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.
Working from home is changing the way we think about where we base our life and careers, but how remote can we be from our business or office? Can you live and work hundreds of miles away from your employer and what could that mean for your personal life and finances or for the company you work for? Whether you’re an employee or an employer we’d love to hear from you, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org now with your thoughts, questions and experiences. Joining the conversation with presenter Felicity Hannah at 3pm on Wednesday 14 April are Neil Carberry, CEO at the Recruitment and Employment Confederation and Jodie Hill, Director at employment law firm Thrive Law. Presenter: Felicity Hannah Producer: Diane Richardson Editor: Emma Rippon
Why is the state pension so complicated?
More than 200 pensioners responded to a request to tell us how much their state pension was. They were nearly all different amounts. Next week the basic pension is rising to £137.60 a week and the new state pension paid to younger pensioners to £179.60. But those are amounts that hardly anyone actually gets. So why are pensions - the old and the new - so complicated? Who better to answer that than two former pensions ministers. Sir Steve Webb had that job throughout the years of the coalition government and Baroness Ros Altmann for just over a year under David Cameron. Pockit is not a bank. But it does offer what it calls a current account. In fact that is a pre-paid card which customers load money onto and then can spend it almost as if it was a bank account. But some users have told Moneybox that their accounts have been locked and they they have struggled to get through to Pockit to find out what's going on. Paul talks to Martyn James, consumer rights expert at Resolver. It is now more than 90 days since the UK left the ambit of the EU at the end of the transition period. And more than one million UK people living in EU countries must adapt to the laws that apply to foreign residents. And if you have thought that maybe one day you would like to go to work or retire to an EU country what are the rules you will now have to follow? This week we look at Spain which is home to more people from the UK than any other EU country. Barry Davys is a partner in Spectrum International Financial Adviser group based in Catalunya. Researcher: Sowda Ali Producer: Ben Carter Editor: Richard Vadon
Divorce and separation during the pandemic
There’s been a rise in the number of divorces according to the Office for National Statistics along with predictions that even more couples will split as a result of the coronavirus crisis. Many law firms are reporting huge spikes in the number of separations during the pandemic. Plans for new “no fault” divorce rules are due to come in in the next few months and will abolish the need to blame one of the parties when pursuing a divorce. But what happens to the finances during all of this? What if a couple weren’t married or owned some assets before the marriage? Presenter Louise Cooper will be joined by: Rhona Adams, partner at Morton Fraser and head of the family law team Claire Gordon, family law partner at Farrer & Co Michael Royce, senior policy and propositions manager at the Money and Pensions Service E-mail email@example.com or tweet @Moneybox now with your thoughts, questions and experiences. Producer: Darin Graham Editor: Richard Vadon
What might negative interest rates mean for UK banking services?
Fancy earning interest on a £10,000 loan? We’ll find out about what negative interest rates mean for consumers in Denmark and what might happen if they were introduced here. Felicity Hannah talks to Niels Arne Dam, Chief Economist at Finance Denmark and Paul Pester, former CEO of TSB and currently the chair of research and ratings agency Fairer Finance. Women’s finances have been hit harder than men’s by the Covid crisis, so could that risk a widening wealth gap and how do we fix it? Maike Currie, investment director at Fidelity Investments and Professor Annamaria Lusardi, head of the Global Financial Literacy Excellence Center at The George Washington University School of Business have some ideas. And, if you’re eating too much chocolate this weekend then you’re not alone! But can that tell us anything about how you plan your pension, your investments, your savings? Or does it just mean you like chocolate? Felicity talks to Dr Pragya Agarwal, a behavioural data scientist and Claire Walsh, a chartered financial planner. Researcher: Jonelle Awomoyi Production Co-ordinator: Janet Staples Sound Engineer: Graham Puddifoot Producer: Ben Carter Editor: Emma Rippon
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 from you too. If you're interested in becoming an apprentice or you're an employer who'd like to hire apprentices e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org now. Presenter: Adam Shaw Producer: Diane Richardson Editor: Emma Rippon
