About this podcast
The latest news from the world of personal finance plus advice for those trying to make the most of their money.
About this podcast
The latest news from the world of personal finance plus advice for those trying to make the most of their money.
The race to avoid stamp duty
Thousands of people are struggling to complete the purchase of their new home before a big rise in Stamp Duty begins on the first of July in most of the UK. High street banks are told they are wrongly denying compensation to victims of fraud and they’ve been given a timetable to change their procedures. And grieving families could be paying hundreds of pounds too much for a funeral because firms do not display their prices clearly. Presenter: Paul Lewis Reporter: Dan Whitworth Production Co-ordinator: Janet Staples Researcher: Stefania Okereke Producer: Helen Grady Editor: Alex Lewis
MBL: Trading in stocks and shares
Low interest rates on savings has made many people consider putting money built up during the pandemic into stocks and shares in the hope of higher returns. But what do you need to know BEFORE you make that first trade? We explore the risks, how to navigate the jargon and - most importantly - whether this type of investment is really for you. Do you have an experience you'd like to share? Email us: email@example.com. Expert panel: - Susannah Streeter, Senior investment and markets analyst, Hargreaves Lansdown - David Stevenson author of “Investing in shares for dummies” and Adventurous Investor column, Financial Times Presenter: Charmaine Cozier Producer: Rumella Dasgupta Production co-ordinator: Janet Staples Editor: Alex Lewis
Bitcoin or Britcoin?
Bitcoin or Britcoin? The Bank of England has published the results of its consultation on creating a new central bank digital currency – and also the prospect of regulating other commercial digital currencies – so-called “safecoin”. We hear from the Bank’s deputy governor, Sir Jon Cunliffe and from cryptocurrency expert Kate Baucherel. Four years after the Grenfell Tower fire in which 72 people died, leaseholders living in tower blocks affected by the cladding crisis have started receiving and paying bills, sometimes for tens of thousands of pounds. The money is to pay for work to make the buildings safe. For homes in buildings under 18 metres high, which don’t qualify for a share of a £5 billion government fund, the bills can be huge. In February, Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said there would be a loan scheme to help those people pay, and that it would be capped at £50 a month. But so far there’s no sign of the loans, nor much indication of when they might appear. We hear from a leaseholder facing payment demands now. And solicitor Liam Spender, of the Leasehold Knowledge Partnership, tells us what the options are for those affected. It’s about to get easier for people with problem debt to freeze their repayments and even write off what they owe. The rules on Debt Relief Orders are changing in England and Wales at the end of this month, and will increase the number of people eligible to apply. Sam Nurse, director of the Money Advice Hub, explains the details. Presenter: Felicity Hannah Producer: Paul Waters Reporter: Dan Whitworth Researcher: Stefania Okereke
MBL: Hospitality staff shortage
Pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants in England Wales, Northern Ireland and parts of Scotland are now open for indoor business. But there’s growing concern about the numbers of vacancies across the hospitality sector. According to trade body UK Hospitality, there is a shortfall of almost 200,000 workers. If you run a hospitality business, how difficult are you finding it to get staff? Are you a worker who’s left the sector to look for employment elsewhere? Let us know your experience: firstname.lastname@example.org In recent years the hospitality industry has seen a massive growth as more and more of our disposable income has been spent eating out. Could these staffing problems bring this trend to an abrupt end? With many hospitality businesses struggling during the pandemic - despite government support - staff have had to be laid off. Continuing lockdown uncertainty also hasn’t helped. Expert panel: Kate Nicholls - CEO at trade body UK Hospitality Gerwyn Davies - Senior labour market adviser at Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development Presenter: Louise Cooper Researcher: Anita Langary Producer: Rumella Dasgupta Production Co-ordinator: Janet Staples Editor: Alex Lewis
DWP urged to rethink the two child Universal Credit cap
