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Last Updated: Friday, 27 February, 2004, 16:55 GMT
FSA: Advice proposals
FSA headquarters
This is the last stage of the FSA's depolarisation consultation

BBC Radio 4's Money Box was broadcast on Saturday, 28 February, 2004, at 1204 GMT.

The programme was repeated on Sunday, 29 February, at 2102 GMT.

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has proposed that all financial advisors offer a menu of costs to give consumers a "clearer idea of the true cost" of advice.

Under the proposals, advisers would give all consumers buying retail investment products a menu entitled "A guide to the cost of our services" at the start of any advice-giving situation.

This would give clear information about the fees and commission the adviser will earn.

The proposals have been welcomed by many in the investment community.

We spoke to the FSA's Head of Retail Products David Severn and Paul Smee of the Association of Independent Financial Advisers about the consultation.

Further information:


Online IFA service

Up to now the only way to get approved financial advice has been to arrange face-to-face meetings, but this weekend it is moving online. Money Box investigated.

Further information:


Endowment letters

Friends Provident has become the first insurer to send out its second batch of "red letters" to policy-holders warning that their endowments may not be enough to pay off their mortgages, and encouraging them to take action.

However, there are criticisms that the letters are not clear enough and do not indicate that this is the last chance for policy-holders to make a mis-selling complaint.

We were joined by IFA Mark Meldon, Louise Hanson of the Consumers Association and Alan Leaman of the Association of British Insurers (ABI).

News and information:


Money transfers

Banks should pay interest to customers for the time it takes to clear their electronic payments, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has said.

Currently, standing orders and internet payments take two days to clear, during which time the banks are able to earn additional revenue from customers' money.

Have Your Say
What do you think of the current system?
Would you pay for quicker transfers?

The OFT has also criticised the cheque clearing system and said that in both cases customers should receive the interest.

It has recommended changes to the Banking Code, a voluntary industry agreement, rather than legislation.

To discuss this we were joined by Marian King, Chief Executive of BACS, the organisation responsible for automated payment transfers in the UK; and Chris Rawlins, Director of Markets at the OFT.

Latest news and information:


OTHER NEWS

Egg loyalty offer to customers

Internet bank Egg is offering its customers a 0% balance transfer from other credit cards, on the anniversary of the date they opened their Egg account.


Winter fuel deadline nears

Applications for the 200 annual allowance must be received by 30 March.

Most people over 60 will have already received the payment automatically. But anyone who has not should claim or they will lose it.


Producer: Louise Greenwood
Presenter: Paul Lewis
Web Producer: Nathalie Knowles



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