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Page last updated at 13:43 GMT, Saturday, 28 November 2009

Overdraft fees - what next?

Bank statement showing overdraft charges
BBC Radio 4's Money Box
Saturday, 28 November 2009 at 1204 GMT On Radio 4 and Online

Banks are preparing to write to customers who have requested the return of overdraft fees in the wake of this week's Supreme Court judgement.

Around a million customers have had their claims on hold. But the victory of the banks over the Office Of Fair Trading means almost all of them will fail - as they stand.

But campaigners tell Money Box they think there is still hope.

At stake in the case is an estimated £2.6bn of annual income for the banks. Campaigners say they're disappointed with the decision. Paul Lewis was at the Supreme Court for the judgement to gauge reaction.

The programme will also hear from Tony Boorman, Principal Ombudsman, Mike Dailly, principal solicitor at Govan Law Centre, and Angela Knight, chief executive of the British Bankers' Association.

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Card fees for booking flights online

Many Money Box listeners have noticed some airlines are bumping up the charges for paying on credit or debit cards so they become a significant part of the overall cost.

The one card that does not attract the fee is the Visa Electron card, primarily aimed at students or people who had previously been in debt.

But it is now being phased out.

So why are airlines favouring a payment method which may soon cease to exist?

Bob Howard's been investigating.

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Bankers salaries to be exposed

This week a report concluded that UK banks should be forced to publicly disclose the number of their employees who earn more than a million pounds-a-year.

But where do these fat salaries come from?

John Kay, economist and author of The Long and the Short of It - a finance and investment guide for, as he puts it, "normally intelligent people who are not in the industry" explains that they come from the pockets of everybody else outside the City.

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VAT returns to former rate

One of the reasons some economists think inflation will be a problem next year is that VAT goes back up to 17.5% on January 1.

The Government cut the rate to 15% in December 2008 to lower prices for consumers.

But as the rate returns to its previous level, what are the rules for people wanting to make purchases or having building work done at their home within the coming weeks? What VAT rate will they be paying?

Money Box speaks to John Whiting, Tax Policy Director, Chartered Institute of Taxation.

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BBC Radio 4's Money Box was broadcast on Saturday at 1204 GMT and repeated on Sunday at 2102 GMT.



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