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Last Updated: Friday, 22 February 2008, 18:14 GMT
Rock solid?
Ron Sandler, executive chairman of Northern Rock
BBC Radio 4's Money Box
Saturday 23 February
at 1204 GMT
On Radio 4 and Online

The government has now taken control of Northern Rock, and will be able, in fact, to do the same with any bank that gets into difficulty.

After much wrangling between peers and MPs, the Queen gave her Royal assent to the Banking (Special Provisions) Bill, which has now become law.

As it begins its new life under a period of "temporary public ownership" with Ron Sandler as executive chairman, the political debate about whether it was wrong or right to nationalise the bank continues.

We asked what nationalisation means for Northern Rock's existing customers and the business.

Money Box's Chris A'Court looked at how savings will be affected and Ray Boulger of John Charcol gave us the low-down for those with Northern Rock mortgages.

For the shareholders' view Roger Lawson of the UK Shareholders' Association joined us.

Further information:


Two older men playing on a games machine
Each extra year of life adds 3-4% to a final-salary scheme's funding cost

Pensions schemes are taking too short a view of life expectancy and should lengthen their estimates, the Pensions Regulator warned this week.

The average life expectancy is getting longer and actuaries now say there is no foreseeable end to that process of extending life.

But making a realistic estimate of life expectancy is essential for pension schemes which promise to pay us a pension for life.

Charlie Massey, an executive director of the Pensions Regulator and Joanne Segars, chief executive of the National Association of Pension Funds joined us to discuss the issue.

Further information:


A derelict house
Actual repossessions rose to an eight-year high of 27,000 in 2007

Mortgage arrears are on the rise, but the courts may be too hasty to give lenders the right to sell people's homes and turf them out, according to the Financial Services Consumer panel, which advises the Financial Services Authority.

They say homeowners are finding they may be evicted because lawyers are not aware of the FSA's rules surrounding repossessions.

John Howard, the Financial Services Consumer Panel's chairman, told us more.

Further information:

Other news

The price of taking your driving test will be increasing.

From 1 April, learner car drivers will pay 56.50 for their practical test - an 8 increase - and 30 for the theory test - a 1.50 increase.

But for motorcyclists, there is a bigger increase - from the end of September they will have to pay 80, which is 20 more, to take a more wide ranging practical test.

Further information:

BBC Radio 4's Money Box was broadcast on Saturday, 23 February 2008 at 1204 GMT.

The programme was repeated on Sunday, 24 February 2008 at 2102 GMT.

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22 Feb 08 |  Moneybox

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