Children’s Commissioner for Wales Professor Sally Holland explains why she, along with the Commissioners for Scotland and Northern Ireland, want the DWP to drop a Universal Credit entitlement rule introduced by the coalition government in 2017. It only provides support for a maximum of two children with a few specific exceptions. Money Box reporter Joice Etutu hears from some of the thousands of people who have received random cheques from HSBC Banking Group. Amounts vary from tens to thousands of pounds. They’re still also being sent out to the group’s M&S Bank, first direct and John Lewis Finance customers who had arrears on loans between 2010 and 2019. Many thought it was a scam, but it’s not. EU citizens who want to continue living in the UK are in danger of missing a crucial deadline which could see them lose access to benefits and the right to work. June the 30th is the last date to apply for the EU settlement scheme which allows people to retain their legal status post Brexit. However there’s concern many won’t realise they have to do it. Guest: Kate Smart, Chief Executive of the charity Settled. The ban on bailiff-enforced evictions in England was an emergency measure to protect renters in arrears related to the pandemic. It ended this week so where does that leave renters who are still having money problems and what other changes might be on the way for them - and their landlords? Meera Chindooroy, Deputy Director of Campaigns, Public Affairs & Policy for the National Residential Landords Association and Chris Wood Assistant Director of Policy at Shelter discuss. Presenter: Paul Lewis Reporter: Joice Etutu Researcher: Stefania Okereke Producer: Charmaine Cozier Editor: Alex Lewis
How to complain and get results
What are you rights when making a complaint? How do you make sure you escalate your grievance to the right person? What difference can social media make in getting your grumble seen and sorted? Adam Shaw is joined by Martyn James from Resolver, a free, independent issue resolution service. and Alicia Alinia , Managing Director, Consumer Legal Services at the law firm, Slater & Gordon. Producer Smita Patel Editor Alex Lewis
Continuing problems applying for National Insurance Numbers
A Money Box listener has been refused work by two employers because he was unable to provide his National Insurance Number despite the Department for Work and Pensions saying individuals can start work without one. Last year we reported that people coming to the UK with the right to work weren’t able to obtain a National Insurance Number because the government had stopped issuing them. People can now apply - but that process takes up to 16 weeks and trying to get work in the meantime can be tough. Paul Lewis talks to Jonathan Reynolds MP, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions. National Savings & Investments apologises to more than 14,000 customers after it changed the terms and conditions on a savings product without telling them. We hear from Gary Rycroft, a partner at Joseph A Jones solicitors. The regulator clamps down on insurance firms who cut prices for new customers while quietly increasing them for loyal ones. Michael Sicsic, managing director of financial services consultancy Sicsic Advisory, and a former head of supervision for general insurance at the FCA explains all. And this week a judge rejected a 'scheme of arrangement' offer by Amigo Loans Limited to missold customers. What happens now? Paul talks to Sara Williams, founder of the debt advice website Debt Camel. Presenter: Paul Lewis Researcher: Sowda Ali Production co-ordinator: Brenda Brown Reporter: Dan Whitworth Producer: Ben Carter Editor: Alex Lewis
Apprenticeships allow you to earn money as you study for qualifications and gain practical experience on the job. There's a wide range of careers and industries to choose from but a recent Ofsted report said that 10% of apprenticeships are inadequate, so how do you find a good quality scheme to help you develop the skills you need to succeed? On Wednesday's programme Adam Shaw speaks to apprentices and employers about their experiences and ambitions and we'd love to hear from you too. If you're interested in becoming an apprentice or you're an employer who'd like to hire apprentices e-mail email@example.com now. Presenter: Adam Shaw Producer: Diane Richardson Editor: Emma Rippon
FCA to force firms to treat customers better
Financial firms are being told they will be forced to treat their customers better under plans by the regulator for a new “Consumer Duty”. It will set down a higher level of consumer protection that firms will have to follow. The consultation on the plans has just been published and the new rules should be in force by the middle of next year. Paul Lewis talks to Nisha Arora, Director of Consumer and Retail Policy at the Financial Conduct Authority. Money Box continues to get complaints from customers who have current accounts with the online firm Pockit. They tell us that the money in their accounts - often thousands of pounds - has been frozen, sometimes for months. Virraj Jatania, Pockit’s founder and Chief Executive, provides some answers. Every month millions of people in the UK use the social media platform TikTok. It specialises in short videos normally made by individuals on their mobile phone and edited to music. The videos cover everything from comedy to dance to money. But we hear about concerns that these videos encourage young people to get into bad money habits. Presenter: Paul Lewis Researcher: Sowda Ali Reporter: Dan Whitworth Production co-ordinator: Janet Staples Producer: Ben Carter Editor: Alex Lewis
