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Page last updated at 15:35 GMT, Saturday, 20 December 2008

Banking and mortgages in 2009

A row of for sale and to let signs
BBC Radio 4's Money Box
Saturday, 20 December
at 1204 BST
On Radio 4 and Online

Lending will not get back to normal for up to two years according to Barclays' group chief executive John Varley.

He told the BBC that it would continue to be hard to borrow money and there would be no recovery in Britain's dire economic position for up to about 18 months.

And bad news too for those who are already borrowers - as the number of households more than three months behind with their mortgage payments will rise to half a million next year, according to predictions from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML).

It also reported that lending for November was just over 50% down on the same month last year.

And this week the governor of the Bank of England said that the mortgage market is still not working properly and that "additional measures" will be needed to save the banks from further crisis and encourage them to lend to one another.

So what sort of year will 2009 be for Britain's hard pressed borrowers?

We ask Michael Coogan, director general of the CML, Ray Boulger from the mortgage broker John Charcol and Sandy Chen, a banking analyst at Panmure Gordon.

Further information/related stories:

Chris Gray with his wife's financial documents
Money Box listener Chris Gray with his wife's financial documents

Sorting out the financial affairs of a husband or wife who has died can be a distressing and confusing process for anyone still trying to come to terms with their loss.

Most of the big banks have special departments to try to ensure it is done as effectively and sensitively as possible.

But not all companies are managing to do so.

Bob Howard reports and we get more details from Nicola Plant, partner, Thomas Eggar.

Further information/related stories:

Woman walking through snow
Dreaming of a white Christmas or just hoping to keep warm?
Cold weather payments

Half a million cold weather payments have been triggered by the recent cold snap.

These payments are made to pensioners when temperatures dip below zero for seven consecutive days in their particular part of the country.

Other one-off special payments announced in the pre-Budget report are also being sent out.

Sally West, policy manager at Age Concern tells us more.

Further information/related stories:

Other news

Some parents could be due either 529 or 1,048 - depending on when their child was born - if they claim old children's tax credits.

If you think you may be eligible, there is a form you can download on the HM Revenue & Customs website but you must claim by 31 January 2009.

Further information/related stories:

BBC Radio 4's Money Box was broadcast on Saturday, 20 December 2008 at 1204 GMT.

The programme was repeated on Sunday 21 December 2008 at 2102 GMT.

External internet links
20 Dec 08 |  Moneybox

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