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What the PPI ruling means for you

cash tug of war
BBC Radio 4's Money Box
Saturday, 23 April 2011 at 1204 BST On Radio 4 and Online

UK banks have lost a judicial review which means they could end up paying billions of pounds in compensation to customers mis-sold Payment Protection Insurance.

Banks will now have to look back at past sales of PPI, even if customers have not formally complained. PPI policies were sold to people taking out loans or credit cards and were meant to repay loans if that person fell ill or were made redundant.

The British Bankers' Association says it's 'disappointed' by the ruling and has 21 days to appeal. Moneybox looks at the implications for consumers.

The programme hears from David Wolfe, a barrister with Matrix Chambers, an expert on the judicial review process; from Ralph Silva, banking analyst at SRN, and also from a listener who believes she was mis-sold PPI.

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There's growing concern over letters being sent out by HMRC to people who owe tax, which state that their possessions will be sold unless they pay up quickly.

Thousands of Britain's self-assessment taxpayers have been affected.

HMRC says it has a 'responsibility to the majority of taxpayers who pay their taxes in full and on time, to take firm but measured action against those that don't'.

But Money Box has been contacted by listeners who owe a few hundred pounds in tax who say it's been impossible to negotiate a re-payment schedule with the HMRC helpline.

Chartered accountant Neil Beverton, of Beverton&Co, who has clients with tax to pay, outlines his concerns. And Una Farrell, from the debt advice charity, the Consumer Credit Counselling Service, explains your rights and responsibilities if you find yourself in this position.

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Is all that glitters gold?

The price of gold has risen above $1,500 an ounce for the first time after concerns about global economic recovery lifted the metal's appeal to investors.

Traders believe that Standard and Poor's downgrade of its outlook on US debt was a contributing factor.

There are also concerns about sovereign debt, a weak US dollar and soaring inflation.

But will the price of gold continue to rise or is the bubble about to burst?

The programme hears from David Kuo from the financial website The Motley Fool and Merrin Somerset-Webb, editor of personal finance magazine MoneyWeek.

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A brief visit to the last millenium

In 1999, Money Box listener David Mitten wrote into the programme - aged 57 and about to retire. He wanted to know whether to take a bigger pension and no lump sum or a lump sum of nearly £100,000 and a smaller pension. Tim Johnson, an IFA advised David to take the bigger pension.

David recently contacted the programme. But did he regret taking Tim's advice?

The programme hears from both men.

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

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