Number spoofing facilitating fraud
All too often we hear about fraudsters using the phone to trick victims into handing over thousands or tens of thousands of pounds and destroying lives in the process. But how often to we get to hear an actual recording of these criminals in action? We play a recording of a fraud call in progress because a criminal made the terrible mistake of calling our Money Box reporter Dan Whitworth. Paul Lewis talks to Graeme Biggar, Director General of National Economic Crime Centre for the National Crime Agency and MP Steve Baker, who's a member of the Treasury Select Committee. The Government plans to put more regulations in place to address the widespread concerns about the poor practice and behaviour of private car parking operators. A new code of practice will be drawn up, with the system being introduced by the middle of next year. Paul talks to Steve Clark, Director of Operations and Business Development, British Parking Association. The FCA says it has no current plans to take further regulatory action against a compensation scheme set up by the guarantor loans lender Amigo - despite admitting the scheme might not be compatible with its current rules. Sara Williams, founder of the debt advice website Debt Camel, talks us through the latest developments. Presenter: Paul Lewis Reporter: Dan Whitworth Researcher: Jonelle Awomoyi Production Coordinator: Janet Staples Producer: Ben Carter Editor: Rosamund Jones
Debt during the pandemic
A recent report by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) found that the coronavirus pandemic has driven more people into financial vulnerability. More adults in the UK have fallen into debt or have little capacity to ride out financial shocks, the FCA said. While furlough, other support grants and the Universal Credit uplift have helped many people avoid money problems, concerns are growing over the financial damage from multiple lockdowns, job losses, lower earnings and redundancies. How are people coping with debt during the pandemic and what support is available? Joining presenter Louise Cooper on the panel: Helen Undy, chief executive, Money and Mental Health Policy Institute Richard Lane, head of external affairs, Stepchange Colin Mathieson, from Advice Direct Scotland If you have a question about debt, please get in touch. E-mail email@example.com or tweet @MoneyBox. Producer: Darin Graham Editor: Rosamund Jones
Homeowners speak out on gagging clauses
The government responds to Money Box’s revelation that developers are asking customers to sign non-disclosure agreements as a condition of getting problems with their new build homes fixed. We also hear from listeners asked to keep quiet - despite the denials of developers about the practice. A change in the law next month means there could be a huge rise in the number of contractors working through unregulated umbrella companies - and some of those companies are accused of withholding holiday pay and even pension payments. And thousands of those who tried to claim universal credit in the pandemic have been rejected because they live with a partner who earns too much. Presenter: Felicity Hannah Reporters: Dan Whitworth & Hannah Price Researcher: Sowda Ali Producer: Simon Maybin Editor: Rosamund Jones
Shopping and Covid
There’s no doubt that the pandemic has changed the way we live. But what impact has a year of lockdowns and restrictions had on shopkeepers and shoppers? Has the last year broken the mould for retail? Many essential shops have been successful during the pandemic with some in suburban or rural areas doing more trade as many people work from home. As covid restrictions finally ease, will our shopping habits have changed permanently? Presenter Felicity Hannah is joined by: Kate Ancketill, founder and CEO, GDR Creative Catherine Erdly, founder of the Resilient Retail Club and advisor at Enterprise Nation Bill Grimsey, author of the Grimsey Review. If you have a question about shopping, city centres or the high street then please get in touch. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet @MoneyBox. Producer: Darin Graham Editor: Rosamund Jones
Owners of defective new homes gagged
A senior MP tells Money Box it’s “appalling” that house developers are asking some customers to sign non-disclosure agreements as a condition of fixing serious defects with new homes. A new report this week claims there are still around 250,000 mortgage “prisoners” - people trapped on high-interest mortgages. And what to do if something goes wrong when you try to buy goods and services on Instagram. Presenter: Paul Lewis Reporters: Dan Whitworth and Jonelle Awomoyi Researcher: Sowda Ali Production co-ordinator: Janet Staples Producer: Simon Maybin Editor: Rosamund Jones
