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Page last updated at 10:58 GMT, Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Standard Life compensation

Standard Life logo
BBC Radio 4's Money Box
Saturday, 24 January
at 1204 BST
On Radio 4 and Online

Standard Life has said it will compensate some of the 97,000 people who had their pension money in its Sterling Fund which fell by 5% earlier this month, even though it was supposed to be as safe as cash.

The announcement came just days after Standard Life firmly told Money Box it would not compensate anyone.

But who will be compensated and how much they will they get is unclear.

Independent financial advisor Mark Meldon gives us his view on how the product was sold.

Further information/related stories:

Person filling in a Job Cantre form
Unemployment has been rising sharply since the autumn of 2008

The UK is now in recession for the first time since 1991, official government figures have confirmed.

Gross domestic product fell by 1.5% in the last three months of 2008 after a 0.6% drop in the previous quarter.

That means that the widely accepted definition of a recession - two consecutive quarters of falling economic growth - has been met.

We speak to economist Ross Walker.

Further information/related stories:

Keith Matthews in his Saffron Walden showroom
Small Businessman Keith Matthews supports the idea of a bank of Essex
Municipal banks

Despite a raft of government measures to help small businesses, many complain they still cannot get loans or overdrafts.

Now two local authorities - Essex County Council and Birmingham City Council - have decided to set up their own banks with the aim of lending tens of millions of pounds.

Is this a way to un-crunch credit or are they putting taxpayers' money at risk?

Bob Howard reports.

Further information/related stories:

Online banking log-in screen
Subscribers should make same day payments up to 10,000
Faster payments

Thirteen banks and building societies signed up to a new faster payments system in May 2008, but Money Box has learned that eight months after it was launched the system is in disarray.

While not all of the 13 institutions were offering to make same-day payments out, and not all of them were going to be ready from day one, all pledged commitments to be in this position by the end of the year.

But following e-mails from our listeners we have found out that some of the banks have not kept their word.

Money Box's Samantha Washington takes us through which is and is not doing as they promised and we talk to Sandra Quinn of APACS.

Further information/related stories:

HMRC website
The deadline for requesting a pin to use the online system is 21 January
Self assessment deadline

The deadline for filing tax returns for the year to April 2008 is next Saturday 31st January.

It is only possible to file online but it can take up to seven days to obtain the pin that allows online filing.

John Whiting from PricewaterhouseCoopers takes us through what you need to do when if you want to file online.

Further information/related stories:

BBC Radio 4's Money Box was broadcast on Saturday, 24 January 2009 at 1204 GMT.

The programme was repeated on Sunday 25 January 2009 at 2102 GMT.

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24 Jan 09 |  Moneybox

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