Ireland’s Guide To Money And Living

Consumer watch

Consumer watch

Ditch the banks

According to the Irish Independent’s Louise McBride, it could be time to ditch your bank in favour of your credit union or other alternatives. McBride points to a number of factors including cheaper rates at credit unions, the upcoming launch of An Post’s current account and lower banking charges elsewhere. First time buyers could also save quite a lot if their local credit union offers a mortgage or home loan facility, she says, with the potential to save thousands depending on the amount of the loan.

Holiday tips

Elsewhere, if you’re about to book a holiday abroad, you might be interested in Conor Pope’s latest advice on how you can save money on the cost of your flights. Covering everything from flying midweek and booking at certain times to using online price comparison tools and booking your parking in advance, you might save enough to increase your spending money budget, or add an extra night to your trip!

And, don’t forget to consider advice from Skyscanner.ie regarding the best time of the year to book – you could save hundreds depending on how long before you make your purchase.

Geo-blocking

Finally, online retailers could be in breach of EU anti-competition laws, according to initial findings from an EU Commission inquiry which highlights the prevalence of geo-blocking in the EU – restricting access to consumers based on their geographic location. The research sought responses from over 1,400 retailers and online content providers from each of the 28 EU Member States – 38% of consumer retailers and 68% of digital content providers acknowledged their use of geo-blocking.

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“The information gathered as part of our e-commerce inquiry confirms the indications that made us launch the inquiry: not only does geo-blocking frequently prevent European consumers from buying goods and digital content online from another EU country, but some of that geo-blocking is the result of restrictions in agreements between suppliers and distributors,” said Margrethe Vestager, EU Commissioner for Competition. “Where a non-dominant company decides unilaterally not to sell abroad, that is not an issue for competition law. But where geo-blocking occurs due to agreements, we need to take a close look whether there is anti-competitive behaviour, which can be addressed by EU competition tools.”

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When not writing about all things personal finance, You & Your Money’s editor Conor Forrest enjoys reading, football and getting lost in an ocean of Wikipedia articles.

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