Money Box

Money Box

United Kingdom

The latest news from the world of personal finance plus advice for those trying to make the most of their money.

Episodes

Southern Comfort  

One frustrated user of the Southern rail franchise was refunded half of the cost of his season ticket this week. But instead of the refund coming from the train company it came from his credit card provider. What are your rights to plastic refunds for disrupted travel? January is traditionally when lawyers see a spike in the numbers of couples who've decided to divorce. We look at the case where one wealthy husband has asked the Court of Appeal to overturn a ruling that he must give half his assets to his wife when they divorce. He says that £140m of his fortune is entirely due to his own skill and enterprise and he should be allowed to keep it. According to the Office for National Statistics crime survey, nearly half of all crime reported in England and Wales is fraud and cybercrime. Whilst the numbers of these types of crimes are up, the numbers of cases passed to the police to investigate is down. We also report an update on the case of Nargess Sadjady who lost £12k to criminals but recorded the calls the fraudsters made to her. And the whistleblower who has just won a 13-year "David and Goliath battle" against HSBC and the Financial Conduct Authority, resulting in a multimillion-pound compensation payout to thousands of people. Presenter: Paul Lewis Producer: Alex Lewis Editor: Richard Vadon.

Money Box 0

Money Box Live: Winter Finances  

Winter can be an expensive time of year. Burst pipes, cancelled flights and additional heating bills can put a real squeeze on your finances. So how best to ease the extra pressure? Email your comments and questions about winter finances to moneybox@bbc.co.uk. From 1pm to 3.30pm on Wednesday 18 January you can call 03700 100 444, standard geographic charges from landlines and mobiles will apply. Joining Adam are an expert panel including: Sue Hayward - money and consumer expert Malcolm Tarling - Association of British Insurers Mervyn Kohler - Age UK Presenter: Adam Shaw Producer: Charmaine Cozier Editor: Andrew Smith.

Money Box 0

Can't pay, won't pay, will pay  

More information related to stories featured in this week's edition of Money Box can be found in the Related links section below. Money Box hears from David who paid £3,400 for a motor home he'd found online. Only he hadn't. Instead his cash ended up in a TSB bank account controlled by criminals. His attempts to get his money back from his own bank failed as did two appeals to the Financial Ombudsman. TSB also initially rejected him twice but have now paid him back. Why has that finally happened and what can, or can't, the Financial Ombudsman do when a victim of fraud tries to reclaim their cash from an account that's been set up by scammers? It's been a record-breaking week for the FTSE 100. London's main share index marked the longest run of 12 consecutive days of closing record highs. The last time it did that was 1997 when it managed eight days in a row. Russ Mould, Investment Director at AJ Bell and independent market analyst Brenda Kelly discuss whether it's a cause for celebration or concern. Just over 4 million couples qualify for the marriage allowance tax break. It allows people who are married or in a civil partnership, who don't pay tax, to transfer some of their unused personal allowance to their spouse who does. The latest figures from HMRC reveal that 1.39 million couples have claimed. Robin Williamson, Technical Director of the Low Incomes Tax Reform Group outlines how it works and how you can get it. Presenter: Paul Lewis Reporter: Tony Bonsignore Producer: Charmaine Cozier Editor: Andrew Smith.

Money Box 0

Money Box Live: How safe is your password?  

Email your comments and questions about the future of passwords to moneybox@bbc.co.uk From 1pm to 3.30pm on Wednesday 11 January you can call 03700 100 444, standard geographic charges from landlines and mobiles will apply. Passwords are everywhere. The government conservatively estimates that on average we have 25 online accounts which require one and recent research shows 60% of us struggle to remember them. With dire warnings about the consequences of writing them down or using the same one for everything, the passwords we tend to create are weak and based on information hackers have easy access to. So what is the solution to keeping everything secure yet allowing us unfettered access to our online accounts? Adam Shaw and guests explore what a post-password future might look like. Panel includes: Lawrence Munro - SpiderLabs, Trustwave Angela Sasse - Professor of Human-Centred Security. UCL Charlie McMurdie - Senior Cyber Crime Advisor,PwC Presenter: Adam Shaw Producer: Alex Lewis Editor: Andrew Smith.

