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Last Updated: Friday, 6 October 2006, 13:20 GMT 14:20 UK
Claims firms challenge bank charges
Tony Boorman, principal ombudsman, Financial Ombudsman Service.
Tony Boorman, Financial Ombudsman Service

BBC Radio 4's Money Box

On Radio 4 and online
Saturday 7 October 1204 BST
Sunday 8 October 2102 BST

Competition is increasing between claims companies keen to take on the cases of bank customers challenging account charges which they perceive to be unfair.

The Financial Ombudsman Service has told Money Box it is worried people are turning to these companies rather than using the free service it provides.

Most claims companies work on a "no-win, no-fee" basis, but what are the advantages and why pay a fee when a cost-free alternative exists?

We spoke to Tony Boorman, principal ombudsman at the Financial Ombudsman Service and Martin Knipe, director of bank complaints.

Further information:


Lloyds TSB penalties

Lloyds TSB sign
Lloyds TSB is toughening up current account penalty fees

Millions of Lloyds TSB bank customers could find themselves paying penalties if they don't run their accounts more carefully from now on.

Slip over 10 into the red on a Lloyds popular Classic current account and you'll now get a 30 fine that is non-negotiable.

Up to three penalties a day could be applied to accounts, if for example a direct debit or cheques goes through when there's not enough money in the account.

We spoke to Gerrard Schmid, head of transactional banking at LloydsTSB about the changes.

Further information:


Pay as you drive

Traffic jam
Could pay-as-you-drive insurance save you money?

If you had a chance to pay for your motor insurance on the basis of how often, where and when you used your car, would you be tempted to take up the offer?

That's what Norwich Union is offering many of it's customers with the launch of two "pay as you drive" schemes where you pay monthly instead of yearly.

The company says it will bring much lower premiums for many people but how comfortable will drivers be with a system that logs their every movement? Bob Howard reported:

Further information:


Markets

A man watches share prices on a large screen
The FTSE 100 closed above 6,000 on Thursday

Shares were on the rise again this week as the FTSE 100 index closed above 6,000 on Thursday and in America the stock market hit a new record level. So can investors be optimistic?

We spoke to Steven Bell, chief economist at the hedge fund firm GLC Limited.

Further information:


Equity release

House
Releasing equity from your home can impact on means tested benefits

Local councils should band together to help older home-owners who are on a low income to exploit the value of their property, according to a new report from Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

The research says many people could improve the quality of their life and the state of their property if they could access the money tied up in their house, but argues some consumers do not trust existing providers, while others are concerned about the impact on benefits.

We spoke to Richard Gibson, co-author of the report.

Further information:


Money Box was broadcast on Saturday, 7 October 2006, at 1204 BST on BBC Radio 4. The programme was repeated on Sunday 8 October, at 2102 BST.

Presenter: Paul Lewis
Producer: Chris A'Court
Reporter: Bob Howard



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