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Last Updated: Friday, 3 August 2007, 14:40 GMT 15:40 UK
Press reviews of Inside Money
A montage of newspapers

Past and present series of BBC Radio 4's Inside Money have received a great deal of press coverage.

You can read a selection of the most recent reviews below


The Sunday Telegraph Seven Magazine
Radio Choice, 21 July 2007

"Now it's the summer, all kinds of regular programmes shift into different gears. Here's one that, consistently, gears up, giving people who listen to such normal output as Money Box and You and Yours the chance to pursue their own stories and, significantly, to obtain privileged access to the very person who may actually know the answers to their questions. So Bank of England Governor Mervyn King meets small businessman Adam Potter, who seriously needs to know how he's managing inflation and, therefore, raising bank lending rates."

The Daily Telegraph
Radio Choice, 28 July 2007

"Inside Money takes a hard look at those insurance policies meant to protect mortgage payers against critical illness. Listener Dean Turrell, a healthy man in his thirties when he took his out in 2003 discusses what happens when, out of the blue, he had a heart attack in 2004. It took three years and recourse to the Financial Ombudsman to get a settlement."


PREVIOUS PROGRAMMES: 2006

Radio Times Choice
Radio Times, 22 July 2006

"It may not be sexy but if you're thinking of selling or buying a property in England and Wales after June next year, you'd better pay attention. Fed up with being gazumped and gazundered, listener Niall Connolly took part in a 1997 edition of Inside Money to find out what the newly elected Labour government would do to ensure that agreements made in good faith would be binding.

An absolutely vital, informative and rather chilling listen for anyone thinking about moving
Radio Times
"Its response is the Home Information Pack or HIP, a compulsory legal folder of property details compiled by the seller. The government believes it will speed up sales and stop duplication of surveys and searches.

"Connolly returns to find out, with the help of presenter Lesley Curwen, if it does just that by talking to interested parties, including the Housing Minister Yvette Cooper. That he is by turns startled, bewildered and ultimately dissatisfied is hardly remarkable, given their answers.

"An absolutely vital, informative and rather chilling listen for anyone thinking about moving".


Radio - About Turn by Michael Vestey

"It must be a nightmare when you spend weeks making a current affairs programme only to find that days before it's broadcast the subject you've been exploring is turned upside-down. That's what happened to Radio Four's Inside Money, the sister programme to the excellent Money Box, almost a fortnight ago.

"The producers had put together a programme about the government's ludicrous Home Information Packs, (HIPs), that are due to come into force next June, only for the crucial home inspections paid for by the vendors to be scrapped overnight as unworkable. We all knew that but at least this hopeless Labour government woke up to it in the nick of time.

The more I listened to this programme the more insane the original scheme sounded
Michael Vestey
"So what did Inside Money do? The interviews had been done, the programme already put together. Well they ran the original programme but topped and tailed it with the latest government decision.

"Quite what listeners made of it - hearing details of much of a plan that no longer existed - I don't know but Inside Money had little choice. At least we could hear for ourselves the impracticalities of the Alice-in-Wonderland scheme, something promoted enthusiastically by the then junior minister Nick Raynsford, though whether it was his idea or that of his former boss John Prescott I have no way of knowing.

"It has the marks of the buffoon Prescott all over it. Still it gave the ridiculous Raynsford something to do, I suppose. Anyway, the more I listened to this programme the more insane the original scheme sounded."

Gillian Reynold's Radio Choices
The Telegraph, 31 July 2006

"This is the story of a financial product, heavily advertised, whose sales have quadrupled in as many years. It's aimed at people who are already deeply in debt. For many of them it creates bigger problems.

Brilliant, timely reporting
Gillian Reynolds
"Individual Voluntary Arrangements promise to help but, as the listener who appears in this programme reveals, it got her into even bigger debt, with no hope of relief. Brilliant, timely reporting.


Radio Review by Elisabeth Mahoney

"Inside Money (Radio 4) often leaves you growling at the financial services industry. Saturday's edition, about the selling of an Individual Voluntary Arrangement to a severely disabled listener on benefits left me more than growling. I wanted to bite the ankles, and more, of the person who sold her the deal and earned a fat commission in the process.

Curwen, at her direct and scary best, verbally nailed one [insolvency] practitioner
Elisabeth Mahoney
"Because of negotiations between the listener (given the alias of Susan) and her IVA provider, neither could be interviewed openly. Instead, intrepid Lesley Curwen revealed some jaw-dropping statistics.