Money Box 0

Cheaper energy when it rains  

Paul Lewis hears from a listener who built up savings of £180,000 over more than ten years in business, only to have it all stolen from her account in 24 hours by online scammers. Should her bank have noticed and stepped in? We also hear from the Payments Systems Regulator on one safety measure - confirmation of payee - being considered for 2018. And retail banking consultant Richard Emery, who specialises in investigating credit and debit card and online banking fraud, reveals the six steps he thinks banks should take to really crack down on the fraudsters. Also, cheaper energy when it rains. A new hydro power scheme in Bethesda in Gwynedd is offering locally generated cut price energy to selected households who are willing to change their energy consumption habits. We hear how it works and whether it and other overseas local energy schemes could be models for more of us paying less for energy. We'll also ask whether even the incentive of lower bills is enough to make us alter our patterns of energy use? And - the government estimates that we each have, on average, 25 password-protected online accounts. That's a lot of passwords to remember. If you write them down, you risk invalidating your consumer protection. If you make them too repetitive, a fraudster who breaches security on one of your accounts might gain access to all the rest too. If you make them too easy, they won't give you much protection in the first place. So take a deep breath, and hear about the techniques and new technology that could help you - and about the options that could actually put you more at risk. Presenter: Paul Lewis Producer: Paul Waters.

Money Box 0

Money Box Live: Credit Reports  

Email your comments and questions about credit scores and reports to moneybox@bbc.co.uk From 1pm to 3.30pm on Wednesday 4 January you can also call 03700 100 444, standard geographic charges from landlines and mobiles will apply. Credit checks underpin many significant personal finance activities such as applying for a loan. Your credit score plays a part in determining not only whether your request is accepted, but also the rate of interest you'll have to pay. Credit scores can also be used to decide whether energy customers will be allowed to switch from prepayment meters in order to pay on a monthly or quarterly basis instead. What does the credit scoring process involve, what other factors do lenders consider and how can a score be improved? Adam Shaw is joined by Professor Jonathan Crook, Director of the Credit Research Centre at the University of Edinburgh Business School, Dr Steven Finlay, Head of Analytics at Computershare Loan Services and James Jones, Head of Consumer Affairs at Experian. Presenter: Adam Shaw Producer: Charmaine Cozier Editor: Andrew Smith.

Money Box 0

The death of the single price?  

If you've caught a train recently or booked a hotel or even taken an Uber minicab you'll be familiar with the idea that a fixed price for a single product is fast becoming a thing of the past. This practice of charging different prices based on how much people are willing to pay rather than the cost of production is known as price discrimination. The rise of online retailing and associated information on how we shop means that it is spreading. Charging customers exactly the amount they are prepared to pay for a product is obviously good for businesses, but what about the consumer? How does it affect our relationship with goods, services, and other customers, especially when there could be a difference of hundreds of pounds between what you and your neighbour on a flight have paid? And how best to play businesses at their own game? Presenter: Adam Shaw Producer: Alex Lewis Editor: Andrew Smith.

Money Box 0

Guide to the Unprotected - personal finance past and present  

"Many young people, and especially widows and single ladies, when they first possess money of their own, are in want of advice when they have commonplace business matters to transact...... my aim throughout is to avoid all technicalities; to give plain and practical directions, not only as to what ought to be done, but how to do it." Those words are from a personal finance book called 'Guide to the Unprotected in Every-Day Matters Relating to Property and Income' which was first published in 1863. The author, listed as 'A Banker's Daughter', was Emma Galton who was born in Birmingham in 1811. Her book was intended for women with no knowledge of financial matters. Its clear and practical information covered shares, investments, where to find financial advice and what women could do to protect their personal fortunes within their marriages. What was the financial environment like for nineteenth century investors, especially women? Where did they put their money and why? How much of the book is relevant today? Paul Lewis is joined by Jeanette Rutterford, Research Professor of the True Potential Centre for the Public Understanding of Finance at the Open University Business School, Anna Sofat, Founder and Managing Director of Addidi Wealth, Dr Lucy Newton Associate Professor in Business History at Henley Business School and Alison Belbin as the voice of The Banker's Daughter. Presenter: Paul Lewis Producer: Charmaine Cozier Editor: Andrew Smith.