The rise of trading apps
More people are trying their hand at trading and investing using online platforms. Much of the trend is driven by trading apps, with a rise in the number of people signing up since the coronavirus pandemic hit last year. Investors can buy shares in companies and investment funds and keep track of them on their phones. Many of the apps say their services are free to use and commission-free, so how do they make money? Why have trading apps grown so quickly and what are the risks and benefits of investing this way? Presenter Charmaine Cozier is joined by: Martin Bamford, chartered financial planner and head of client education at Informed Choice and Ryan King, founder of Making Money Simple. If you're thinking about investing using an app or would like to share your experience, then please get in touch. E-mail email@example.com or tweet @MoneyBox. Producer: Darin Graham Editor: Rosamund Jones
Economic abuse law changes
Earlier this week the Government announced that economic abuse will be a criminal offence under the Domestic Abuse Bill. The law previously only recognised abuse that took place within a relationship, not after separation. We hear one survivor's shocking tale - she was left with nearly half a million pounds of debt - and hear her reaction to the law change. Paul Lewis talks to barrister Dr Charlotte Proudman. On Wednesday the DWP revealed that 200,000 women could be in line for payouts averaging £13,500 to compensate them for the underpayment of their state pensions going back decades. The DWP estimate the bill to be about £2.7bn. Paul talks to Sir Steve Webb, former Pensions Minister and current partner at Lane Clarke & Peacock who explains why some pensioners lost out and who is likely to benefit now. The calculator Steve Webb mentions during the interview is available here - https://www.lcp.uk.com/is-your-state-pension-being-underpaid/ In the Budget the Chancellor confirmed that newly self-employed people who completed a tax return for 2019 to 2020 are now eligible for financial help. The group, which includes more than 600,000 people who became self-employed last year, were unable to access the first three instalments but they can now apply for the fourth Self-Employment Income Support Scheme grant. Paul talks through the changes with Andy Chamberlain, Director of Policy at IPSE. NatWest has become the latest high street bank/building society to launch a lottery-style savings account. With interest rates so low, is this the future? Rachel Springall, finance expert at moneyfacts.co.uk, explains Presenter: Paul Lewis Reporter: Dan Whitworth Researchers: Sowda Ali and Jonelle Awomoyi Producer: Ben Carter Editor: Rosamund Jones
How might the Budget affect you?
Paul Lewis is joined by a panel of experts to discuss how the Budget might affect your finances. Panelists: Anita Monteith – Tax manager at Institute of Chartered Accounts in England and Wales Heather Self - partner, Blick Rothenberg Accountants Tina Riches – volunteer, Tax Aid Gareth Morgan - chief executive, Ferret You can also e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet @moneybox.
Carers call for increase in allowance
Nearly a million carers will get an increase of just 35p a week from April. 939,000 people receive a benefit called Carer’s Allowance — currently £67.25 a week — for looking after another person who is severely disabled. In order to qualify people must provide for at least 35 hours a week - though most will spend considerably more time caring than that. The April rise amounts to just 1p extra per hour. This increase is in line with the rate of inflation the previous September when inflation was just half of one percent. Paul Lewis talks to the leader of the Liberal Democrats, Sir Ed Davey, and Gareth Howells, Chief Executive of the charity, Carers Trust. After last week’s item about one family’s 20 hour wait to tell HSBC about a push payment fraud which cost listener Richard £8500, Money Box asked for your experiences getting help from your bank when a theft happens. Hundreds of you were in touch. Dan Whitworth reports on what you told him and Paul talks to Tom Keatinge who is Director of the Centre for Financial Crime and Security Studies at Royal United Services Institute. One of Britain’s largest insurers has admitted long delays following instructions from customers to access their pension savings when they retire. Money Box received several complaints about the weeks and weeks it is taking for customers to get hold of their own money. Paul talks to Romi Savova, Chief Executive of Pension Bee. Presenter: Paul Lewis Reporter: Dan Whitworth Researchers: Sowda Ali and Jonelle Awomoyi Producer: Ben Carter Editor: Rosamund Jones
Managing someone else's money
