Blog – David McCarthy on Galway Talks, 31st January 2013

Question:  I understand that there were some changes recently to the cost of Life Assurance policies for women.  I have 2 policies which are 15 years old.  Would it be more attractive for me to cancel these and take out a new policy?

Answer:  Unfortunately, the change you mentioned is going to result in an increase in the premiums for women.  Therefore I would not recommend you make any alterations to the existing policies you hold.

Question:  I have a loan with the bank and I am on interest only.  However, they review this arrangement every year.  Can I come to some sort of agreement with them in the longer term to stop having to get into these discussions annually?

Answer:  From my experience banks are not agreeing to extend temporary repayment arrangements for longer periods of 1 year.  You could try to discuss a longer term structure with the bank, but if you wish to continue with your current interest only on a temporary basis, then they are unlikely to do so for more than a year.  I would however recommend that you discuss the matter with them.

Question:  On visiting my bank a number of times they have constantly spoken to me about undertaking a financial review with somebody that they have.  I am just wondering is this just a sales process they are using to get more business from me?

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Question:  I recently inherited some money and have it sitting on deposit in my bank.  They are constantly talking to me about moving these monies to some investments that they have.  At this stage it is annoying me and I am unsure what to do?

Answer:  This is a common problem that I have spoken about many times, whereby bank customers are finding that they are pressurized into making investment decisions when they have monies on deposit.  For that listener, who has been experiencing a number of approaches from their bank in relation to carrying out a financial review, then I can confirm that it is only a sales process and one which you should resist. 

Obviously, from my own experience in the industry, I can testify to the fact that you will only receive independent financial advice if you discuss the matter with somebody who is not attached to one of the institutions.  I would finally remind listeners that it is your money, and any decision you make with regard to investing it should not be undertaken when you feel under pressure to do so.