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Claims management companies crackdown

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BBC Radio 4's Money Box
Saturday, 1st September 2012 at 1204 BST On Radio 4 and Online

The Government is taking action against claims management companies. They are the firms that claim to help people get redress and compensation for mis-sold products.

Their top target is, of course, the millions of people mis-sold payment protection insurance. The banks have set aside £10 billion to compensate customers and the claims management companies have been active to get a share of that.

Two things are planned by the Ministry of Justice which regulates the sector. Firstly, the claims management companies are going to have to follow strict new rules about such things as explaining their charges clearly.

Secondly, they are going to be covered by the Legal Ombudsman which can investigate claims against them and award compensation. Kevin Rousell, Head of Claims Management Regulation, at the MoJ and Andrew Wigmore from the Claims Standards Council speak to the programme.

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Paying for care

If you or a relative have been paying for care that should have been free under the NHS, you'll need to act quickly if you want to try and get back that money.

The deadline for starting a claim is 30th September 2012. After that date, you won't recover the full amount. You might not even realise that you can get free care - and that includes care in your own home or in a specialist care home. But you can, if the main needs are assessed as medical rather than social.

The NHS in England will pay the full amount - nursing and accommodation costs - no matter what your income or assets. Provided it's for a "primary health need".

The law is different elsewhere in the UK.

The programme hears from Daughne Taylor, who recovered nearly £84,000 costs paid towards her father's care. And talks to Lisa Morgan, a partner at solicitors Hugh James.

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Giving out your three digit code

On the back of your credit or debit card is a three digit number the CVV or Card Verification Value. You should only give it out over the phone or online. But some retailers are asking for it in face to face transactions. Can they do that? Should they do that? And can you refuse?

Bob Howard reports.

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Other news

Ulster Bank compensation scheme

The Ulster Bank has announced details of a compensation scheme for customers affected by the major computer failure over the summer. It will reimburse ''reasonable out-of-pocket expenses'', including charges placed on people's accounts in error.

Customers will receive £20 if they visited the bank from 19 June- 18 July and made a transaction. This is a payment for inconvenience caused.

Thousands of customers were unable to withdraw cash or access their accounts after a software upgrade. Natwest/RBS customers who may have also been affected by the computer glitch will have the fees and charges automatically corrected by the end of August, says the banking group.

Ulster Bank helpline number

0800 231 232

NatWest/RBS helpline

Freephone: 0800 656 9639

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More other news

Financial Services Compensation Scheme clarification

From Friday 31 August all banks, building societies and credit unions will have to have a poster in a window and a small notice by each cashier showing the deposit protection scheme limits and which other firms they are linked with.

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



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