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Last Updated: Friday, 7 January, 2005, 15:59 GMT
Compensation for 'splits' investors
A trader watches share price movements
Split-cap investors lost thousands as share prices fell
BBC Radio 4's Money Box was broadcast on Saturday, 8 January, 2005, at 1204 GMT.

The programme was repeated on Sunday, 9 January, 2005, at 2102 GMT.

A compensation package of 194m has finally been announced for up to 50,000 people who lost money in the "split-cap" scandal.

An agreement was finally reached in December between the regulator and 18 investment firms.

The complicated products were originally marketed as a low-risk way of investing money, but when stock markets collapsed, thousands of people were left out-of-pocket.

Chris A'Court gave details on how the compensation scheme will work and revealed the reaction to the announcement.

Further information:

Women drivers escape insurance rise

A smiling woman on the telephone
Women will be pleased they can keep their lower premiums

The European Commission has decided to continue to allow women to pay lower car insurance premiums than men.

A new Gender Directive from the EU was supposed to end discrimination on grounds of sex in insurance.

But ministers have now said that where there is an objective difference between the sexes, discrimination can continue.

What do you think about the ministers' decision?
Is it fair?

As male drivers commit 85% of serious motoring offences, the ministers have agreed that women drivers can continue to pay less.

Jacqui Smith, Deputy Minister for Women and Equality explained why the decision had been made.

Further information:

Canadian credit scam

The Office of Fair Trading is warning people to be vigilant after details of a Canadian loan scam began to emerge.

Consumers have been stung for thousands of pounds after responding to local newspaper adverts.

The scam works by requesting an upfront fee before the application is approved, but the loan never arrives.

Linzi Talbot, Head of International Enforcement and Liason at the OFT told Money Box what people should be looking out for.

Further information:

Computer glitch hits HSBC cards

Thousands of customers of HSBC and First Direct were hit by a major computer glitch earlier this week.

The problems meant customers were unable to get money from cash machines, use credit cards or make internet transactions.

HSBC has said that the problem has now been resolved and claimed that only a minority of customers were affected.

However, it has advised anyone needing help as a result of the problems to call its customer helpline on 08457 404 404.

Further information:

Efficient tsunami donations

A tsunami survivor in a camp for displaced villagers in Phuket, Thailand
Money can go further if it is given in a tax-efficient manner
More than 100m has now been donated by the British public to help victims of the Tsunami disaster in Asia, the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) has said.

DEC chief executive Brendan Gormley said the public's response to the appeal was "unprecedented".

Chris A'Court explained the most effective way to give money.

Further information:

Money Box Christmas quiz

We revealed the winner of the Money Box Christmas quiz 2004.

It was Bill from Maidstone, who wins a digital radio.

Presenter: Paul Lewis
Producer: Samantha Washington
Reporter: Chris A'Court

Money Box



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