"Susan was supposed to pay 300 per month for five years as part of her IVA from a monthly income of 700. She managed this for the first year by living in bed to avoid heating costs, but then found that 4,018 of the 4,030 she had paid had gone in fees to the insolvency practitioner.

"Curwen, at her direct and scary best, verbally nailed one such practitioner. "Um, er, phuff, we would, well, er," he stammered, dodging a direct question. But I'd like something even more painful for Susan's wicked advisor.

Radio Choice
The Observer, 30 July 2006

"In a sobering report, Lesley Curwen explodes the myth that identity fraud is a victimless crime, hearing from Robert Scott who was pursued by unknown debt collectors after criminals ran up huge bills in his name.

"With his personal credit record discredited he has, despite his innocence, found it impossible to borrow money and believes that lenders and credit reference agencies have a duty to do more to help people in this situation."


Gillian Reynold's Radio Choice
from The Telegraph, Saturday, 5 August

"Inside Money is about identify fraud. Don't shrug and think 'it couldn't happen to me', because as this special report shows, it certainly could.

Rejoice in this programme's fight for better help
Gillian Reynolds
"Listen to Robert Scott's story of huge debts run up in his name, pursuit by debt collectors and the flight to clear his name, and rejoice in this programme's fight for better help.


Mortgage View by Ray Boulger
Money Marketing, 10 August 2006

"Last weekend's excellent Radio 4 Inside Money highlighted the very inadequate level of consumer help and protection given to people suffering from ID theft.

"The FSA requires firms they regulate to have robust procedures in place for ID verification and anti money laundering checks.

"However, a determined fraudster can easily obtain a forged passport and other documents whose quality is so good even a forensic auditor can't tell they are forgeries.

"No system is perfect but mortgage lenders are increasingly adopting electronic ID verification and although this can't satisfactorily prove ID in every case it can do so in around 90% of cases and can be more robust than paper ID verification.

"However, when things go wrong the poor consumer whose ID has been stolen has a hard time restoring his credit record.

"The credit reference agencies are in a hugely powerful position when it comes to credit checking but were found badly lacking by Inside Money."

Radio Choice
The Observer, Sunday, 6 August

"Heating a home with gas costs 70% more than it did in 2003 and electricity prices have gone up nearly 50 % in the same period.

"Here Lesley Curwen finds the root causes of the prices increases and talks to those experiencing 'fuel poverty' for the first time.


Radio Choice by Patricia Wynn Davies
The Daily Telegraph, Saturday, 12 August 2006

Another mention for Inside Money, impressively topical lately
Patricia Wynn Davies
"Another mention for Inside Money, impressively topical lately. Today it's the soaring cost of gas and electricity: it's a bullet we will all have to bite, industry experts say."


Radio Top Choice
Daily Mail, Saturday, 12 August 2006

"It now costs 70% more to heat your home with gas that it did in 2003. With the recent huge hikes in energy prices, many pensioners live in dread of the next bill. Lesley Curwen reports on a woeful state of affairs."


Gas blast
Greenock Telegraph, Friday, 11 August 2006

"Supergran Nell McFadden has given gas chiefs a rocket over soaring fuel bills on a national radio programme.

"The campaigner for elderly rights went head-to-head with Kevin Pringle, the head of consumer affairs for Scottish Gas, in the BBC broadcast.

"Nell features in Radio Four's award-winning Inside Money programme to be aired tomorrow.

"She asked the Scottish Gas boss why the company is putting shareholders and fat cat executives before customers.

"Like other elderly folk across the country, Nell's fuel bills have shot up by 100 in the past year and she is now living close to the breadline.

"Nell, who has campaigned locally and nationally for elderly people, was hand-picked to appear on the influential show."

Radio Choice by Patricia Wynn Davies
The Daily Telegraph, Saturday, 19 August 2006

"As the base rate rise kicks in, Inside Money looks again at the First Rung of the property ladder. There's another look too, at those websites that put would-be first time buyers in touch with strangers with whom they can pool resources."


Radio Top Choice
Daily Mail, Saturday, 19 August 2006

"Crushed by debt, staggered by house prices, first time buyers are becoming a rare breed. Lesley Curwen gives hope and useful advice to would-be homeowners."

Radio Choice Best Factual
Daily Mail, Saturday, 26 August 2006

"Are the charges made by banks unfair and illegal, or should we expect to be fined for spending money we don't have? Lesley Curwen investigates."




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