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Up to 40 per cent have not made key checks on their credit rating or electoral roll entry

Insurers agree to limit amount of data exchanged within industry

Seven insurance companies and two IT software and service providers have provisionally agreed to limit the data they exchange between them after the Office of Fair Trading raised concerns over competition law.

Questions Of Cash: 'My disabled parents have lost out on scooter refund'

Q. My parents are both disabled and retired. They ordered two mobility scooters from Virgo Healthcare for £4,600 last March. They quickly discovered they were unable to use them, so they contacted Virgo Healthcare, which agree to a full refund and collected the scooters on 27 April. Since then, no refund has been supplied. KB, Hertfordshire.

Firms to share less information

Seven motor insurers have agreed to limit the amount of data they share with each other after the Office of Fair Trading warned their actions could reduce competition.

Keep your credit rating safe over the hols

Too much online shopping could result in black marks against your name, thanks to anti-fraud measures

David Prosser: Christmas sales melt away despite the thaw

Outlook The cost of the wintry weather of the past few weeks mounts by the day – a string of companies warned they had taken a hit yesterday, while M&S added its name to the list of businesses that now feel unable to commit to making deliveries in Scotland.

Retailers plan covert price hikes alongside VAT increase

UK companies could damage the fragile economic recovery by using next month's rise in VAT to "mask" hikes in prices as they seek to protect profits from rising costs, a leading firm of accountants warned yesterday.

Questions of Cash: Can the AA charge me £15 to send me a receipt?

Q. My wife and I are members of the AA and have been for many years. Part of our cover relates to driving for business purposes and part for private use. When I renewed my policy, I asked the AA to send us a receipt for our business accounts, along with the new membership cards. I was told that the AA would send this, but only on payment of a £15 fee! What made it worse was that the AA persuaded my wife on the phone to take on additional cover. Doesn't the AA have an obligation to provide free receipts? RH, Bucknell.

Councils 'waste £150m a year paying bills twice'

Councils could save almost £150 million a year if they made sure they did not pay bills twice, Communities Secretary Eric Pickles claimed today.

A tale of two housing markets: The North-South divide

One half of the country is awash with homes no one wants, while the other is swamped with houses few can afford. What’s going on?

Paul Vallely: Protests may differ but trouble is certain

In Ecuador they riot, in Ireland they block the gates to Parliament, and even the Tea Party is on the march. Where next?

Nick Clegg seeks to calm fears over spending cuts

Nick Clegg sought to calm public fears over deep spending cuts today but admitted the coalition was likely to suffer a bitter backlash.

Recovery will be choppy, warns Nick Clegg

Britain should be braced for a "choppy and uneven" recovery, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg warned today - as a survey predicted the north of England would fare worst under Government spending cuts.

Fraudulent credit applicants soar

The number of fraudulent applications received by financial services firms soared by a third during the first half of the year, according to the credit reference agency Experian.

Experian

On 11 August we ran an item about one person's experience obtaining a credit report ("How I became an innocent victim of the credit agency"). The credit reference agency concerned was wrongly identified as Experian: a mistake for which we apologise.

House Doctor: 'I'm struggling to remortgage though I have lots of equity. How can this be?'

Question: I can't seem to remortgage to move house for love nor money, having tried two lenders – with a third midway through application. It's very surprising as I've £48,000 in equity and £12,000 savings to put into the next property which should give me a healthy loan-to-value of roughly 75 per cent. The only downside that I can think of is a £2,000 overdraft that I don't often climb out of – and three unauthorised overdraft penalties in 12 months. But that's the only debt I have and I earn £30,000 a year. What am I doing wrong?

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In this photo illustration a school student eats a hamburger as part of his lunch which was brought from a fast food shop near his school, on October 5, 2005 in London, England. The British government has announced plans to remove junk food from school lunches. From September 2006, food that is high in fat, sugar or salt will be banned from meals and removed from vending machines in schools across England. The move comes in response to a campaign by celebrity TV chef Jamie Oliver to improve school meals.
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
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'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
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Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
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'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

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Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

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Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
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Neil Lawson Baker interview

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The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

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Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering