Arts & Entertainment Window of opportunity: the Forgan family outside Abbey Lane in Warwickshire in 'Restoration Home: One Year On'

Don't the people on property restoration programmes watch property restoration programmes?

Abbey Road: 40 Years - 40 Imitations

That unforgettable image of John, Paul, George and Ringo crossing a north London street is still inspiring artists to follow in their famous footsteps. Paul Bignell reports

Questions Of Cash: 'No one took the blame for a faulty cash machine'

Q. In January, I went to an Abbey cash dispenser to withdraw £400. The transaction was processed, but the cash not supplied. I went into the bank branch, which told me the cash dispenser was managed by Securicor. The branch said I should contact my own bank, Banca Intesa Sanpaolo in Rome, for them to get a refund. I emailed my bank branch, which told me this was not their responsibility. In February, I contacted Abbey again, which this time said my bank should investigate the matter as one of potential fraud. It added that Abbey had no responsibility. CM, Rome.

Leading article: A peculiar idea

The Dean of Westminster Abbey is inviting the public to comment on bold plans to alter the London skyline by placing a corona – a feature in the shape of the crown – on the roof. Could this mark the start of round three of the war waged by a certain royal against carbuncles sprouting on the face of much-loved friends?

Spotlight: Abbey Reward Bank Account

Abbey has launched a new packaged current account. Costing £10 a month, the Reward Bank Account is available to new and existing Abbey customers.

Questions Of Cash: 'Abbey left me short of cover when I really needed it'

Q. I took out an additional loan with Abbey on my mortgage in July last year and decided to transfer to Abbey my existing insurance, covering me against unemployment – adding accident and sickness. I arranged cover for £1,200 per month – 50 per cent each for my wife and myself. The policy was to start within two months, to allow my existing policy to close. At the end of last year there were many redundancies at my workplace, so I checked with Abbey that my insurance cover was valid. I found that neither my wife nor I were covered for redundancy.

Questions of Cash: 'My bank told me it was safe to keep my shares'

Q. I held Alliance & Leicester shares in a Fidelity Windfall ISA. Last September, I read an article in The Independent that "A&L investors have four weeks to sell" – warning A&L shareholders that if their shares were replaced by Banco Santander shares, they would be liable to Spanish income tax and have to fill in a lot of Spanish tax paperwork if the shares were sold, or face a €100 fine. I decided that if that was true, I should sell my shares. But this was contradicted by Fidelity in a Q&A letter. One of the questions was: "Are there any tax implications relating to this merger?" The answer given was "no". I phoned Fidelity to check. It assured me there was no liability to Spanish income tax and that it would handle any Spanish tax paperwork. I allowed my shares to be replaced by Banco Santander shares. But I have found that The Independent was correct and Fidelity was wrong. Fidelity will not admit responsibility for its mistake. I want either Fidelity to do the paperwork, or pay me to get it done by Abbey Sharedealing. JS, Bristol.

Spotlight: Abbey Zero Card

Abbey's new Zero credit card is one of the few cards not to charge overseas and cash withdrawal fees. It also offers a three-month interest-free period on purchases and a 12-month interest-free period on balance transfers (although you will be charged a 3 per cent transfer fee if you use the card for this purpose).

Abbey to relaunch its Zero credit-card deal

Holidaymakers looking to cut costs this summer will welcome the return of the Abbey Zero credit card, on sale from tomorrow.

Abbey axes 6,000 solicitors from its panel

Homebuyers taking out a mortgage with Abbey could face additional charges of up to £250 after the bank reduced the number of solicitors it allows to carry out work on its behalf.

James Daley: Naming and shaming wins for consumers

It won't surprise you to hear that, every year, British financial services firms rack up thousands of complaints. It also won't surprise you to discover that these firms aren't particularly keen on telling people just how many complaints they receive.

Spotlight: Leeds Building Society's Escalator ISA

The ISA season is really hotting up and among the latest offers is a curious deal from Leeds building Society. This cash ISA pays a tax-free rate of 3.25 per cent over the five year term but customers will receive 2.75 per cent in the first year, 3 per cent, 3.25 per cent, 3.50 per cent and 3.75 per cent in the final year.

Million 'baby' boomerangers' move back home

More than one million young people have moved back in with their parents in a bid to save money towards buying their own home, a survey showed today.

Spotlight: Abbey fixed-rate bonds

Interest rates on easy-access savings accounts have plummeted to an average of less than 1 per cent a year. In fact, with the effect of inflation and income tax, many of us are effectively losing money. Tying up our savings for a longer period offers higher rates, and fixing your interest rate now could protect your money from further rate cuts.

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