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Last Updated: Friday, 12 March, 2004, 15:15 GMT
The dangers of easy credit
Susan Lewis
Susan Lewis' husband committed suicide because of his debts

BBC Radio 4's Money Box was broadcast on Saturday, 13 March, 2004, at 1204 GMT.

The programme was repeated on Sunday, 14 March, at 2102 GMT.

Mike Johnson asked if lenders are encouraging customers to succumb to the dangers of easy credit, following the suicide of one man with debts of 65,000 on 19 credit cards.

News and information:

Penrose Report into Equitable Life

The long-awaited report into the near-collapse of Equitable Life has been published, and it has strongly criticised former company management, citing "a culture of manipulation and concealment".

About 800,000 people lost money, after Equitable made promises to policy-holders it could not keep. But the government has offered no prospect of compensation.

To discuss the report we spoke to Treasury Minister Ruth Kelly, Equitable Chief Executive Charles Thomson and Paul Braithwaite of the Equitable Members' Action Group.

Latest news and information:

Budget 2004

Chancellor Gordon Brown will deliver his 2004 Budget speech on Wednesday, 17 March.

We looked ahead to the speech and asked Adrian Coles of the Building Societies Association why he feels more should be done to encourage saving.

John Whiting of PriceWaterhouseCoopers also joined us, to discuss possible tax announcements.

Further information:


MPs condemn endowment providers

Chairman of the Treasury Committee, John McFall, answered questions

A Treasury Select Committee report into endowment mortgages has strongly criticised providers and said that up to 60% of policy-holders could have been victims of mis-selling.

News and information:

Post-dated cheques update

Following our report a week ago on post-dated cheques, many listeners asked how - if the system does not read the date on the cheque - it can reject cheques that are presented very late.

The answer is: although a cheque is technically valid for six years, in general banks will reject a cheque after six months to safeguard customers.

This is done by humans in banks rather than machines in the clearing system.

Further information:

Producer: Jennifer Clarke
Presenter: Paul Lewis
Reporter: Mike Johnson
Web Producer: Nathalie Knowles

Money Box



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