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Page last updated at 18:37 GMT, Friday, 8 October 2010 19:37 UK

Banks want review of PPI rules

Royal Courts of Justice
BBC Radio 4's Money Box
Saturday, 9 October 2010 at 1204 BST on Radio 4 and Online

The British Bankers' Association is going to court to challenge new rules on the way banks must handle complaints about payment protection insurance (PPI).

The association is asking the High Court to carry out a judicial review of the Financial Service Authority's rules on PPI complaints, which are due to come into force in December.

The Financial Services Authority says banks would be expected to keep handling complaints about PPI while the review was ongoing and said where consumers were unhappy they should refer the complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS).

PPI covers debt repayments if the holder is unable to work due to an accident or illness, or if they are made redundant. In the last 5 years there have been more than a million complaints made to firms about PPI.

Related information:

Consumer Focus to be axed

Money Box has learned that the publicly funded body Consumer Focus is set to be scrapped as part of a major shake up of consumer protection.

We understand that the Office of Fair Trading - which took the high profile case against the overdraft charges on current accounts - is also to go.

Parts of the OFT will be absorbed into the Competition Commission but its consumer activities - including pursuing companies through the courts - will be taken over by the 167 local Trading Standards offices paid for by local councils.

It is expected Consumer Direct - the national number you can ring if you want consumer advice - will be moved to Citizen's Advice. The official announcement is expected in the next couple of weeks - probably before the Spending review on 20 October.

Related information:

Current account stagnation

People seem unwilling to change current account providers, even if they are not happy with the service they get from their bank.

According to Consumer Focus, only 7% of people in the UK have actually changed banks over the last 2 years. That compares to over 30% of us switching energy suppliers and over 20% changing home insurance and phone companies.

So why are people so reluctant to shop around for the best bank account deal?

We speak to Mike O'Connor, chief executive of Consumer Focus.

Related information:

Fallout from currency exchange site collapse

Last Saturday Money Box revealed that there were worries the foreign currency firm Crown Currency Exchange was in trouble as it's bank accounts had been frozen. On Monday it went into administration.

Money Box has discovered the firm had been tempting customers with unsustainable offers for at least a year.

The administrator has revealed around 13,000 customers are owed around £20m. That makes an average loss of around £1,500 but some have lost much more more.

Bob Howard has spent the week investigating.

Related information:

BBC Radio 4's Money Box: Saturday 9 October at 1204 BST and Sunday 10 October at 2102 BST.

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