Future banking and energy predictions from Arcus

Predictions for 2014 are everywhere right now, but given that the year is now upon us, we thought it might be more interesting to look a little further into the future and consider what the banking and energy markets might have in store for us by 2024.

The future of banking services

Cheques are likely to be obsolete within ten years and because of this unused cheque books may become valuable collectors’ items and worth holding onto!  Even used cheque stubs may have some value.

Today’s children will probably never even have to write a cheque, as by the time most of them reach adulthood up to 60% of all financial transactions including bill paying bills will be done via mobile phones.

We can already begin to see this technology in action as Britain’s first concerted mobile payments project – where customers’ phone numbers will be linked to their bank accounts to facilitate payments – is being rolled out early this year.

In ten years’ time, analysts predict that many of the bank names we are familiar with on the high street such as Lloyds or Barclays could have been swallowed up by larger foreign banks and be trading under their names rather than their own. 

As high street banking brand names disappear, some predict that supermarket giants such as Tesco will fill the gap.   If this is the case we imagine it will be possible that customers who need to make cash deposits or withdrawals can use the in-store checkouts, or transact at their door when their delivery arrives.

Counter service will become increasingly a luxury of the past as banks look to drive down costs.  Sadly this is likely to lead to more rural branch closures and former premises being turned into shops or prestige homes in market towns and villages.

Free banking also looks set to become a thing of the past.  Experts predict that that many will only offer fee-free current account services to those who promise not to make more than a certain number of transactions in a year and do their banking via their smartphone at “off-peak” times of day.

Some estimates predict that for the average current account holder to be given basic access to payment services and ATMs banks could charge an average of  £10 per month with ‘luxury’ accounts offering extra services for higher fees.


The future for energy costs

Rising energy bills are a major concern for all households today but in another ten years it may be chronic energy shortages and scheduled blackouts that worry us more!

Over the last ten years the average annual household gas and electricity bill has risen 160% from £522 to £1,353 adding pressure to the cost of living for millions.

If prices continue to rise at the current rate of inflation, the average bill would be £2,165 per year in 2024.  However the Department of Energy estimates it will be nearer £3,500.  This is despite the fact that there may need to be fuel rationing which will leave homes in many regions without power for several hours each week.

At the end of this year there were an estimated five million households in fuel poverty, measured as households where more than 10% of net income was spent on energy bills.

If fuel prices keep on rising as expected, many more are likely to fall into this category and  subsequent governments may seek to alter the definition of what qualifies as fuel poverty.

Given the chronic fuel shortages that could affect the UK over the next ten years, it is likely that a growing number of consumers will joining together locally to set up their own energy collectives to try and gain some control over their rising energy costs.

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