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'Free' add-ons that cost later

policy and keys
BBC Radio 4's Money Box
Saturday, 7th January 2012 at 1204 GMT On Radio 4 and Online

A leading car insurer has been adding extra insurance to customers policies even when they have indicated they do not want it.

Initially the product is free. But when the policy is renewed the cost of the extra product is added on to the premium unless the customer specifically asks for it to be removed.

Bob Howard's been looking at one listener's experience.

The programme hears from Adrian Webb, Head of Communications at E-Sure and Ingrid Gubbay, consumer specialist lawyer for the firm Hausfeld and Co.

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A new EU law in force from 1 January means electronic bank transfers must arrive in the recipient's account by the next business day.

In practice this means most payments in the UK will be credited in two hours under the Faster Payments system.

But a Money Box survey has found wide variations in the limits and rules that banks apply to Faster Payments.

One company, PayPal, is required to comply with the rule but won't have the Faster Payments system in place until later this year.

And with various ways to pay a credit card or tax bill, how can you be sure the money will get there in time to avoid a charge?

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Absolute return funds

If you want to invest your money then something called an 'absolute return' fund might sound attractive.

They aim to give you a positive return even in difficult times. But for a lot of people who invested in these funds last year the results didn't quite live up to the name.

Ben Carter reports and Paul Lewis talks to Merryn Somerset-Webb, editor-in-chief at Moneyweek.

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Mortgage rate hike

Thousands of people whose mortgages have been transferred from the Bank of Ireland to a subsidiary of Nationwide are facing an anxious wait to see if their mortgage repayments will rocket.

Those currently on the SVR rate of 2.99% will in future have to pay 4.79%, but Nationwide won't say when the change will take place.

Money Box speaks to mortgage expert Ray Boulger, senior technical manager at John Charcol.

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BBC Radio 4's Money Box is broadcast on Saturday at 1204 GMT.

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