Who will take care of your affairs if you can't and how do you go about giving someone the right to manage your money? It can be a big step for everyone involved but setting up a power of attorney is one way to allow someone to control your money and personal needs. One or more people can help with dealing with your bank, paying your bills, and arranging care. But what if an individual doesn't have the mental capacity to grant power of attorney and what can you do if you're concerned that a relative's finances aren’t being managed responsibly? Presenter Felicity Hannah is joined by: Sandra McDonald, former public guardian for Scotland Melinda Giles, partner at Giles Wilson Solicitors Sarah Murphy, associate director for advice, information & training at ReThink We’d love to hear from you if you’re thinking about letting someone else manage your money or if you’d like to share your experience as an attorney. Please get in touch: email@example.com or tweet @MoneyBox. Producer: Darin Graham Editor: Rosamund Jones
Delays on bank's fraud line
The impact long delays have when customers repeatedly call their bank's fraud line. Money Box hears about wait times of hours and hours. Paul Lewis explores why consumers are being asked to pay additional costs on online goods they have bought from overseas and why students are fighting not to pay for rooms they don't use during lockdown. In the podcast he also interviews the head of The Business Banking Resolution Service, which began operating this week. Presenter: Paul Lewis Reporter: Dan Whitworth Researchers: Sowda Ali and Jonelle Awomoyi Production co-ordinator: Janet Staples Producer: Ben Carter Editor: Rosamund Jones
Renting during the pandemic
Almost half a million UK households are facing rent arrears according to a report from the Resolution Foundation published this week. That's in large part the result of people losing their jobs or losing pay during the pandemic. The eviction ban, which had been due to expire, has now been been extended. Louise Cooper and her panel of guests consider the impact that the end of the ban will eventually have on the rental market. They will also consider the size and severity of the property maintenance backlog that has built up over the past year and answer other questions from tenants and landlords. Contributors: Sara Stephens, partner Anthony Gold Solicitors John Stewart, deputy director policy and research National Residential Landlords Association Ruth Ehrlich, policy manager Shelter Presenter: Louise Cooper Producer: Darin Graham Editor: Rosamund Jones
Data processing and other mistakes led to huge financial costs for one Money Box listener whose credit rating went into freefall. Paul Lewis hears what went wrong and asks how similar problems might be avoided in the future. Also, unmarried parents still not being bereavement benefits to which the High Court has said they are entitled and Money Box reporter Lauren Moore looks into your refund rights on sale items. Presenter: Paul Lewis Reporters: Dan Whitworth and Lauren Moore Researchers: Sowda Ali and Jonelle Awomoyi Production Co-ordinator: Janet Staples Producer: Ben Carter Editor: Rosamund Jones
MBL: Working abroad
Working from home has become more commonplace since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. With changes to the world of work, are you allowed to pack up your home office and work remotely in another country? Where should you pay tax? What about your employment rights? Has Brexit changed anything? Charmaine Cozier and guests look at the implications you might face if you’re working outside the UK. We'd love to hear your questions and experience. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org now. Producer: Darin Graham Editor: Rosamund Jones
Caravaners denied refunds on fees
Electricity and gas bills will rise in April by an average £96 a year - an increase of 9 per cent at a time when inflation is less than 1 per cent. Ellen Fraser, energy specialist at Baringa Partners explains why. Static caravan owners are paying £5000 a year or more in holiday park fees. But they have been unable to visit them during the lockdowns and say that they have been denied refunds on their annual bills. Paul Lewis talks to Gary Rycroft, a partner with solicitors Joseph A Jones and Ros Pritchard, Director General of the British Holiday & Home Parks Association. Barclays bank is refusing to refund the costs incurred by a listener after it wrongly told her it had not sold her a payment protection insurance policy (PPI). We hear from Alex Neil, Chief Executive of the consumer complaints website, Resolver. And Paul asks if firms that sell solutions to people in debt are more concerned about generating fee income than helping their customers. Sara Williams, who founded the debt advice website Debt Camel, talks through the issues. Presenter: Paul Lewis Reporter: Dan Whitworth Researchers: Darin Graham and Sowda Ali Producer: Ben Carter Editor: Rosamund Jones