MBL: Mortgages & the Pandemic
Buying a house with a mortgage is one of the biggest commitments we make in life. The pandemic has seen households managing lower, unpredictable incomes with furlough and government grants on offer. What effect has that had on lenders and their decisions to approve or decline applications? If you’re trying to get one or switch to a better deal - how are you finding it? What new mortgage products are banks and building societies now offering borrowers? Charmaine Cozier is joined by: Runouska Dass, Independent mortgage broker Keith Barber, Director of Business Development, the Family Building Society Producer Smita Patel Editor Alex Lewis
Difficulties claiming Personal Independence Payment benefit
Many people on Disability Living Allowance are rejected when they are assessed for the newer benefit Personal Independence Payment (PIP). Paul Lewis hears about some of the experiences of claiming PIP and discusses with Daphne Hall, vice chair of the National Association of Welfare Rights Advisers and Dr Jim McCormick, chair of the Disability and Carers Benefits Advisory Group. More than 100,000 couples in the UK divorce each year — around 40% of marriages. It is over 20 years since divorcing couples could bring the value of pensions into the pot when they share their assets. But only one out of every eight cases take pensions into account as part of the financial settlement. So why is pension sharing at divorce forgotten in so many cases? Paul Lewis speaks to Jo Edwards, head of Family Law at Forsters. Up to a quarter of a million people over the age of 70 get no state pension - but around half of them could. Former pensions minister Steve Webb explains all. It’s nearly three months since we first reported that people were suffering weeks of delays when they try to access their pension funds invested with Prudential. Since then those weeks of delays have turned into months… and still the problems continue. Dan Whitworth investigates. Researcher: Anita Langary Production co-ordinator: Janet Staples Reporter: Dan Whitworth Producer: Ben Carter Editor: Alex Lewis
MBL: The Cost of Pets
Last year families spent nearly £7 billion on their furry friends. Pet ownership has soared and so has the number of services on offer for the modern-day pooch. Felicity Hannah and guests discuss the rising costs of buying a pet, keeping it well & safe, whether to insure it and the demand to cater for all their needs from luxury food to care day. Producer Smita Patel Editor Alex Lewis
Is new guidance on selling high rise flats fit for purpose?
Mortgage providers are refusing to follow new guidance intended to help hundreds of thousands of people who are unable to sell or re-mortgage their flats because of the cladding crisis. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, RICS, issued the guidance to its members across the UK just two months ago. But Money Box has learned that despite being involved in preparing the guidance, many lenders aren’t following it - leaving people struggling to sell because buyers can’t borrow the money they need. Welfare benefits expert, Anna Stevenson from Turn2us outlines how people on Universal Credit will be able to get cheap broadband and some free calls from June 1st and discusses other discounts on utilities for people on benefits. National Savings & Investments does not use two factor authentication when you log on to your account. Is that a security risk? Paul Lewis talks to Adenike Cosgrove, a cyber security strategist at Proofpoint. And nearly two million workers who do more than one part-time jobs are excluded from being automatically enrolled into a works pension - but many are not aware they can join anyway. Pete Glancy, Head of Pensions Policy, at Scottish Widows explains the rules. Presenter: Paul Lewis Reporter: Dan Whitworth Researcher: Sowda Ali Production co-ordinator: Janet Staples Producer: Ben Carter Editor: Alex Lewis
MBL: Personal Banking and the Pandemic
The Covid-19 pandemic has placed a huge amount of pressure on banks and customers alike. How have you - and your bank or building society - adapted? Felicity Hannah and guests explore how the Covid-19 pandemic has reshaped the way we manage our money and whether those changes are here to stay. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with your personal banking stories, questions and experiences. Have you changed your banking habits? Has your access to support, products or services altered? What is your bank or building society doing well and what could be done better? Joining Felicity are: - Julie Ann Haines, CEO Principality Building Society - Alex Neill, CEO of Resolver complaints website - James Daley, consumer campaigner and founder of Fairer Finance Presenter: Felicity Hannah Producers: Smita Patel and Diane Richardson Editor: Alex Lewis
How does the Direct Debit Guarantee Scheme work?
