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Page last updated at 16:16 GMT, Wednesday, 8 July 2009 17:16 UK

Consumer credit plans

A variety of different credit cards
BBC Radio 4's Money Box
Saturday, 4 July 2009 at 1204 BST On Radio 4 and Online

Unwanted credit card cheques could be banned and loan sharks tackled if government plans to help people struggling with debt become law.

UK residents now owe £233bn on credit cards, overdrafts and other loans according to figures from the Bank of England.

A government white paper published this week has promised "Real Help Now" for people struggling to manage these debts in the midst of a recession.

Among the plans is the creation of a Consumer Advocate who would help consumers get their money back when things go wrong.

Will it work? We speak to Consumer Minister Kevin Brennan about the plans and get some reaction from Damon Gibbons of Debt on Our Doorstep.

Further information:

Young drivers

A young woman taking her test
Young drivers can face expensive car insurance premiums

Car insurance can be costly especially for teenage drivers who have just passed their tests.

Some families try to reduce premiums by registering cars that are really owned by young drivers in a parent's name.

They then list the teenager as a named driver on the insurance policy instead of the main one.

But if the young driver makes a claim and the insurer finds out, any damage to their own vehicle will not be covered and the insurer could try to get the full premium from a parent.

Graeme Trudgill of the British Insurance Broker's Association reveals other ways to cut costs.

Further information:

House prices

Estate agent signs
The Nationwide says the number of house sales remains "very low"

UK house prices rose by 0.9% in June, the third rise in the past four months, according to the Nationwide Building Society.

Its latest survey suggests the average home now costs £156,442 but prices are still 17% below their peak in October 2007.

The small rise may reassure people worried about negative equity but will disappoint first time buyers hoping for further falls.

We speak to Ray Boulger, technical director of mortgage brokers John Charcol and Andrew Oxlade, editor of

Further information:


The BBC's Paul Lewis speaks to Pensions Minister Angela Eagle
Paul Lewis speaks to the new pensions minister, Angela Eagle

Angela Eagle is the government's new Pensions Minister - the 11th person to have that title since Labour came to power 12 years ago.

She is in charge of the flagship programme to make every employer pay into a pension for all their workers by 2012.

But with a General Election less than a year away, we ask what will she actually be able to do in that time.

Further information:

Keydata fraud investigation

Ten pound notes
Keydata Investment Services was put into administration in June

The Serious Fraud Office is investigating the disappearance of more than £100m of clients' money from Keydata Investment Services.

It was called in after administrators PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) discovered money belonging to 5,500 investors was put into assets which have vanished.

The investment management company collapsed in June after it could not meet a £5m tax bill arising from non-compliant ISAs.

We ask PwC administator Dan Schwarzmann what this latest development means for investors.

Further information:

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

The programme was repeated on Sunday, 5 July at 2102 BST.

Money Box



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