BBC News
Launch consoleBBC NEWS CHANNEL
Page last updated at 14:24 GMT, Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Black horse stares into a black hole

Lloyds TSB's black horse logo
BBC Radio 4's Money Box
Saturday, 14 February 2009
at 1204 BST
On Radio 4 and Online

The Chancellor, Alistair Darling, has defended the government's role in the tie up between Lloyds TSB and Halifax Bank of Scotland - after the subsidiary prepared to announce record losses of almost 11bn for 2008.

Mr Darling told the BBC the government had had to intervene quickly in October when the deal had been struck, to stop the banking system's collapse.

Lloyds Banking Group, which is part owned by the taxpayer, saw its share price slump by a third after the HBOS announcement.

So what is the future for the banking giant?

Money Box hears from banking analyst, Peter Hahn from the Cass Business School and from Justin Urquhart Stewart of Seven Investment Management.

Further information/related stories:

Woman with an umbrella walking past a Northern Rock Branch
Rainy day for Northern Rock shareholders

Former Northern Rock shareholders have lost their legal challenge to the government's plan to compensate them.

In the High Court they said the government had deliberately undervalued the bank in the run up to its nationalisation last year which, they argued, infringed their human rights and meant they would now receive nothing.

Lord Justice Stanley Burnton, one of the two judges hearing the judicial review said: "We have come to the conclusion that the provisions made for the compensation of the shareholders of Northern Rock do not infringe their rights."

A firm of accountants is assessing how much the shares were worth and how much compensation should now be paid.

We bring you the latest news for shareholders.

Further information/related stories:

Standard Life company logo
In January Standard Life told investors of poor fund performance
Standard Life

Standard Life has agreed to compensate 100,000 customers of one of its funds at a cost of 100m to itself.

Nearly 100,000 customers of Standard Life were set to lose 5% of their money invested in its Pension Sterling Fund.

The company had marketed the fund as safe, but it emerged that about 13% of the fund had been invested in mortgage backed securities - the assets at the centre of the credit crunch crisis.

We interviewed John Gill from Standard Life in mid-January when he said compensation was out of the question, but the company has now changed its mind and announced it will reimburse all customers of the fund.

Independent financial advisor Mark Meldon, from R C Gray and Co Limited and Robin Geffen of Neptune Investment Management tell us more.

Further information/related stories:

Man showing an empty pocket lining
Now you see it... How much control do you have over your money?
Banks help themselves

The Citizens' Advice Bureau is calling for banks to stop the practice of taking money out of current accounts to pay off other debts.

The organisation has seen a 25% increase in each of the last two years of banks using their little-known about "right of set off".

The consumer body argues that customers often have their benefits taken out leaving them unable to make more important payments.

The banking industry says it treats account holders sympathetically and that the onus is on the customer to let their banks know when they face difficulties.

BBC Radio 4 Money Box reporter Samantha Washington investigates.

Further information/related stories:

Other news

The 2009 Budget will be held on 22 April - after the Easter recess and more than two weeks after the end of the normal financial year - Alistair Darling has announced.

BBC Radio 4's Money Box was broadcast on Saturday, 14 February 2009 at 1204 GMT.

Money Box



Download or subscribe to this programme's podcast

Podcast Help

External links and helplines
17 Feb 09 |  Moneybox

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

banner watch listen bbc sport Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific