mahogany or cherry as your choices of wood should you go along with wooden frame beds.

This is because these types are known as hardwood which is known for its durability, appeal and functional efficiency. A solid wood bed frame is an ideal choice for a newly married couple which helps create a perfect romantic look and feel in your personal space. Other stylish accessories can be used to evoke a romantic feel and enhance the relaxation quotient of your sleeping space. The color, designs and forms of your bedroom furniture should eb visually appealing to help enhance the relaxed feel of your personal space.

The size of your bed frame also matters which should be based on the size of bedroom and whether a single person or a couple is going to use the sleeping unit. One can choose King size bed frames, queen size bed frames and other types based on individual needs but their advantages and disadvantages must be considered to make …

I have a confession to make. There was a time when I did not give much thought to disability insurance.

As though it was yesterday, I can recall an insurance agent approaching me. She wanted to discuss a plan that would allow me to continue to support myself and my family should I become disabled due to an accident or an injury. At the time I thought, I'm young, I've never been hospitalized, (other than for childbirth). I've not suffered any serious injury or so much as a lengthy illness. There's a time to make a decision about this later.

I never discussed this with my husband. I planned to think seriously about the subject when it was time. Like, when I was older or when my health started to fail. Beside, I figured, if I was faced with an accident or injury my husband would care for me and my needs.

That's the way it was supposedly to work.

I had no idea that an ice covered expressway with fresh snow would play a huge part in testing my plan, (or lack thereof). On our way home from a friend's party one evening the car in the next lane hit a patch of ice and lost control of his car. When our car finally came to a stop we had been hit twice and I could still hear the cars behind us slamming into each other. As far as I know, there were 19 cars and one fatality involved in that accident. Some said we were fortunate that my husband only lost sight in one of his eyes.

For me, one challenge was learning to juggle the task of recovering from a closed head injury while caring for a baby who was only months old. Another challenge was unfortunately trying to stay upbeat for my family in the wake of our financial situation.

My husband and I had never discussed how we would keep our household running if he was unable to work due to illness or injury. We literally watched our financial security fade. We were faced with losing our home and cars. Our savings quickly dwindled down to nothing. There was no money for utilities, monthly expenses, routine financial liabilities and additional expenses. We had to borrow money from family to stay afloat. This was painful for my husband since he was the primary breadwinner.

Due to the added stress we were experiencing, it was difficult for either one of us to concentrate on getting well. Endless doctors' appointments and the mounds of pain medication we had to take intention we could no longer care for our children and had to send them to my Mom out of state.

Although I never thought much about disability insurance before, that experience was a wake-up call for me. We were faced with the realization that we were not too young, too healthy, or too financially secure to protect our most valuable asset: Our ability to earn a living.

According …

Are you a Full time, Seasonal, Weekender?

This is part of a series of articles from my Perfect RV series. Each article describes one aspect of finding the perfect RV for you at this time. Your needs will change as you grow into the RV. Overtime you will need more or less sleeping space, your amenities will change, your transport will change and your desires will change. This is the first article in the series.

Full time stationary
Full timing by a loose definition is considered living in their RV or recreational vehicle as their home. Many people choose to live in recreational vehicles as a cheaper way of living. Their recreational vehicle is stationary and seldom moves.

There are many benefits to living in a RV. Chores around the house are less time consuming, the costs are less, the upkeep is less and the cost of ownership is less. RV owners have the same tax benefits as homeowners or what we call the Stick and Brick owners.

For 12 years we were full time stationary campers. We lived and worked from our RV or held full time jobs in the local community. Daisy was a legal secretary and I was a database administrator for Nokia with responsibilities for a worldwide SQL Server network. You had sold our house and the recreational vehicle became our home. With an income of over $ 100,000 a year, I do not think we qualified as trailer trash. In fact we met many people who were professionals that had decided to live this lifestyle including lawyers and doctors.

Full time Traveler
The common thought when people say they are full timers is someone that travels around the country living full time in a recreational vehicle. These folks have all the benefits of the stationary recreational vehicles owner and the freedom to move when and where they want.