Money Box 0

Scottish income tax goes north  

Is it the beginning of the end for the £50 note? Plans for converting Bank of England notes to plastic (with or without animal fat) end with the £20 in 2020. But the future may not be so bright for the £50. There are currently no plans for the more durable version. And as other countries phase out their high value notes - or in India's case not so high ones - to discourage crime, money laundering and tax evasion there are suggestions that the £50 may follow them to the museum. Claer Barrett, FT Money Editor discusses the rise and fall of high-value banknotes. Are the banks doing enough to combat financial crime? The Payment Systems Regulator confirmed this week that it has decided on a programme of liaising, sharing information, developing statistics, and developing best practice standards. And there will be ongoing monitoring and a review later next year. Consumer group Which? remains unimpressed. Higher rate taxpayers in Scotland will pay £314 a year more than those in the rest of the UK under plans revealed by the Scottish Government this week. Finance Minister Derek Mackay used his new powers over income tax to make just one change. From April the 40% higher rate of tax will begin at £43,430 rather than the £45,000 which will apply in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. So who will pay it? And how will they know? Stephen Hay, Head of Tax Scotland for RSM explains. Ten credit unions have got together to offer the same sort of instant loans that so far have been the preserve of pay day lenders and other high cost credit providers. They will be offering a low APR (around 13.9% they say) and an instant decision. However, the money may still not be transferred instantly as they are currently promising a next business day service. Could this be the long-awaited breakthrough for credit unions? Or another damp squib? Mohsin Mehdi from My Community Bank tells us why he thinks this new initiative will work. Producer: Lee Kumutat Reporter: Jordan Dunbar Presenter: Paul Lewis Editor: Andrew Smith.

Money Box 0

Money Box Live: Charity Box  

Money Box looks inside the Charity Box - with Christmas coming, you may feel that twinge to give to charity, but how do you know that your money is being spent wisely? With stories of financial irregularities and concerns over aggressive tactics by some charities to get hold of your cash, how should we choose to give to those less fortunate than ourselves at this time of year? Louise Cooper presents this edition of Money Box Live with guests, Sarah Atkinson, Charity Commission director of policy and communications, Chief Executive Dan Corry from New Philanthropy Capital and Gareth Jones Editor, Charity Finance. E mail moneybox@bbc.co.uk with your questions and comments. Or ring the programme. 03 700 100 444. Lines are open from 1pm on Wednesday and geographic charges apply.

Money Box 0

Stamps, wine, coins and books - alternative investments  

Stanley Gibbons has been selling rare and valuable postage stamps since 1856. In more recent years it's made them available as investments along with coins, books and other collectibles. Money Box Listener Russell has discovered that a stamp investment contract with the company, which his father failed to cash in after it expired two years ago, is now worth less that the £10,000 he put in. What should people who put their cash into alternative assets realistically expect from their unregulated investments? There was a time when the idea of transferring out of a final salary pension, with its guaranteed income, was considered strange. Steve Webb, Director of Policy at Royal London and Andrew Tully, Pensions Technical Director at Retirement Advantage discuss the market conditions that have changed that view as well as why people are cashing in and what they need to consider. The Bank of England once described the buy-to-let property sector as a threat to financial stability because it fed price rises which in turn could spark a housing market crash. As well as existing measures in place to curb growth, next year sees the introduction of changes to tax relief and the possibility of new limits on the amount that landlords can borrow. Carolyn Uphill Chair of the National Landlords Association and Dan Wilson Craw, Policy and Communications Manager, Generation Rent debate whether this is the beginning of the end for buy-to-let or will landlords still find ways to thrive.

Money Box 0

Money Box Live  

New rules imposed on payday lenders by the regulator which included capping the amount people were charged so they never have to pay more than double what they borrowed, have been in force since Jan 2015. Since then, the number of people going to Citizens Advice for help with these kinds of debts has fallen by more than a half. But is it all good news for borrowers? Should the regulator now look to regulate other forms of high cost credit?

