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Last Updated: Friday, 1 July, 2005, 16:02 GMT 17:02 UK
Endowment complaints up by 34%
Chief Financial Ombudsman Walter Merricks
We ask the Ombudsman if the service can cope with its workload
BBC Radio 4's Money Box was broadcast on Saturday, 2 July, 2005 at 1204 BST.

The programme was repeated on Sunday, 3 July, 2005, at 2102 BST.

There has been a huge jump in the number of complaints about mortgage endowment policies being received by the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS).

The FOS annual report shows around 1300 new complaints are being made every week, which is up 34% in a year.

Endowment policy cases now make up two thirds of the ombudsman's total workload.

Millions of people took out the policies in the 80s and 90s to pay off their mortgages, but many now face large shortfalls.

We asked Chief Ombudsman Walter Merricks if the service is suffering because of the increase.

Further information:

NU boosts with-profits payouts

Norwich Union
The UK's biggest life insurer has raised bonuses for some of its with-profits policyholders after three years of cuts.

Payments on 600,000 policies - mostly General Accident and Commercial Union policies taken out before 1998 - will benefit, but 2.4 million other policyholders will miss out.

The insurer said recently improved stock market conditions had enabled it to boost payouts to its most longstanding clients.

We discussed the news with John Lister, Chief Actuary of Norwich Union and Tom McPhail, head of pensions research at IFAs Hargreaves Lansdowne.

Further information:

Muslims get Child Trust Fund

There is only one Sharia-compliant account
A Sharia-compliant Child Trust Fund will be on offer from the Children's Mutual from September.

Previously, parents of the 120,000 eligible Muslim babies had to either choose a non Sharia-compliant account or not invest at all.

Under Sharia law, it is forbidden to give or receive interest and to invest in unethical firms.

Chris A'Court reported on the new product, and the lack of choice Muslim parents face.

Further information:

Revenue targets offshore savers

EU flag
What will the EU directive mean to UK savers?
New European Union rules designed to recover tax on undeclared offshore savings come into force on 1 July.

The government hopes to retrieve up to 80 million of unpaid tax held by UK residents in offshore accounts.

The directive will mean the savers will have to inform the Revenue about their money or pay a "withholding tax" of 15%, rising to 35% in eight years.

We spoke to tax expert Mike Warburton from accountants Grant Thornton about the changes.

Further information:

Presenter: Paul Lewis
Producer: Louise Greenwood
Reporter: Chris A'Court

Money Box



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