There are some added costs to traveling full time and that is the cost of fuel and maintenance. Many full timers that travel also tend to stay in one spot for several weeks or even months before moving on. You are full time travelers now, starting our new journey in June 2014. We spend about 3 weeks per location and then move on to a new campground when our time is up. This last winter we spent in FL moving every couple of weeks. It was the most enjoyable winter I have ever had.

Snow Birds
A snow bird is someone who travels to warmer weather in the winter and cooler weather in the summer. They may have a house in both locations, may live in an RV in one and a house in the other, or stay in an RV year round. Many retirees are snow birds traveling to FL in the winter months.

Seasonal
Seasonal campers are usually people that are still working but love the camping lifestyle and have a recreational vehicle placed on a campsite full time, but only use it on weekends …

Imagining a world without a car seems quite impossible. A car has become a necessity that is integral to our lives. Sorrowfully, many car buyers find themselves in a state of mayhem due to the compulsion of making a down payment. A down payment makes it difficult for car buyers to arrange a big amount of money in a short time-frame. To add to that, there is a possibility that a bad credit score or an average credit score can diminish the chances of obtaining an auto loan. However, there is always a way out. A bad credit no money down auto loan is the best option for you. But, before you avail the loan, make sure that you leave no stone unturned to educate yourself on all the important details.

The following tips will assist you in getting the most of your bad credit no money down auto loan:

1) Trade-In Your Old Car

Many a times, trading your old car can act as a replacement for a down payment. Once you have agreed to trade-in your old car, the amount equivalent to your car will be deducted from the total loan amount. It substantially reduces your burden of the monthly payment amount. Thus, by trading your old car, you can maximize the benefits of your bad credit no money down auto loan.

2) Get a Co-Signer

When you suffer from a damaged credit and cannot spare the amount for a down payment, getting a co-signer greatly helps your situation. If you are unable to make payments, a co-signer is equally liable to repay the loan amount. A lender will be more likely to grant you a loan if you have a co-signer with a rich credit history. Therefore, in order to make the most of your bad credit no money down auto loan, make it a point to get a co-signer.

3) Aim for Reasonably-Priced Cars

It is much easier to obtain a bad credit no money down auto loan if the loan amount is reasonable. If you aim for cars which are way out of your league, it can become difficult to get a loan. Additionally, opt for a loan with a shorter term. A realistic amount which can be repaid in a short time-frame can reduce the overall interest on your loan.

4) Present Evidence of a Stable Income

Regardless of a bad credit history, evidence of a stable income can boost your chances of getting a loan. Stability in the form of a regular job, a regular income source and a stable residential address can increase your credibility. Present pay-stubs that prove you can repay the loan within the stipulated time-frame.

For a car buyer with a bad credit score, getting financing options without a down payment is possible. Keep the above tips in mind to get the most of your bad credit no money down auto loan.…

Paid surveys, though not really a big cash earning system, are one easy way of bringing in a little extra pocket money which is just why it has become very popular through the years. Paid surveys can compensate you in many ways, although the most preferred compensation is still cash.

However, there are some factors that you have to consider when you participate for cash compensating surveys such as taxes, the currency exchange fees, etc. These factors may bring you unwanted results and you must think twice before you decide to participate in cash paying site. The following factors will help you decide if you still want to be paid in cash:

1. Deducting taxes from earnings

Yes, even in online paid surveys, there are taxes included in most surveys. Before you join, read their terms and conditions on what they say about tax, whether you are obliged to join or not. Taxes would be based on what you earned to and from a specific time period.

2. Money currency exchange fees

If you are a non-US resident or if your provider is from another foreign country, you have to be aware of the exchange rate in your local currency. The exchange rate variates from time to time so you have to be aware of it. For this, you can simply use electronic remittances such as PayPal which are always up to date with the exchange rates.

3. Delayed money transfer

Transferring money to your account takes a long time especially the transfer of funds from PayPal to your bank account. There is also the matter of how far you are when the payment is in the form of checks because it is sent via "snail mail."

4. Other payments

Lastly, bear in mind that money transfers do not come in free especially for those who are from foreign countries. PayPal requests for a fee when you transfer it to your bank, then some banks also require a transaction fee when you withdraw it. The downside to this is that if your engagement is small then very little money will be left because of the transaction fees.

