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Last Updated: Friday, 20 June, 2003, 15:16 GMT 16:16 UK
Payment clearing
Money moves swiftly in Sweden

BBC Radio 4's Money Box was broadcast on Saturday, 21 June, 2003 at 1204 BST.

Payment clearance

Paul Lewis reported from Sweden where we found that bank clearing times are much swifter than in the UK.

Bank customers with regular current accounts in Sweden can routinely transfer funds from their own account to someone else's account for withdrawal on the same day.

This is all in sharp contrast to the UK system where it takes several days for funds to clear. We asked why.

Full story:

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Pensions

Thousands of workers, who will retire with a fraction of the pension they were expecting, won't be compensated under government plans announced last week.

But what is the true cost of making good the losses for those who feel they have been robbed?

We were joined by pensions consultant John Ralfe, who formerly ran the Boots pension scheme and took the radical descion to pull the fund out of equities and into safer bonds.

We also spoke to the Birkenhead MP and pensions campaigner Frank Field, who this week presented his own Private Members Bill on solving the problem.

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Debt consolidation

The Office of Fair Trading is investigating some of the practices used by "debt consolidation firms", who make a living out of renegotiating a multitude of debts into one monthly payment.

The OFT are questioning whether they are being up front about the true cost of their service.

We spoke to Nick Lord of the National Association of Citizens Advice Bureaux, a specialist in personal debt.

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Full story:


Club accounts

The Portman Building Society will levy a 5 monthly fee on its Treasurers Cheque account, used by many charities and social clubs to organises their finances.

It says the account is a loss leader and no longer the sort of business it wants to attract.

We heard from Money Box listener Roger from Hampshire, who runs a small tennis club, and says the new arrangement will cost him dear.

So where is a good place to put current and savings accounts for small clubs and groups? Money Box has the details.

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Money Box researches clubs/societies accounts:


Other News

Speculation grows of a possible takeover bid for the struggling insurer Britannic after their managing director quit after less than two years in the job.

The self employed are urged to get their application for family tax credit in ahead of the deadline on 7 July.

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Presenter: Paul Lewis
Producer: Louise Greenwood
Researcher: Diane Richardson


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