Cover of MoneyWeek magazine issue no 685

Russia: worth a punt?

4 April 2014 / Issue 685

Our experts on where to find value

PLUS:

  • This battered insurer is a buy for the bold
  • Is the end finally nigh for estate agents?
  • You should sell US stocks now

Excerpt

Merryn Somerset WebbEDITOR'S LETTER

Merryn Somerset Webb

Avoid Britain’s big banks

In this week’s interview, I talk to Dr Pippa Malmgren, financial policy expert and former adviser to George W Bush.

She’s full of interesting thoughts on inflation and the velocity of money. But one thing we touched on that I would like to have spent more time on was the ongoing failure of our banking system to fulfil its usual purpose – lending money to individuals and companies.

In the UK, we hear endless complaints from smaller and medium-sized companies about how hard they find it to borrow money. Either they can’t get it at all, or they can’t get it at a price that makes any sense.

It is, I am told, entirely normal these days to be offered a loan, but be charged an arrangement fee of 8% of the value, regardless of how short-term the loan is.

It’s a strange situation we find ourselves in…

• Read the full editor’s letter here: Avoid Britain’s big banks.