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Last Updated: Friday, 12 November, 2004, 16:19 GMT
Banking code changes
Cashpoint
Some say the Banking Code changes have not gone far enough

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

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

The banking industry has strengthened the code of practice it follows when dealing with its customers.

The changes were made following a review by Professor Elaine Kempson of Bristol University.

Among the key changes - which will come into force on 1 March 2005 - the code will now:

  • warn credit card customers of the dangers of making only minimum payments
  • stress that basic bank accounts should be made available to almost anyone
  • provide more information on how customers can trace old or dormant accounts
  • explain more clearly the time it will actually take to clear cheques and electronic payments

    However, the new code has been criticised for not going further.

    We asked Ian Mullen of the British Bankers' Association why more radical change was resisted.

    Further information:


    Rental deposit protection

    Stressed person
    For many tenants getting the deposit back has proved difficult

    Parliament has voted to protect rental deposits as part of the Housing Bill, in a move which should put an end to the estimated 65million withheld by unscrupulous landlords every year.

    The bill is likely to receive Royal Assent in a matter of days with the new laws expected to be in place from March 2005.

    Samantha Washington reported.

    Further information:


    Setback for credit card users

    There was uncertainty over where the rule should apply abroad
    Consumers using credit cards abroad will not be covered by payment protection rules, a court has ruled.

    The High Court has said Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 does not apply to overseas purchases.

    Under the rule, shoppers have the right to claim against the card issuer if a purchase is unsatisfactory or faulty, and the seller refuses to compensate them.

    The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) asked the court for an official ruling, as some lenders were refusing to pay out.

    OFT's Director of Consumer Credit, Ray Hall, and Theresa Perchard of Citizen's Advice gave their reactions to the judgement.

    Full story from BBC News Online:


    Abbey ISA chaos continues

    High St bank Abbey is continuing to suffer from delays in the processing of its postal ISAs.

    Abbey
    In May the bank's postal ISA suffered from a huge backlog
    In May 15,000 applicants suffered delays when the bank was overwhelmed with applications.

    This time however, the bank claims the delays affect transfers into accounts rather than new applications.

    Since our report in May, Money Box listeners have continued to contact us with ongoing delays and problems. We spoke to one of them.

    And we asked Customer Director of Abbey Angus Porter for an explanation.

    Further information:


    Home reversion schemes

    The government has finally confirmed that home reversion schemes will not be caught by new tax rules aimed at schemes which avoid inheritance tax.

    Treasury Minister Dawn Primorolo told Parliament the new tax would have 'no impact on the full range of bona fide equity-release schemes'.


    State Second Pension

    Norwich Union is writing to all its pension customers who have left SERPS - now called State Second Pension - 'strongly recommending' them to opt back in to the state scheme.

    The advice is different from that given by most insurance companies who are simply telling customers they should think carefully about the choice.


    Producer: Jessica Dunbar
    Presenter: Paul Lewis
    Reporter: Samantha Washington
    Web Producer: Nathalie Knowles



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