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Last Updated: Friday, 17 September, 2004, 15:24 GMT 16:24 UK
Pension losses
Coins falling through hands

BBC Radio 4's Money Box was broadcast on Saturday, 18 September, 2004 at 1204 BST.

The programme was repeated on Sunday, 19 September, 2004 at 2102 BST.

The Parliamentary Ombudsman has been asked to investigate government and regulatory involvement in occupational pension losses.

Pensions advisor Ros Altmann has made a formal complaint about government and regulatory maladministration, after thousands of workers lost their pensions when their employers went bust and their schemes were wound up.

Ms Altmann believes these losses could have been avoided, if members had been warned their money was not safe.

She spoke to Paul Lewis about her findings.

Further information:

Students loan delays

Thousands of university students will be arriving for their new term in the next few weeks to find their loans have not been processed, leaving them with no money on which to live.

Many education authorities and universities have been making contingency payments. But concerns have been raised that it will not be enough and that many students could face hardship.

To discuss the problem we spoke to Hannah Essex from the National Union of Students and Ralph Seymour Jackson, Chief Executive of the Student Loans Company.

Further information:

Abbey takeover

High Street Bank Abbey looks set to be taken over by Spanish bank Santander Central Hispano after HBOS dropped plans for a takeover bid.

After some deliberation, HBOS said it wanted to focus on its existing business which it said would deliver better value for shareholders.

Analysts believe there is now little chance of another rival bid for Abbey coming forward.

We spoke to Keith Grant, from Santander Central Hispano and Hilary Cooke of Barclays Stockbrokers about what it means for Abbey customers and shareholders.

Further information:

Shared mortgages

Recent figures from Nationwide Building Society suggest the number of first-time home buyers has hit a 30 year low.

Faced with that, some lenders are coming up with new ideas to help young people buy their first home.

Money Box's Samantha Washington reported on one new mortgage idea to help a group of friends buy a home between them.

Further information:

Presenter: Paul Lewis
Producer: Louise Greenwood
Web Producer: Nathalie Knowles

Money Box



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