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New mortgage rules

30 minutes
First broadcast:
Saturday 19 April 2014

Tough new rules will make it harder to get a mortgage from 26 April. At least that's one view. Others say the new rules will mean some people can borrow much more than they could now. Under the new 'responsible lending' rules, lenders will have to assess affordability and 'stress test' it by seeing if the borrower could still repay if interest rates go up several percentage points. Paul Lewis interviews Martin Wheatley, chief executive of the Financial Conduct Authority. He discusses the issue with Ray Boulger, of John Charcol mortgage brokers and mortgage expert Melanie Bien.

This week Pensions Minister Steve Webb said that when people reach state pension age they could be told how long they can expect to live. That will help them eke out whatever savings and pension funds they have to cover the rest of their life. But the idea is fraught with difficulties. Not least that every year ONS publishes these projections life expectancy grows. So if we want to plan our retirement finances can we get any idea of when we will die that we could use for financial planning? Paul Lewis crunches the numbers with actuary Ronnie Bowie of Hymans Robertson.

Buying hotel rooms online is quick and convenient. But in some cases the price might depend not just the time of year, or how far ahead you book, but whether you use a desktop computer, a tablet or a mobile phone. Paul Lewis discusses dual pricing strategies with Simon Calder of The Independent.

In a couple of months most firms will be banned from making customers call a number beginning with 084. Calls to these numbers normally cost more - sometimes a lot more - than calling geographic numbers that begin 01 or 02 or 03. But financial firms are exempt from these rules. Now the regulator says they will have to conform too - by this time next year. Paul Lewis talks to Martin Wheatley of the Financial Conduct Authority and David Hickson, of the Fair Telecoms Campaign. For a list of which numbers cost what, see our links below.

Producer: Ruth Alexander.


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