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Page last updated at 16:20 GMT, Monday, 26 May 2008 17:20 UK

Quick, quick, slow?

Apacs' chief executive Paul Smee
BBC Radio 4's Money Box
Saturday 24 May
at 1204 BST
On Radio 4 and Online

After numerous delays, the Faster Payments Service will finally be launched on Tuesday 27 May - but how much difference will it make to you?

It is more than eight years since the banks promised to speed up the time it takes for payments to be made between different bank accounts.

But the new system is going to be phased in, which means that although most bank customers will be able to receive faster payments from that date, only a small fraction will be able to send them.

And two of the thirteen founder members of the scheme will not let their customers use the service to send or receive payments at all until later in the year.

We got a demonstration of the new system and discussed the launch with Paul Smee, chief executive of Apacs - the UK payments association.

Further information/related stories:


A backpacker on holiday
How much would you remember about the contents of your luggage?

Holiday insurance

If you lose belongings or have them stolen on holiday, insurers routinely ask you to provide as much evidence as possible to prove that you did actually own those items.

That could take the form of receipts, photographs or even the original packaging.

But Money Box has learnt that being too meticulous in the details you provide can, in itself, sometimes arouse suspicion.

Bob Howard investigated.

Further information/related stories:


The Which? website page for their campaign on bank charges (credit: Which? website)
The consumer organisation, Which? campaigns against bank charges

Bank charges

A High Court hearing to decide the fairness of bank overdraft charges will now start before the end of the year.

The timetable was agreed by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT), seven banks and Nationwide Building Society under pressure from a High Court judge.

Earlier, Mr Justice Andrew Smith allowed the banks to appeal against his first ruling last month that the OFT has jurisdiction over the charges - an appeal which, if successful, would make any separate decision on fairness redundant.

The banks' appeal is likely to be heard this autumn, but if either side then takes the issue to the House of Lords, the question of the OFT's jurisdiction is unlikely to be settled until next year.

Tens of thousands of claims for refunds of charges remain frozen in the county courts, pending the outcome of the case.

We discussed the latest developments with Angela Knight, chief executive of the British Bankers' Association and Phil Jones, personal finance campaigner at consumers organisation Which?

Further information/related stories:


Catharine French, customer services director, Barclays
Catharine French apologised for Barclays' customer service

Barclays ISA delay

Money Box has been inundated with complaints about delays in opening Barclays' popular Tax Haven ISA.

This is despite assurances given to the programme by the bank that it had learned the lessons from the administrative problems it suffered last year, when it offered a similarly attractive product.

We heard from unhappy customers and put their points to customer services director, Catharine French.

Further information/related stories:


Other news

The energy regulator Ofgem is looking into changes to Npower's billing system which it thinks could have seen customers overcharged on their bills.

Npower says that the issue is complicated but denies any of its 2.2 million gas customers have been overcharged.

Further information/related stories:


BBC Radio 4's Money Box was broadcast on Saturday, 24 May 2008 at 1204 BST.

The programme was repeated on Sunday, 25 May 2008 at 2102 BST.



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23 May 08 |  Moneybox


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