These are some of the factors that will affect your cash compensation but by keeping all these in mind, you would then be able to decide if earmarking your compensation in cash is right for you. …

Care must be taken in the designing and drafting of the joint venture agreement to clarify exactly who owns what

While joint ventures can propel growth, selection of the right partner matters a lot for the success of the venture. One needs to conduct rigorous research work to find the right partner and do proper due diligence. One can save time and money by partnering with an existing supplier, customer, investor or with someone you have met socially. In social media, too, look for companies which follow you, add you as a friend or visit the same pages as you as they can form an ideal partnership. Great care should be taken in the designing and drafting of the JV agreement to clarify exactly who owns what and when.

The process of finding JV partners is a tedious one. Much before you approach a prospective JV partner, due diligence is crucial. Most companies publish key financial data on their site and are available with the Registrar of Companies. On must download the latest set of accounts and analyze it. One can also look at the news to get the latest stories about your potential JV partner. If they’ve got any skeletons in their cupboard, you should be able to find out here.

Always make an enticing offer with your prospective partner and spell out the nitty gritties of the deal like finance, customers, intellectual property rights, legal issues with your target partner. When you come to draft the proposal, make sure you clearly state your aims and objectives. If the prospective JV partner accepts your offer, one must draw up an agreement which must include details, including the legal status of the JV, key aims and objectives, each party’s stake and investment, the structure and make-up of the management team, and plans for a future exit, if needed. Also, it is crucial to include details of any non-disclosure agreements.

The main reasons you may want to form a JV is that you want the backing of a high-profile partner who has resources available to him. This may be a large mailing list that can get massive exposure for your products very quickly or the proposed partner runs a forum and can advertise your product using a banner. Get started by making a list of everyone in your network who may be a potential JV partner, or who can introduce you to people that are potentially good partners. Brainstorm other people, companies, and websites that are reaching your ideal clients and complement what you offer.

As all businesses have strengths and weaknesses, it makes sense to look for a joint venture to fill in the weak spots. For instance, if your strengths are a strong customer list, good distribution channels, and specialized product line, then your JV partner must have products or services that would enable you to stimulate additional revenues from existing customers.

Always look for non-competing companies where both the parties can benefit from the exchange of leads or …

Today, college or university students have more opportunities to make money for themselves compared to their parents' generation. I know that some of these students even make so much money that they do not need to complete their studies!

Although students are bogged down with their studies in colleges or universities, they still have more time and energy comparable to working adults.

So instead of partying and wasting money, why not take the opportunity to make some money in your spare time? Sure you can take some part time jobs such as working in fast food restaurant, laundry services, petrol stations, and so on.

But These jobs does not pay you much income and you definitely can not choose your collections or your boss! Imagine working with unreasonable and super demanding boss. Frightening right?

So I suggest that you immediately go to the Internet to make some cash! There are numerous ways for students like you to make money. This is especially if you are young, energetic and full with ideas and creativity!

1. Writing Articles

Do not be surprised by the fact that many of the web owners actually do not write their own content for their sites. They mainly outsourced students to write for them. As young adults today, you have the capability of writing good articles due to your studies in colleges and universities.

Articles do not need to have 100% perfect grammar or with bombastic words and sentences. In fact, the more simple your articles, the better it is! The main thing is for readers to be able to read with ease. But do take note that your sentences do have to make sense and that there are no spelling errors!

If you can not create an article from scratch, you can offer to rewrite articles. They are also many request for this service. Be sure not to just copy and paste from others! (such as when you are submitting your assignments!)

Do explore and research on more content writing. A typical request will require you to write at least 10 different articles on the same subject matter.

In the beginning, you got to offer to write them at a lower price per article. This way, you might have the opportunity to work with them fulltime in the future! (Yes, without even seeing their faces!)

2. Website Design and Creation

If you are interested in computing and graphics designing, you are in luck. There are actually thousands of requests for this service each day. So if you possess some HTML skills, then you are indeed a hot commodity!

Just go to websites such as elance.com or scriptlance.com to register for an account and look for the many jobs posted. I am pretty sure you can find a few that suits you!

