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FSA to ban financial commission sales

FSA bans commission sales
BBC Radio 4's Money Box
Saturday, 27 March 2010 at 1204 GMT On Radio 4 and Online

The City watchdog, the FSA, is to ban financial advisors from receiving commission for selling investment policies - in a bid to restore consumer confidence after a number of mis-selling scandals.

The decision comes after years of lobbying by consumer bodies. The new rules will come into force in 2012. Commission payments have been at the heart of mis-selling scandals involving policies such as mortgage endowments and personal pensions.

From 2012, firms will have to be upfront about how much they charge for their services, and not hide the cost of advice behind the overall cost of a product.

Adam Phillips, chairman of the Financial Services Consumer Panel and Chris Cummings of Association of Independent Financial Advisers will be speaking to the programme.

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Cartel Client Review

A week after the Ministry of Justice shut down one of the UK's biggest claims management companies, the head of its claims management regulation team gives an exclusive interview to Money Box.

The programme was the first to reveal that Cartel Client Review and its solicitors were under investigation, last month.

And now the MoJ's Kevin Roussell talks to Paul Lewis about the company in question and discusses the health of the unenforceable credit claims industry as a whole.

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Beginning of the end for cheque guarantee cards

Are the banks trying to hasten the end of cheques? We have reported before that they intend to phase them out by October 2018. But stage one is to end the cheque guarantee card - and that is due to happen on 30 June 2011.

The guarantee began in 1969 and if you sign the cheque in front of the recipient and write the number on the back then the bank guarantees the cheque will be honoured - normally up to £100.

But listeners have told us recently that new debit cards are already being issued by banks and building societies without the cheque guarantee symbol - £100 in a silver hologram. Meaning it's the traders who accept cheques that are now bearing the risk.

We speak to Trefor Owen who runs a small business, Stephen Alambritis from the Federation of Small Businesses and Sandra Quinn at the UK Payments Council.

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Stamp Duty exemption extended

On Wednesday the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced some good news for first time buyers: they now don't have to pay stamp duty for houses up to £250,000. That could mean a saving of up to £2500.

But what real impact does stamp duty have on the housing market and will it really encourage many more first time buyers to take the plunge? And how fair is this 'guillotine' tax?

Some housing experts argue that the stamp duty holiday is going to do little to boost the housing market.

Money Box hears from Richard Donnell, Director of Research at Hometrack - which analyses the housing market.

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End of year tax "spring cleaning"

The end of the tax year is closer than you might think. The last day is April 5th. But that's Easter Monday. In fact there are just four working days before the new tax year arrives on April 6th.

So what should you be doing before then? Perhaps putting more money into your pension - or topping up your savings and investments? And once the tax year is over what should you be checking?

Justin Modray from joins the programme.

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

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