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Page last updated at 17:45 GMT, Friday, 16 December 2011

Over 50s plans

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BBC Radio 4's Money Box
Saturday, 17th December 2011 at 1204 GMT On Radio 4 and Online

Over 50s plans are sold by some of the biggest names in insurance but have been roundly criticised by the consumer organisation Which?

It says they may be worse than a savings account - or even putting your money into a box in a cupboard. What do they really give you?

Money Box gets the response from some of the providers and speaks to Richard Lloyd, Which?'s executive director:

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Co-op named as preferred buyer

Lloyds bank has named the Cooperative Bank as the preferred buyer for 632 branches which Lloyds has been forced to sell by European competition rules.

It is still not certain the Co-op will buy the business - but it is very likely. The deal would give Co-op a total of 974 branches from the north of Scotland to Wales and far south of England.

With 12 million customers it will rank just below the Big Five - HSBC will be a distance above it - and be bigger than Nationwide.

The programme looks at the possible consequences with Ralph Silva, analyst and boss of SRN Global.

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Billed for unwanted texts

A Church of Scotland Minister tells us he was charged £30 for receiving texts of a nature he did not like and which he had not asked for. We look into the practice charging customers to receive commercial text messages.

Paul Lewis talks to Paul Whiting, Chief Executive of Phonepay plus.

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What price loyalty?

Watch out for the small print of reward credit cards which offer you vouchers off future shopping.

Money Box listener Stephen Clarkson thought he was due to receive £70 in vouchers for a year's spending on his Asda credit card. But when he claimed his money he was told there was a ceiling of £30.

The card is operated by Santander which had originally indicated on Mr Clarkson's paper statement that his points had earned him a £70 voucher. But in the terms and conditions online, the details of the yearly £30 cap are indicated.

The programme hears from Stephen Clarkson and also from Louise Holmes from Moneyfacts, who looks at the pros and cons of reward credit cards and cashback cards.

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Having been mis-sold payment protection insurance and waited for months for their cases to be sorted out, customers of Lloyds face further delays as the bank misses the target of actually giving them their compensation within 28 days.

Guy Anker from Money Saving Expert talks to the programme.

BBC Radio 4's Money Box is broadcast on Saturday at 1204 GMT and repeated on Sunday at 2102 GMT.

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