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30 minutes
First broadcast:
Saturday 18 December 2010

Cash or shares?

The old debate has been given new life with RPI inflation at 4.7%, and almost no savings account paying that much. And at the same time the FTSE index is rising and rising.

So, Paul Lewis asks, should we put our savings into share-based investments to get a real return?

Also in the programme: the issue of whether to contract out of the second state pension - or stay in - has made for an interesting debate over the past two decades.

But the government is effectively ending the discussion by withdrawing the option in 2012.

This hasn't stopped one financial services provider from emailing people to encourage them to contract out though. Reporter Ben Carter investigates.

And, what should you do if you know that sometime soon you will have problems paying your mortgage?

The Council of Mortgage Lenders says you should contact your lender as soon as you realise there is a danger you might default. And we have often heard similar advice on this programmes

But one of our listeners tried to follow this advice - and hit a brick wall. Money Box investigates.

Also, the BBC has been investigating claims that one of the country's biggest loan brokers is misleading customers, despite having been told by the Office of Fair Trading to improve its business practices.

Money Box first investigated Yes Loans in May 2009, hearing complaints from some customers that they were having trouble getting a refund from the company when they asked for it.

More than a year on, some customers are still complaining refunds are not being paid, or are being delayed. The company says these complaints are a small minority, and that it is working hard to improve its service.

Plus, new levels of protection for savings are expected to be officially unveiled by the Financial Services Authority.

It is thought the limit will be increased from the current £50,000 per financial institution up to £85,000, from December 31, 2010.

But, as Bob Howard explains, some savers with building society accounts will need to spread their savings to other institutions to ensure they get maximum protection.



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    Money Box

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