9 in 10 of us use direct debits to pay some or all of our regular bills. 4.5 billion payments were processed in the UK in 2019. It’s a simple way to pay - you sign a mandate with a business or organisation and they take agreed amounts on a specified date. They come with a guarantee which protects you if payments are taken mistakenly. Or at least that’s what a Money Box listener thought when a payment for his gym membership went wrong. Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum have soared in value beyond any other asset. Ten years ago one Bitcoin was worth one US dollar - today one is worth 53,000 US dollars - nearly £42,000 pounds. One big concern with buying, storing, or selling cryptocurrencies is how secure it is. Paul Lewis talks to an investor who discovered £11,000 had gone missing from his account, as well as cryptocurreny expert Kate Boucherel. Last week the High Court ruled that high cost lender Provident could move forward with a scheme to pay redress to customers to whom it had mis-sold loans. Provident has said that it can't afford to pay customers with valid claims the full amount of compensation they should receive - despite other parts of its business being very successful. Paul talks to Sara Williams, founder of the debt advisor website Debt Camel. Presenter: Paul Lewis Researcher: Sowda Ali Reporter: Dan Whitworth Production co-ordinator: Janet Staples Producer: Ben Carter Editor: Alex Lewis
Can number spoofing be stopped?
The regulator Ofcom tells Money Box people shouldn’t trust Caller ID. It says the spoofing of numbers can be stopped, but to do so will take years. Spoofing has been used by fraudsters to convince thousands of people they are being called by banks or HMRC and trick them into handing over tens of thousands of pounds. It's more than two years since the collapse of London Capital and Finance where investors lost £237m. This week the government announced a new scheme in which almost 9,000 people will get some of their money back. Why do many banks charge 39% interest on overdrafts but pay less than 1% on savings? Listener Edwyn describes the difference as ‘extraordinary’ and ‘scandalous.’ Paul asks Sarah Coles, personal finance analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown to explain. And what happens to your pension if you die before drawing it? Romi Savova from PensionBee explains. Presenter: Paul Lewis Reporter: Dan Whitworth Researcher: Sowda Ali Producers: Ben Carter and Joe Kent Editor: Alex Lewis
Have you been tempted by a quick cash win, a jackpot prize or the challenge of finding a winning betting strategy? There are many forms of gambling available online and in person to engage and entertain us but when does a gambling hobby become a personal and financial problem? On Wednesday's Money Box Live Charmaine Cozier and guests explore the enticements that lure you in, lead to compulsion and where to get help. What are the symptoms of problem gambling and the steps to recovery? Joining Charmaine are: Anna Hemmings, CEO of Gamcare Matt Gaskell, Clinical Lead at The NHS Northern Gambling Service If you’ve a question or an experience you’d like to share e-mail email@example.com now Presenter: Charmaine Cozier Producer: Diane Richardson Editor: Alex Lewis
MPs demand action on IR35
The Loan Charge All-Party Parliamentary Group has called on the Government to take urgent action to address the exploitation of some contractors, in a new report. MPs are also demanding a government-backed independent review into how the contracting market operates, to ensure contractors are paid and taxed fairly for the work they do. Paul talks to an IT project manager who barely avoided bankruptcy after an unexpected six-figure tax bill and Ruth Cadbury, co-chair of the Loan Charge APPG Group. How do banks protect vulnerable customers and protect their money from criminals? We hear one victim’s story about how she had tens of thousands of pounds stolen not once, but twice and how her bank failed to keep her money safe. Paul talks to Tamlyn Edmonds, specialist fraud prosecutor with Edmonds, Marshall, McMahon. A pilot scheme with a new approach to improve support for people with health and financial problems is being launched in Lambeth and Southwark in South London. If it's successful there are hopes it will be rolled out nationally. Paul talks to two of the people involved - Damon Gibbons, Executive Director of the Centre for Responsible Credit and Gay Palmer, a nurse and social prescriber. And in our podcast available from 2pm on Saturday you'll be able to listen to Anna Bowes from Savings Champion talking with Money Box listener Elettra about how to find the right savings account in a market with hundreds of different options. Presenter: Paul Lewis Researcher: Sowda Ali Reporter: Dan Whitworth Production co-ordinator: Sacha Cowlam Producer: Ben Carter Editor: Alex Lewis