Simple websites creation and templates can bring you good money! Be professional in completing your tasks. Do not just submit the same kind of site theme over and over again. Your clients will definitely know …

Many marketers recommend eBay to taste the great products. In fact, they treat this place one and only virtual storefront to make money on eBay. Most interestingly, it allows anyone to setup an e-commerce site without really going through the hassles of setting up such sites.

In this article, we will discuss top 5 power selling steps to make money on eBay. Read them all thoroughly and implement them to take your business to the next level.

Must Do an Extensive and Detailed Research

Before you start selling on eBay, it's important that you must do extensive and detailed research on the available targeted product list. Make it sure that these products are similar to the products you are about to sell on eBay. Analyze how the bidding pattern is taking place for these products. It will give you a rough idea about how well your products may sell out on eBay.

Must Include Product Image

Although it is quite an old concept, it still works. People usually feel an urge to see the picture of the product they are about to buy. It basically triggers a psychological interest of the buyer which improves conversion rate. So by including a product image, you basically help yourself to make more money on eBay.

Must Write a Compelling Product Description

Hire good copywriters to write a compelling product description. If you want to make money on eBay by selling your product, it's important that you have a powerful eBay listing. The listing must be search engine optimized and it should offer solid details about the product which actually attracts buyers to bid on the product.

Learn Everything about Shipping

As an eBay seller, you can completely control the shipping process. So you need to choose rationally which shipping option you'd like to put on offer, because one shipping option is better than other for a specific good. Therefore, you need to take different factors such as expense, reliability, etc into account to decide upon which shipping method goes well with your type of products.

Make it sure that you've included the shipping cost in your product listing. In this way, you will deal more transparently and effectively with your buyers.

Put Utmost Attention in Getting Positive Feedback

It's really important if you are serious to make money on eBay. This is Buyers' psychology to see if the seller has a positive feedback in his profile. So you must put your best attention in getting positive feedback first. Otherwise, it would be extremely difficult for you to become successful on eBay. …

Dental care treatment has become an absolute necessity for millions of people worldwide; In spite of improvements and advances in dental care and health, people are afflicted by gum disease and tooth decay. Till a few decades ago, bridges and fixing dentures were two main options for treating people with missing, broken or in situations where teeth have to be surgically removed.

Modern day dental care includes dental implants that are replacement teeth roots. An implant can support one or more artificial teeth; The implant is a screw made of titanium that is fixed into the jawbone in place of a tooth root when it fails. They provide a strong foundation or base on which removable or permanent teeth can be fixed to match existing natural teeth.

There are many advantages to dental implants, some of which are:

• Greater comfort – dental implants can help avoid discomfort of fixing and removing dentures.

• Ease of chewing and eating food – dentures do not always fit 100%; With use they become less fitting and chances of slipping out while chewing food are high. With dental implants, this problem is eliminated.

• Better oral health – dental implants do not require other teeth to be modified or adjusted so ensuring that more natural teeth are left unharmed thereby improving dental health and hygiene in the long-term.

• Improvement in appearance – since dental implants are so designed that they fuse with the jawbone; They become permanent and feel like natural teeth.

• Speech improvement – unlike slurring or mumbling sometimes caused by dentures, implants do not slip ensuring better speech and communication.

• More confidence and self esteem – a good smile brings back confidence and a spring in the step.

• Convenience – dentures have to be removed and cleaned everyday; With dental implants this is not necessary at all.

• Durability – dental plates can last a lifetime with proper care and regular dental check-up.

Implant Procedure

Most dental implants can be safely done in the dentist's office under local anesthesia. A slightly more complicated procedure may require hospitalization and intravenous sedation. Every dental implant procedure is different because it involves the patient's preference, the experience of the dental surgeon and the overall need of the situation.

The procedure usually necessitates a three-step process because each stage requires time to heal.

Step 1

This involves placing the dental plate flush into the gum, burying it like the root of a tooth would be. This is to give time for healing and to protect the implant from force. Once the healing period is over, the dental implant is exposed by surgically removing some of the gum covering it. This integration process is known as 'osseointegrate'.

Step 2

In this step, the dental surgeon examines the implant to see if it has integrated successfully into the gum and places a post or 'abutment' which is drilled through the gum. As the area around the gum heals it forms a collar which …