Money Box - 13/10/2012
Paul Lewis with coverage of the NatWest 'Get Cash' mobile app fraud problem, RPI changes, energy price rises and the collapse of the sell-off of RBS/NatWest branches to Santander.
On Money Box with Paul Lewis:
RBS deal with Santander
Nearly two million customers of RBS and Natwest have been left in limbo as the deal to sell 316 RBS and NatWest branches to Santander collapsed. Santander agreed to buy the business more than two years ago for £1.6 billion. But completion has been postponed twice and now Santander has said it's had enough and pulled out. Hints were dropped that combining the IT systems was proving too difficult. RBS still has to sell the branches as part of an EU competition ruling but it now has little more than a year to complete a new deal. Ralph Silva banking analyst at research firm SRN, explains the implications for RBS customers.
NatWest Last week the programme revealed how NatWest customers had lost thousands of pounds as a result of fraudulent attacks on the bank's 'Get Cash' mobile app. Now the chair of the Treasury Select Committee says he will seek answers from the head of NatWest. Andrew Tyrie MP says banks must ensure their new technology is secure after NatWest last week suspended the mobile phone app which lets customers withdraw cash without a debit card. Dozens of customers have been contacting Money Box after their accounts have been stripped by thieves using the Get Cash system. Bob Howard reports on the latest developments.
Energy price hikes Npower has joined rival British Gas in announcing it is increasing gas and electricity prices in the UK. Npower will increase the price of gas by an average of 8.8% and electricity by 9.1% from 26 November. Earlier, British Gas, the UK's biggest energy supplier, raised its charges for both types of fuel by an average of 6%, adding £80 a year to the average dual fuel bill. The firms both blamed the government's policies as well as wholesale prices. Joe Malinowski from TheEnergyShop joins the programme.
The Office for National Statistics has started a consultation on changes to the calculation of the retail prices index (RPI). These would make the RPI move more slowly, in step with the consumer prices index (CPI). Pension experts have warned that any changes would cut pensioners' incomes. Ros Altman, director general of Saga, and Lynda Whitney, partner at actuaries, Aon Hewitt, speaks to the programme.