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New bank charges twist

A man wearing a sandwich board protests against bank charges on behalf of Which? on 25 February 2009
BBC Radio 4's Money Box
Saturday, 28 February 2009
at 1204 GMT
On Radio 4 and Online

The High Street banks say they will try to appeal against a ruling by the courts this week that the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) can judge whether overdraft charges are fair.

The banks had gone to the court to prevent the OFT considering whether its charges breach strict legal rules on fairness.

But three Court of Appeal judges confirmed an earlier High Court ruling that banks' charges do come under the fairness rules.

This is the latest step in a complicated legal battle.

Meanwhile tens of thousands of claims by customers for the repayment of their overdraft charges are on hold in the courts.

But If the OFT ultimately wins the case, several billion pounds could potentially be refunded to millions of bank customers.

We are joined by Ian Pollock, one of the BBC's personal finance reporters who was in the court, Angela Knight, chief executive of the BBA and Marc Gander from the Consumer Action Group.

Further information/related stories:

Mr Love's 'overdue' text message
Barclaycard say that they are investigating Mr Love's case

Many of us may feel that at some time or another we have not received good service when we have rung a big financial institution's call centre.

But the problems that Money Box listener Gordon Love from Stirling has been experiencing do seem a pretty extreme case.

They first began when he got a text message from Barclaycard about his account - which surprised him as he does not have a Barclaycard.

And that was the just the start of his problems - as Gordon Love tells us.

Further information/related stories:

Lehman Brothers sign
Lehman Brothers went bankrupt in September 2008
Secure investment?

Thousands of people who put their money into "capital secure" investments face losing some or all of their money.

Despite promises in the marketing literature that any money put in would be 100% fully repaid, investors were shocked to find that the guarantee was only as good as the bank which provided it.

And they were even more shocked when that bank went bust.

Samantha Washington reports.

Further information/related stories:

RBS branch sign
RBS was the first bank to join the scheme - Lloyds will also take part
Asset Protection Scheme

It has been described as Britain's biggest ever bailout.

This week the government agreed that the struggling RBS group would be allowed to place 325bn of toxic assets into a scheme that offers insurance for any further losses.

RBS will be responsible for the first 19.5bn of any losses.

Those figures do not include the extra billions of pounds of taxpayers money that will go to the bank to help repair its balance sheet.

This follows the announcement that RBS made losses totalling 24.1bn last year.

Meanwhile another bank - the Lloyds Banking Group - is in talks with the Treasury about placing its toxic assets in the insurance scheme too.

So what does this all mean for the taxpayer and what is the scale of the risk that should be placed on those toxic assets in the government's insurance scheme?

Quantitative finance expert Paul Wilmott will do the number crunching.

Further information/related stories:

Sir Fred Goodwin
Sir Fred Goodwin's pension is said to be 693,000 a year
Sir Fred's pension

The controversy over the pension paid to Sir Fred Goodwin, the former chief executive of Royal Bank of Scotland, is continuing to dominate the news.

Especially the size of his pension pot.

Moneybox reporter Samantha Washington looks at the figures.

Further information/related stories:

BBC Radio 4's Money Box was broadcast on Saturday, 28 February 2009 at 1204 GMT.

The programme was repeated on Sunday 1 March 2009 at 2102 GMT.

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28 Feb 09 |  Moneybox

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