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Product launches of the week

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06/06/2014
Leeds Building Society introduces a short-term savings bond paying two per cent; LV= launches a low-cost drawdown option; Post Office and Virgin Money reduce mortgage rates

Savings

Leeds Building Society has introduced an 18 month fixed-rate savings bond paying two per cent interest. The bond can be opened with a minimum balance of £1,000. Investors can pay in up to £250,000.

Skipton Building Society launched a new fixed-rate ISA range, offering 1.4 per cent, 1.6 per cent and 2.2 per cent interest on one, two and three year ISAs respectively. A minimum opening balance of £500 is required.

Skipton has also introduced a new range of online fixed-rate bonds paying up to three per cent interest. A minimum balance of £500 is required to open an account. Bonds are available for terms between one and five years.

National Savings and Investments (NS&I), best known as the providers of premium bonds, launched an international payment service this week. Customers will now be able to have payments from NS&I made directly into foreign bank accounts in their name, provided the account is in one of 24 approved countries. Previously NS&I customers living overseas could only have payments made into UK bank accounts.

Insurance

Friends Life has further enhanced its Childcover benefit. The policy now covers spina bifida and children up to the age of 21 who are not working full time. The exclusion for terminal illness has been removed.

M&S Bank has launched an exclusive card holder offer for new M&S Car Insurance customers. M&S Card holders purchasing a new car insurance policy will get a quote guaranteed to beat any renewal offer from their existing provider by at least £50.

Retirement

LV= has added a new low-cost drawdown product to its stable. Clients holding an LV= low cost personal pension with funds of £37,500 or more after the tax free cash has been withdrawn will now be able to access income drawdown for £175. Clients with funds below the £37,500 threshold can access drawdown for an initial fee of £295. A minimum fund size of £30,000 – including tax-free cash – is required.

The Money Advice Service has launched a consultation on the creation of a directory of retirement specialists. The Service aims to make it easier for consumers to find a regulated advisor as they approach retirement. The consultation paper for a retirement directory can be found here. The consultation ends at 5pm on Friday 11 July 2014.

Mortgages

Post Office has issued a new range of mortgages with reduced rates across several fee-free 85 per cent and 90 percent loan to value (LTV) mortgages. Products available include a 3.89% two-year fixed-rate mortgage at 90% LTV with no fee and a 3.25% two-year fixed-rate mortgage at 85% LTV with no fee.

Virgin Money has reduced the rates on selected fixed-rate and tracker mortgages. Virgin Money now offers a two-year fixed-rate product at 2.09% up to 60% LTV, a three-year fixed-rate product at 2.65% up to 70% LTV and a five-year fixed rate mortgage at 3.28% up to 70% LTV. A £995 product fee is applicable to all of these products. 

Credit Cards

MBNA has launched a low-rate card for eligible new customers. The card carries no balance transfer or money transfer fees, allowing customers to move some of their credit into their current account for free. There is no annual fee.

The most qualified customers will pay 6.5 per cent interest on balance transfers and money transfers. Customers who do not qualify for the lowest rate may be offered alternative rates of 8.9 per cent or 11.9 per cent.

All new and existing Santander 123 credit card holders will be rewarded with 1 per cent cashback on anything they spend on flights, hotel bookings and at travel agents until 31 August. The rewards are part of a summer special and in addition to the card’s standard one, two and three per cent cashback offers.

Apps

Nationwide‘s updated app boasts two new features. Quick Balance allows customers to see their account balance “at a glance” without logging in, while Impulse Saver allows customers to transfer pre-configured amounts into their savings account with just a few small taps.

Broadband and Phone Lines

Post Office is offering new customers a free connection and a £50 bill credit when they apply for both a home phone and broadband. The offer runs through 29 June and could save customers up to £110.

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