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Page last updated at 17:21 GMT, Friday, 9 September 2011 18:21 UK

Injury claim referral fees banned

BBC Radio 4's Money Box
Saturday, 10th September 2011 at 1204 BST on Radio 4 and Online

The Government is going to stop insurance companies receiving fees from personal injury lawyers in an attempt to keep down the cost of car insurance.

These referral fees are charged by the firm insuring the vehicle that was not at fault in an accident. They end up being paid by the other driver's insurance company.

The fees, which can be hundreds of pounds, are partly blamed for the fact that car insurance has gone up by 40% in the last year.

But will it work? Money Box exposed the merry-go-round of referral fees that follow even a minor car crash. Reporter Ruth Alexander explains.

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NS&I withdraws savings certificates

National Savings and Investments (NS&I), the Governement's savings arm, has withdrawn both fixed interest and index-linked Savings Certificates from sale .

NS&I is one of the largest savings organisations in the UK, offering a range of savings and investments to over 26 million customers. All products offer 100% capital security because they are backed by the Treasury.

The new issues of Savings Certificates had been on sale for almost four months and proved to be very popular with nearly half a million transactions.

So why have they been withdrawn and what are the alternatives for savers?

Paul Lewis talks to chief executive of NS&I, Jane Platt and Kevin Mountford of

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Trail Commission

If you have a personal pension, unit trust or investment bond purchased through a financial adviser, they could be receiving an annual "trail" commission linked to the fund value. In exchange the advisor should be giving you ongoing advice and assistance.

The Financial Services Authority's forthcoming Retail Distribution Review (RDR) intends to introduce tighter regulations regarding trail commission.

Former independent financial advisor, Ivan Massow, returns to the sector with a new business, Paymemy.commission, which promises to put money back into the hands of customers who have paid trail commissions. But how will it work and how new is the idea?

Paul Lewis is joined by Ivan Massow and independent financial advisor and Brian Dennehy, of Dennehy, Weller & Co.

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Swiss franc devalued

Switzerland took the surprising step this week of devaluing its currency. The Swiss franc has become a safe haven for money with the euro and the dollar under pressure and huge uncertainty in the stockmarkets. As demand increased, its price rose.

On Tuesday the Swiss central bank the SNB announced that it would not let the Swiss franc fall below the rate of 1.20 per euro. It promised to buy euros and other currencies in 'unlimited quantities' to achieve that aim.

Money Box speaks to Izabella Kaminska, a writer for the Financial Times market blog AlphaVille.

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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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