At 7am on 31 January, a new digital TV channel, Simply Money,
transmitted its first broadcast on SkyDigital. It was presented by
veteran news-reader, Angela Rippon and co-presented by actress Jan
The channel’s debut screening prompted a massive response from viewers
and advertisers alike. Telephone lines were inundated with calls from
viewers asking for advice on a wide range of financial questions. At the
same time, the Simply Money web site also logged a high number of
The web site was launched last year as part of a countdown to Simply
Money’s arrival. It is bursting at the seams with easily-digestible news
and advice on all matters financial.
Simplymoney.net is broken up into four categories: news, deals, leisure
and home. The news stories included a survey on consumer attitudes, and
revealed that most Brits would rather pay for a cleaner than for someone
to manage their personal finances.
The deals section offers guidance on mortgages, pensions, credit cards,
ISAs, holidays, bank and saving accounts, car deals and unit trusts.
Many of these contain useful tables that present information in a clear
and concise manner. For example, a chart enables you to compare European
car prices with those in the UK.
If you’re about to get married then a new study in the leisure section
claims the cost is rising at twice the rate of inflation - a couple can
expect to pay an average of pounds 10,500. There is also an article on
obtaining your credit rating. It explains what details to provide the
reference agency with and even gives you a standard letter - you just
fill in the blanks.
In the home area there is advice on how to complain about your bank.
Many people would think twice before treading this ground, and so
reassurance and guidelines are provided.
The editorial team consists of journalists who are not financial
specialists, based on the idea that they will ask the same questions on
an issue as the man on the street.
Simply Money’s only competitor would seem to be the Money Channel which
also has an associated web site. However, the latter is targeting a more
’stocks and shares’ oriented consumer.
Simply Money’s site is easy to navigate and the graphics are colourful,
but it has no medium for discussion. However, the second phase in the
site’s development, which should be running by the end of February, will
implement a question and answer forum. Additionally, the members’ area
will enable users to tailor an information service to their needs. Once
the web service has been fully integrated with the digital channel it
will be invaluable for anyone wishing to manage their personal finance
Subject: Simply Money
Issue: Launch of digital channel and sister web site