Money Box 0

GB Energy collapses, An investment fund based on gambling, Banking fraud  

Now that GB Energy has gone bust, what does it mean for its 160,000 customers? We hear what lies ahead for them at Co-operative Energy which has been appointed by the regulator Ofgem to take over GB Energy's business. We also ask if Co-operative Energy will be able to cope with such a sudden huge influx of new clients, especially given the criticism they have received for poor customer service in the past. And does this put a chill on competition in the energy supply market? Is it worth switching to smaller suppliers which may not survive a winter of rising energy prices? Or does the industry safety net mean that searching for the best deal is still a wise move? Also - with almost six million fraud and cyber crimes committed last year in England and Wales, we hear from Martin Emms, cyber security researcher at Newcastle University. He reveals how thieves can crack your credit card details using just a laptop and a bit of savvy, to launch a distributed guessing attack and transfer your money abroad. And Ruth Evans, chair of the Payments Strategy Forum, explains proposals to make your credit transfers, direct debits and standing orders more secure. But will they really stump the fraudsters who often seem to be at least a step ahead? And a multi-million pound investment scheme called The Winning Express has collapsed, leaving more than a thousand investors out of pocket. It was endorsed by footballers and based on gambling. Victims claim that the authorities failed to properly investigate despite repeated warnings. Presenter: Paul Lewis Producer: Paul Waters.

Money Box 0

Money Box Live: Transforming the NHS  

New plans to transform the NHS over the next five years have been published. The BBC's Lesley Curwen takes a detailed look at the numbers and asks whether the figures are adding up. Is there money to make the necessary changes to reduce seemingly ever escalating demand for hospital care? Can the NHS afford to do nothing? With a panel of especially invited guests and on location interviews from Birmingham, Money Box investigates. Do you work in the NHS? What do you think of the plans? Call us between 1pm to 3.30pm on Wednesday 30th November on 03700 100 444. Standard geographic charges from landlines and mobiles will apply, or email us on moneybox@bbc.co.uk or by tweeting us @moneybox.

Money Box 0

Your insurance premium tax is set to rise. Again.  

A tax which is added to many insurance policies including for pets, cars and home contents is set to rise again. Insurance Premium Tax will rise from 10% to 12% from June next year. Policyholders pay it but rarely see it listed on their bills. Around 28,000 families on low incomes who have a disabled child missed out on up to £4400 in tax credits between 2011 to 2014. The omission was due to a "gap in the data feed" between the Department of Work and Pensions and HMRC. The extra money due will be only be backdated to April this year. A new government savings bond launches next year. It will pay 2.2% on up to £3,000. Anna Bowes from Savings Champion discusses what savers should consider and also looks at plans to raise the Financial Services Compensation Scheme Limit for deposits back to £85,000 from next year. People on average earnings in auto enrolment pension schemes will need to increase their minimum contribution level to 12% of their pay if they want to secure an adequate income in retirement. That's the view from a report by the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association. The current rate of saving is nominally 2% and is due to rise to a nominal 8% by 2019. The contribution rate is divided between employer and employee - could a 12% rise be a cost too far for small business and workers on low wages? This week's Autumn Statement confirmed significant changes to salary sacrifice schemes where workers exchange some of their pay in return for goods and services like gym memberships, childcare, computers and mobile phone deals. From next April most of these schemes will be subject to the same tax treatment as cash income.

Money Box 0

Money Box Live: Autumn Statement 2016 -what's in it for you?  

Autumn Statement 2016. Paul Lewis and a panel of experts look at the detail of Philip Hammond's first Autumn Statement as Chancellor of the Exchequer and assess the impact it will have on your personal finances. The end to letting agents fees, a reduction to the Universal Credit taper rate - what other help is there be for the 'JAMs'? Then there's also fuel duty, salary sacrifice perks and the safety of the triple lock? With Paul in the studio answering your questions are: - Tina Riches, National Tax Partner at Smith & Williamson. - Adam Challis, Head of Residential Research JLL, one of the UK's largest property firms. - Tom Selby, Senior Analyst AJ Bell. - Dr Phil Agulnik, Director at entitledto.com E mail moneybox@bbc.co.uk with your questions and comments. Or ring the programme. 03 700 100 444. Lines are open from 1pm on Wednesday and geographic charges apply. Presenter: Paul Lewis Producer: Alex Lewis + Charmaine Cozier Editor: Andrew Smith.

