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Page last updated at 14:48 GMT, Saturday, 20 September 2008 15:48 UK

Selling short?

Justin Urquhart Stewart
BBC Radio 4's Money Box
Saturday, 20 September
at 1204 BST
On Radio 4 and Online

US officials are working on a plan to help rid US banks of their bad debts and here in the UK the Financial Services Authority has temporarily banned the practice of short selling - which many believe has been fuelling the crisis.

We reflected on an extraordinary week and asked if the measures will help.

Justin Urquhart Stewart, managing director of Seven Investment Management, gave us his views.

Further information/related stories:


A Halifax sign next to a Lloyds TSB on a UK street (credit: Lewis Whyld/PA wire)
Lloyds say the takeover will lead to cost savings of more than 1bn

Lloyds TSB

Lloyds TSB is to buy Halifax Bank of Scotland - the latest victim of the credit crunch - for 12bn.

The deal will create a colossal bank with around a third of the mortgage and savings market.

In normal times such a deal would be blocked by the competition authorities, but the government has relaxed the rules to save HBOS from going under.

We assessed the impact of the merger with Jonathan Charley, vice president of the banking division at the consultancy EDS.

Further information/related stories:


Northern Rock
The crisis at Northern Rock caused many to question the safety of savings

Deposit protection

The takeover of HBOS by Lloyds TSB and rumours of other institutions in trouble has renewed concerns about how safe consumers savings are and the compensation available should another institution go under.

The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) was set up in 2000 for just such an eventuality.

We were joined by Jonathan Clark, director of claims at the FSCS.

And we heard from Lord David Lipsey, chairman of the Financial Services Consumer Panel.

Further information/related stories:


A purse spilling money
Will your wallet be affected by the financial turmoil?

Savings and mortgages

What impact will the latest twist of the credit crunch - and merger of Lloyds TSB and HBOS - have on your savings and mortgages?

Rob Clifford, chief executive of the mortgage broker Mortgageforce and Andrew Hagger from the financial website Moneynet, joined us to explore the implications of the financial turmoil.

Further information/related stories:


Pensioners
If you live in the UK and are over 60 you could be due pension credit

Benefits

Changes to the way some benefits are paid come into force from the beginning of October.

Anyone over 60 claiming pension credit, housing or council tax benefit will only have their claim backdated for three months instead of 12, as is the case at the moment.

The government claims the change is part of a wider shake-up that will benefit pensioners but not everyone agrees.

Mike O'Brien, Minister of State for Pensions Reform, spoke to us about the changes.

Further information/related stories:


BBC Radio 4's Money Box was broadcast on Saturday, 20 September 2008 at 1204 BST.

The programme was repeated on Sunday, 21 September 2008 at 2102 BST.



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SEE ALSO
External internet links
20 Sep 08 |  Moneybox
Have Your Say: Deposit protection
20 Sep 08 |  Moneybox


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