Bargain Basement

Save & Prosper is slashing the entire upfront charge of 5.5 per cent for people who invest more than pounds 4,000 in its growth and income PEP by 5 April. Investors who put in at least pounds 1,000 will receive a smaller discount of 3 per cent. The fund currently pays out 2.4 per cent, twice a year.

TSB is offering an upfront discount of pounds 300 to investors who put the maximum allowable amount of pounds 6,000 into a TSB PEP before 3 April. The discount applies to amounts going in to its Tax Free Savings Plan PEP. A smaller discount, of pounds 120, will be given on savings going into TSB's High Income PEP.

Legal & General has launched a new PEP which aims to give 140 per cent of the growth of stock markets in Britain, Germany, France and Switzerland. The PEP will be available between 2 March and 9 April in order to allow investors to save up to pounds 18,000, using tax allowances for both 1997/8 and 1998/9. Growth is capped if the investment doubles its value within six years.

Northern Rock will launch an instant access, offshore account on Monday that pays up to 8 per cent a year, gross of tax. Investments of pounds 10,000 or more will earn 7.5 per cent gross a year. Only three withdrawals can be made in any one year without incurring a penalty.

Manor Park, the offshore investment specialist, is launching a range of funds that offer to protect investors' capital against market falls of up to 5 per cent. The funds offer a share in growth of the FT-SE 100 index in London, the Nikkei 225 in Japan, the Hang Seng in Hong Kong, the S&P 500 in the US or the DAX 30 in Germany. Lower levels of protection combine with higher shares of any growth in the respective markets.

Sun Life has combined with Royal Bank of Scotland to produce an innovative means of funding the needs of elderly relatives needing mobility aids. The product combines an endowment with Sun Life with a loan facility at 10.6 per cent interest. Interest is only repayable on the amount of the loan that is used to fund home aids. The facility can also be used for some kinds of medical treatment.

Aberdeen Investment Trusts is offering shares in its Convertible Income Trust, which aims to provide a high-dividend yield together with the potential for capital growth. As at 31 December, the dividend yield was 7.9 per cent gross. The offer, which can be arranged within a PEP, is open until 26 March.

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