Money Box 0

Energy savings that disappear  

The savings that energy companies promise customers are in many cases fictional and never will materialise. Those are the findings of a Money Box investigation. We found that the savings energy companies have been quoting to urge large numbers of customers to switch tariffs are phantom and can never be achieved. We have discovered that this is down to the way that Ofgem makes suppliers and comparison websites work out potential savings using the standard variable tariff as a basis for comparison even though customers may not even be on it. This week the Financial Conduct Authority outlined a new approach for regulating the promotion and distribution of Lifetime ISAs which will be available from April 2017. LISAs are intended to allow people aged under-40 to save for a home and retirement simultaneously with a cash bonus worth up to £1,000 a year being added to every £4,000 saved in to the scheme. Lifetime ISAs have come under criticism from the industry so will this new approach make any difference? As of next spring the UK will have a new main measure of inflation. The Consumer Price Inflation including Housing (CPIH) includes the costs of owner-occupied housing. We discuss its pros and cons. And Sweden's central bank is currently considering launching a digital currency in a move away from hard cash. We ask the bank's Deputy Governor how a central bank supported digital currency could work and what challenges it would create. Presenter: Paul Lewis Reporter: Michael Robinson Producer: Alex Lewis Editor: Andrew Smith.

Money Box 0

Money Box Live: Power of Attorney - Your Questions Answered  

A power of attorney is a means of granting legal permission for one or more people to manage and make financial decisions on your behalf when you are unable to. It can be temporary or permanent and the rules surrounding how it works and what it covers can vary in different parts of the UK. Whether you're considering setting up a power of attorney, or if you manage one but are having problems exercising it with a bank or building society, we'd like to hear from you. Send your questions, experiences or views by e-mail now to moneybox@bbc.co.uk. From 1pm to 3.30pm on Wednesday 16 November you can also call 03700 100 444, standard geographic charges from landlines and mobiles will apply. Guests: Sandra McDonald, Public Guardian Scotland Holly Chantler, Board Member Solicitors for the Elderly and Partner Morrisons Solicitors George McNamara, Head of Policy, Alzheimer's Society Presenter: Louise Cooper Producer: Charmaine Cozier Editor: Andrew Smith.

Money Box 0

'Bedroom tax' win  

Two families with disabled members won cases in the Supreme Court this week, overturning a reduction in their benefits because they had what the Government considered to be too many bedrooms. Will this ruling have lasting consequences? Around 9000 customers of Tesco Bank have had their money returned after thieves took hundreds, in some cases thousands, of pounds from their current accounts. But will Tesco be compensating customers as well as returning their own money? Royal Bank of Scotland announced this week it would compensate thousands of business customers who say it reclaimed loans and took their assets instead of supporting them through the financial crisis eight years ago. It's so-called Global Restructuring Group is accused of buying assets cheaply from firms it claimed to be helping. Many have gone bust and their directors have lost their homes. Do RBS's actions go far enough? Presenter: Paul Lewis Producer: Alex Lewis Reporter: Lee Kumutat Editor: Andrew Smith.

Money Box 0

Money Box Live: Vanguard founder John Bogle who revolutionised fund management, gives his first UK broadcast interview  

In 1975 John Bogle founded Vanguard, a fund management company. Since then it has grown into the second largest fund manager in the world, overseeing more than $3.5 trillion. He is also credited with revolutionising the sector, driving down costs and boosting returns to savers thanks to two innovations. He created the first passive fund which invests in all shares in a stock market index, thereby not needing to pay fund managers to actively decide which shares to buy and sell. Secondly, he set up Vanguard as a mutual - owned by those who give it money to invest - thereby not needing to pay dividends to external shareholders. In this edition of Money Box Live, John Bogle gives his first UK broadcast interview to Louise Cooper. We also hear criticisms of the passive approach - that it is insufficiently nimble to avoid over-exposure to stock bubbles and that it does too little to hold the management of companies in which it invests to account - over executive pay, for instance. Also on the programme: - Saker Nusseibeh from Hermes Investment Management - Andrew Clare, Deputy Dean and Chair of Asset Management of Cass Business School - Ben Johnson. Director of Global Exchange-Traded Funds research for the independent investment research provider Morningstar. Presenter: Louise Cooper Producer: Paul Waters.

Money Box 0

0:00/0:00
Video player is in betaClose