Package accounts - is the end now? Carbon discredits. The taxman cometh...not. When you can and can't cool off

Lloyds Bank has become the first bank to stop selling paid-for current accounts through its branches and on the phone. The accounts, which cost between £9.95 and £25 a month, offer a range of benefits including insurance, cheaper share dealing, and favourable overdraft terms. Many people don't - or cannot - use all the add-ons and the FSA has raised concerns about the way banks sell these accounts. Some consumer groups warn they are almost always bad value and are the next mis-selling scandal. Lloyds insists it has only paused the in-branch and telephone sales and will "fully re-enter the market later in 2013". We speak to Mike Dailly from the FSA Consumer Panel.

After landbanking - selling rectangles of muddy fields on the promise of big development gains later - comes carbon trading. This time the property is even further away - often in South America - and the promise is that the carbon credits are earned by, for example, not cutting down rainforest and then resold to businesses who use them as a permit to pollute. Of course it's a daft idea. The FSA and an IFA explains to one investor why he shouldn't throw good money after bed.

What we all suspected is in fact true - it takes too long and costs too much to phone Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs. And it's the National Audit Office that says it. Twenty million calls lost, an average wait of nearly five minutes, and a cost of £33m due to the 0845 numbers used by the Revenue for customer helplines. HMRC chief Lin Homer responds.

Normally when you buy something online you get a seven day cooling off period during which time you can cancel the deal and get your money back in full. But it does not apply to some things you buy online. We reveal what.

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30 minutes

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Sun 23 Dec 2012 21:00

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