Welcome to this month’s news roundup where we look at interesting stories from around the world that you may have missed during November. In this edition, we catch up with the Pink Legacy diamond featured in our September edition, there’s some hopeful news from the world of banking.
UK Finance News
All UK banks pass the Bank of England ‘Stress Test’
The Bank of England has revealed all UK banks have passed the annual stress test, which investigates whether everyday customers and businesses can continue to be served in the event of an economic shock.
This is welcome news for those who are worried about the unknown economic implications of Brexit, as it has been suggested UK finances could take a hit. Thankfully, all UK banks showed they were resilient to and prepared for all possible risks under a ‘worse case’ Brexit scenario. This stress test is an important undertaking, especially in light of the uncertainty surrounding Britain’s EU exit.
Brexit has forced the banking industry to better prepare themselves in order to protect their customers and their business as a whole. It was only in 2017 all UK banks passed the test, and a repeat performance in 2018 shows the issue is being taken seriously by all institutions.
Average Briton could have £411 in forgotten bank accounts
Recent research suggests millions of us here in the UK have bank accounts we’ve forgotten about, and there may well be money sitting in them just waiting to be claimed. Bank accounts may seem like an unlikely thing to forget about, but it’s easier than you may think. A change of address can make it easier to forget about accounts – particularly rarely-used savings accounts – due to contact issues. It can also happen when joint accounts with housemates or partners are abandoned when these relationships come to their natural end. Those who chase banking rewards for new customers may also have left bank accounts behind them, not all of which may have been emptied.
It’s certainly worth checking to see if you have any money waiting to be claimed – contact your bank directly (or any bank you think you may have used in the past) to see if they can trace old accounts for you. Give any previous addresses or previous names to help widen the search, and you could find a nice little bonus just in time for Christmas.
Around 75% of UK adults lack financial education
Are you confident in your ability to manage and fully understand your household finances? Many are not, and this may be down to the lack of financial education taught in schools. A recent survey found that 77% of UK adults say they did not receive any financial education, and 98% of respondents believed financial education should be an important part of the school curriculum.
The survey was undertaken by Quilter, who state: ‘Common sense would dictate that, if we want to give the next generations the best chance at financial success, we need to give them to tools and education to do so.’
Financial jargon and a lack of understanding about options can contribute to financial stress. Never be afraid to ask for clarification and guidance from financial providers, employers or support organisations like the Citizen’s Advice Bureau if you feel lost.
Gold mines to be reopened in Wales
There may soon be a new gold rush in north Wales as a 20mile area has been earmarked for gold mining in Gwynedd. The local gold mine closed in 1989 and since then, no modern exploration using new technologies has taken place. This picked up the interest of Alba Mineral Resources, who are conducting studies to see if reopening the mine is possible.
The area where the gold is thought to be located was the scene of a gold rush more than 150 years ago, and Welsh rose gold sells at a premium, making it an attractive prospect.
Gold looking strong in 2019
The financial markets are forever changing, and of course it’s very difficult to make accurate predictions about what is going to happen. However, as we roll into the last month of 2018, it’s becoming clear gold is certainly worth keeping an eye on in 2019.
Due to economic uncertainty surrounding the US dollar, the euro and the British pound, gold is looking strong and may well do well as investors flock to the safest bet. When the value of any currency is put at risk by political instability, trade issues and uncertainty about the future, precious metals like gold, silver and platinum tend to do very well due to their universal value.
Anyone can invest in gold: you don’t have to buy stocks on the international markets to take advantage of its value. Any gold jewellery, bars or trinkets you own will rise in value if the price of gold rises on the stock market, so now may be the time to look at what you have and consider its potential for resale or pawn.
The Pink Legacy diamond breaks records at auction
Back in our September edition, we reported on the discovery of the Pink Legacy diamond. The stunning 18.96 carat diamond had previously been held in a private collection and very few people were aware of its existence. Its deep pink colour is professionally categorised as ‘Fancy Vivid’, which is the best possible grade for colour – this grading is only given to around 1 in 100,000 coloured diamonds, which gives you an idea of the rarity of this ginormous gem.
Christie’s auction house in Geneva, Switzerland sold the Pink Legacy diamond on 13th November after just 5 minutes of excited bidding. The buyer, US brand Harry Winston, offered a winning bid of a whopping $50 million (£38.5 million). This makes the Pink Legacy the world record holder for price paid per carat for a pink diamond.