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Last Updated: Friday, 13 February, 2004, 15:01 GMT
Pensions unlocking firm fined
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This is the first time action has been taken against such a firm

BBC Radio 4's Money Box was broadcast on Saturday, 14 February, 2004, at 1204 GMT.

The programme was repeated on Sunday, 15 February, 2004, at 2102 GMT.

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has fined a pensions unlocking firm 175,000 for failing to warn consumers properly of the risks of cashing in their pension early.

Berkeley Jacobs Financial Services was found to have a "blatant disregard" for its customers, who may now be entitled to compensation.

David Kenmir is Director of the Investment Firms Division at the FSA. He joined us to speak about the action it had taken.

Liberal Democrat Treasury Spokesman Vincent Cable also joined us to explain why he felt the regulator should be taking action in response to other misleading adverts.


Career Development Loans

Penny Haslam investigated Career Development Loans (CDLs).


ISA battle hots up

A rates battle is breaking out between ISA providers.

Marks & Spencer is launching its new account, offering 4.5% interest, and promising to pay 0.5% above the base rate until April 2005.

Meanwhile, Intelligent Finance (IF) has announced it is putting up its rate to 4.6%, but guarantees only 0.3% above the base rate until next February.

We spoke to Alastair Milne of M&S Financial Services.


OTHER NEWS

Equitable Life

Senior management at Equitable Life have now been given "limited access" to Lord Penrose's report into the near collapse of the life assurer.

That means his findings have now made available to the DTI, the FSA, and the Serious Fraud Office, as well as company management.

Meanwhile, policyholders will have to wait until at least after the parliamentary recess a week on Monday for the report to be made public.


MPs angry at credit card firms

The UK credit industry is told to stop dragging its feet over reforms aimed at benefiting consumers.


Producer: Louise Greenwood
Presenter: Paul Lewis
Reporter: Penny Haslam
Web Producer: Nathalie Knowles



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