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financial services

Best 0% balance transfer deals disappearing

A raft of market-leading 0% balance transfer credit card deals[1] have been withdrawn from the market or had their balance transfer fees hiked in the last week. Barclaycard is the latest provider to make a change, reducing the 0% period on its balance transfer card from 36 months with a 1.85% fee to 35 months with a 1.35% fee. Which? looks at what this means for those with credit card debt, and explores the best 0% balance transfer credit card deals[2] still available.

Best 0% balance transfer deals shrinking

A 0% balance transfer credit card allows you to shift existing credit card debt and freeze the interest rate for a set time, typically for a one-off fee. When looking for a good 0% balance transfer deal, you should consider the length of the no-interest period and the size of the transfer fee. However, the length of 0% deals has fallen off a cliff since this time last year, as the table below shows.

Longest-lasting 0% balance credit card deal Mar-08 Virgin Money – 0% for 15 months Mar-13 Barclaycard – 0% for 25 months Mar-16 Halifax – 0% for 40 months Mar-17 Halifax – 0% for 43 months Today MBNA – 0% for 36 months


The longest-lasting 0% balance transfer deal on the market today offers 36 months to freeze debt – 10 months less than this time last year, when borrowers could get a deal for a whopping 43 months.

Why is the length of a 0% balance transfer deal important?

A longer-lasting 0% balance transfer deal means you have more time to pay off what you owe, so you can split your debt into more affordable repayments each month. With a GBP4,000 debt, for example, a 43-month card would allow you pay back around GBP93 a month. But you would need to pay back GBP111.11 in order to clear the same debt with a 36-month deal.

Find out more about how balance transfer deals work in our best 0% balance transfer credit cards[3] guide.

The best deals to snap up now

Deals are disappearing fast from the market – so, if you’re carrying a credit card debt, you should consider your options now. Here are the longest-lasting 0% balance transfer deals on the market right now. Source: Which?

Money Compare[4] Alternatively, if you are after a cheaper deal, here are the best fee-free balance transfer credit cards available right now. 1 GBP3 monthly feeSource: Which?

Money Compare[5] Which? Limited is an Introducer Appointed Representative of Which?

Financial Services Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN 527029). Which? Mortgage Advisers and Which?

Money Compare are trading names of Which? Financial Services Limited.


  1. ^ market-leading 0% balance transfer credit card deals (
  2. ^ best 0% balance transfer credit card deals (
  3. ^ best 0% balance transfer credit cards (
  4. ^ Which? Money Compare (
  5. ^ Which?

    Money Compare (

Beaufort Securities goes bust: what are your rights?

Stockbroking firm Beaufort Securities has this morning been declared insolvent by City watchdog the Financial Conduct Authority. This means the Financial Conduct Authority – the UK’s financial watchdog – has investigated the firm and found it is not in a position to pay all of its debts. Administrators from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) will now take over the running of the company and its sister Beaufort Asset Clearing Services, ‘in order to protect assets from dissipation and protect customers of both firms’.

Here Which? explains what you need to know if you’ve been affected.

How many customers are affected?

Beaufort Securities has more than 14,000 clients, who have invested as much as GBP700m through the stockbroker. Administrators will begin contacting affected customers ‘in due course’.

However, PWC has warned that clients could face a ‘significant delay’ in getting their money back.

Will investors lose their money?

Money you’ve invested with the firm should in theory be protected or ‘ring-fenced’ from the company’s activities. This means that when the firm goes bust, your money doesn’t disappear with it. But this doesn’t always happen when a company becomes insolvent.

PWC has stated that it is in the process of determining how well client money has been separated from that of the firm. Once it has done this, it will protect and ‘in due course return client money and assets to rightful clients to the fullest extent possible’.

How long will it take to get my money back?

According to PWC, the process of paying back funds to investors will ‘be subject to an initial delay while the administrators carry out a number of critical tasks in order to be able to make a full assessment of the situation.’ It says that everything possible will be done ‘to expedite this process and minimise the hardship and inconvenience caused to clients.’

It committed to providing regular updates in the coming days on progress, but said it will be unable to address individual queries at this stage.

What happens if investors’ money wasn’t protected?

The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) protects up to GBP50,000 of investors’ money in cases where a financial services firm is unable to repay what it owes to its clients. So far, the Financial Services Compensation Scheme has not issued a statement confirming if clients will be able make a claim against the firm, which has offices in London’s famous ‘Gherkin’ building at 30 St Mary Axe. If you invested with Beaufort Securities on the recommendation of a financial adviser, you might also be able to claim back losses of up to GBP50,000 if it’s decided the advice was inappropriate.

Find out more about how the FSCS works for investments.[1]

What investors in Beaufort Securities do next?

PWC has set up a helpline for clients to call on 0800 063 9283 (or +44 2072930227 from outside the UK). You can also see the latest announcements on the PWC website.[2] According to reports, Beaufort last year wrote to investors encouraging them to lodge a claim against their financial advisers, who Beaufort said may not have sufficiently assessed and explained the risks involved with investing money with them.

In September of last year, the Financial Conduct Authority warned[3] that a ‘clone firm’ was fraudulently using the name Beaufort Securities in an attempt to scam UK consumers.


  1. ^ FSCS works for investments. (
  2. ^ PWC website. (
  3. ^ warned (