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Trouble for child trust fund firm

Child putting money in piggy bank
BBC Radio 4's Money Box
Saturday, 03 July 2010 at 1204 BST on Radio 4 and Online

One of the largest providers of stock market based child trust funds has stopped taking new business on all but the most basic Child Trust Fund accounts.

The Children's Mutual, a friendly society based in Tunbridge Wells, has confirmed that it is no longer accepting new savings business - with one exception:- the standard stakeholder child trust fund which tracks prices of shares sold on the London stock exchange.

That allows the society to keep its status as a child trust fund provider. Its Shariah compliant version is also open for new business. But all other investment products have gone. The decision came after the Government announced it would stop paying into Child Trust Funds from January.

The Children's Mutual says it will reconsider its position in two months. We hear from its Chief Executive David White.

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Good news for savers

Finally some there's good news for people with Individual Savings Accounts or ISAS. The Office of Fair Trading has told banks and building societies to stop delaying transfers, which can cost people tens, hundreds or even thousands of pounds in lost interest.

From December 31st this year, they want the cash ISA transfer period to take no more than 15 working days. At present the average waiting time is 26 days.

There's also movement on another practise that annoys Money Box listeners - why their cash ISA statements don't tell them their current rate of interest on accounts taken out in previous tax years. From May 2012 savers will be told this on their statements.

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Failure to address debt

When people move house they normally arrange to have mail forwarded on. But those in debt sometimes aren't so keen to let people - especially banks - know where they are moving to.

That can cause problems for the new occupant as Moneybox listener Alan Copperwaite found out.

The programme also talks to Peter Wallwork who is Chief Executive of the Credit Services Association - which regulates debt collectors

Any listeners with concerns over debt collection issues are invited to either email or call 0191 286 5656.

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Finance lessons for children

This week thousands of school children in England have been taking part in a government funded initiative to improve their knowledge of personal finance.

My Money Week is part of a 10 million pound, three year programme launched under Labour. But as the new government looks to cut spending, how easy is it to evaluate the effect of schemes which are not part of any formal examination or assessment system?

Bob Howard takes a look.

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

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