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Page last updated at 21:36 GMT, Sunday, 12 October 2008 22:36 UK

Taking stock

A trader at the stock exchange in Frankfurt
BBC Radio 4's Money Box
Saturday, 11 October
at 1204 BST
On Radio 4 and Online

It has been a dramatic week for the UK and economies around the world, with stock markets in turmoil - wiping billions off the value of shares.

In an effort to steady the faltering global economy, six central banks, including the Bank of England, cut interest rates by half a percentage point on 8 October.

It was an unprecedented move in the UK, as no decision on rates had been expected until the following day.

Meanwhile the government also announced a package of measures aimed at rescuing the banking system - making available 400bn of fresh money in a bid to get the country's banks and building societies lending to consumers again.

But what are the prospects for global markets, the banking bail-out and the overall impact on our savings and investments?

We talked to Howard Wheeldon, senior strategist, BGC partners and to Justin Urquhart Stewart, of Seven Investment Management.

Further information/related stories:


Icesave website
Thousands of Icesave customers found their accounts frozen

Icelandic banks' collapse

It is an anxious time for hundreds of thousands of UK savers with money in the collapsed banks in Iceland: Landsbanski - which owns Icesave and Heritable Bank - and Kaupthing.

The Financial Services Compensation Scheme and the Treasury have intervened.

Moneybox reporter Bob Howard talked to people with savings in those banks and discussed the implications for their finances.

He also examined the latest details of compensation available for depositors.

And we spoke to Jonathan Clarke, director of claims at the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

Further information/related stories:


Nigel Peaple (credit: NAPF website)
The NAPF says schemes seeking to buy-out will increase
Pension planning

The current turmoil on the stock markets will affect those pension funds which invest in stocks and shares, impacting on the size of pension pots - especially for those coming up to retirement over the next year.

The current financial crisis has been high on the agenda at the National Association of Pension Funds' annual conference in Glasgow this week.

Nigel Peaple, director of policy at the National Association of Pension Funds and Stuart Bayliss of Annuity Direct took us through the implications the financial turbulence was likely to have on pensions.

Further information/related stories:


Couple looking in to an estate agent's window
You have found the right house - but what about the mortgage?
Mortgages and housing

Homeowners looking to re-mortgage and first time buyers are hoping that the cut in the Bank of England base rate to 4.5%, made earlier this week, will free up the credit markets and encourage lenders to begin lending again.

The number of mortgage products available, especially to first time buyers and amateur landlords, has slumped to its lowest since the credit crunch began.

So will the price of home loans come down?

Rob Clifford, of brokers Mortgage Force, joined the programme.

Further information/related stories:


Other news

Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) has been strongly criticised by the Competition Commission, after a flood of complaints over alleged mis-selling.

The Commission, which found that there was little competition between providers and little scope for customers to search for alternatives and switch products, will make its final recommendations to remedy the situation later this year.


BBC Radio 4's Money Box was broadcast on Saturday, 11 October 2008 at 1204 BST.

The programme was not repeated on Sunday 12 October 2008 at 2102 BST, but was replaced by a Money Box Live Special.



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SEE ALSO
External links and helplines
11 Oct 08 |  Moneybox
Money Box Live Special
07 Oct 08 |  Moneybox
Government pledges action on bank
10 Oct 08 |  Isle of Man


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