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Product launches of the week

Lucinda Beeman
Written By:
Lucinda Beeman

First Utility freezes prices for three years; Barclays introduces new mortgage rates; Payment service Paym launches.

Credit cards

Liverpool FC and MBNA have extended their 16-year collaboration, making MBNA the club’s official credit card sponsor until the end of the 2018/19 season. The club is giving away two pairs of tickets to celebrate. Learn how to enter the competition here.


AA has introduced a ‘Home Insurance Plus’ policy, which offers unlimited cover for both buildings and contents as well as increased cover for personal possessions. The policy is offered as standalone building or contents policies, or both combined. The new policy is intended to harken back to an age when home policies covered ‘all risks’ without pesky exclusions and add-ons.


First Utility has launched two new tariffs, freezing prices for up to three and a half years.

The new iSave Fixed September 2016 costs £1,070 a year while the iSave Fixed September 2017 costs £1,169. Both fix prices for the duration of the tariff.


Kensington has cut the £195 administration charge from all of its residential and buy-to-let products. All products are now available with free valuations, while all remortgages have free legals included.

Ocean Finance, the mortgage and secured loan broker, has launched Ocean Credit Checker, a credit check service. Customers can sign up for a 30 day free trial for access to their credit report and credit score with clear, easy-to-understand advice for each item on the report and how it might impact the pursuit of credit.

Barclays will cut rates on its fixed rate mortgages. 85 per cent loan to value (LTV) rates will fall to 3.28 per cent with fees for existing customers of £499, jumping to £999 for new customers. At 90 per cent LTV, a two-year fixed rate of 4.99 per cent is available with a £999 fee. A five year 4.99 per cent carries a fee of £499.

Barclays has also added two products to its Help to Buy range. An equity loan product will have a rate of 3.19 per cent at 75 LTV and a mortgage guarantee option will have a rate of 4.99 per cent up to 95 per cent LTV. Neither product has a fee.

Alternative Bridging is piloting a prime loan programme, available initially to clients of selected brokers for loans from £250,000. Interest rates will be from 0.75 per cent for residential properties and available for periods up to 4 months for loans of up to 65 per cent of valuation for investment properties and 75 per cent for owner-occupied homes.


The My Elevate For Investment app by AXA Wealth is now available. The app gives investors a quick snapshot of their total portfolio holdings, holdings and contributions by tax wrapper, overall asset allocation and individual fund holdings with their performance levels.

BlackRock has launched an Asia Special Situations fund. The fund, managed by Andrew Swan with Emily Dong, will be composed of 30 to 60 companies the team believes could become leaders of the future, irrespective of current benchmark weightings.

Schroders has also launched a fund this week. Its GAIA Paulson Merger Arbitrage fund will invest mainly in US, Western European and Canadian large cap public equities currently or potentially involved in mergers and other corporate events – including bankruptcy reorganisations, liquidations and exchange offers. The fund will be managed John Paulson of Paulson & Co.


New payment service Paym launched this week, allowing consumers to pay one another using their smartphones. Read more about the new service here.