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Last Updated: Friday, 30 September 2005, 18:30 GMT 19:30 UK
Money Box
The government said it is not a suitable investment for most people

BBC Radio 4's Money Box was broadcast on Saturday,1 October, 2005, at 1204 BST.

The programme was repeated on Sunday, 2 October, 2005, at 2102 BST.

Fears are growing that a relaxation in pension rules in 2006 could lead to a mis-selling scandal unless action is taken.

In April, people will be free to put investments such as residential property, antiques and wine, into Self Invested Personal Pensions (Sipps).

The government has said it is considering regulating the people who can set up and sell Sipps.

But its consultation paper issued on Friday made it clear that any regulation will not be in place until April 2007, a year after sales begin.

To discuss the issues, we spoke to John Lawson, Head of Pensions at Standard Life, and Michelle Cracknell, a council member at the Association of Independent Financial Advisors.

Further information:

Customer frustration with ICICI bank

ICICI bank headquarters
The HiSave account has to be opened and run online
In July, Money Box reported on the launch of a new savings account from Indian bank ICICI, which was paying a market-beating rate of 5.4%.

The rate falls to 5.15% from November, but the bank has guaranteed its Hi Save account will pay 0.25% above the Bank of England base rate until December 2007.

However, some of those tempted to open an account have encountered problems.

Louise Greenwood investigated and we spoke to Sonjoy Chaterjee, Chief Executive of ICICI Bank UK.

Further information:

How to keep your energy bills down

Post Office
Card customers can put large purchases into the loan facility
The UK is facing a colder than average winter this year, the Met Office announced on Monday.

And with energy prices rising, Money Box looks at how we can all be more energy efficient, and other ways we can keep our bills down.

We spoke to Adam Scorer from Energywatch and Tim Curtis from the Energy Saving Trust about energy prices and what help is available.

Further information:

New Post Office credit card

ICICI bank headquarters
The HiSave account has to be opened and run online
The Post Office has moved into the credit card market with a "two-in-one" product.

Its new card offers six months interest-free on purchases and balance transfers, with a typical rate of 14.9% APR to follow.

The card's loan facility meanwhile allows customers to borrow money at a fixed rate of 6.8% APR over a 12 month period.

We spoke to Claire Oldstein, Head of Marketing for Financial Services at the Post Office, about the new card.

Further information:

Premium bonds

Time to ditch old lightbulbs?

There are now two winners of a 1m premium bond prize each month, but why does it seem to be taking longer for winners of smaller prizes to receive their cheques?

Some people are finding it can take nearly a month before the money reaches their bank account.

Money Box spoke to Steve Downey, Customer Services Manager for National Savings and Investments.

Further information:

Presenter: Paul Lewis
Producer: Jessica Laugharne
Reporter: Louise Greenwood

Money Box



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