Internet Investor

I HAVE never been one to be easily seduced by so-called special offers and last chances to buy, but we really have seen the last chance to buy PEPs and Tessas. One small question springs to mind on the subject of PEPs. If someone has a couple of thousand pounds sitting around doing nothing, and not sheltered in a tax-efficient haven, why haven't they got around to putting it in a PEP before now?

Let us be honest, the last minute rush for PEPs is not of those people opening up monthly saving schemes - if it is then the financial service providers who sold them are sailing perilously close to the rocks of mis- selling. However, if you do have funds sitting in a bank or building society account earning taxed interest, it is still not too late to do something about it.

If this weekend's focus on Easter eggs has helped turn your thoughts to nest eggs, you are still in with a chance of organising your last-ever PEP, thanks to the latest marketing wheeze from Virgin Direct.

On the Virgin Direct website you can call up an online application form which takes you through the following steps: reading the Key Features document, reading the conditions and then filling out the actual form. Once you have filled the form out on-screen you need to print it out. However, it will not have escaped your notice that you have only until midnight Monday before the current tax year and thus PEPs and Tessas come to an end.

Virgin Direct is not offering the facility of online PEP purchases but has organised the next best thing for the last few days of the tax year. PEP applications may be handed in at one of 10 Virgin Megastores dotted around the UK. Staff will be on hand to check your application forms until 7pm on Monday 5 April at the music and video stores in London's Oxford Street, Birmingham, Brighton, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Kingston, Manchester, Oxford and Southampton.

If you cannot get along to one of these Virgin Megastores with your form, then you may call Speed Couriers - the number is on the Virgin Direct website - and they will collect the form from you free of charge. The courier service is available up until 8pm on Sunday. Of course, if you really want to cut it fine and get into the record books,Virgin Direct's office in Norwich will be taking hand-delivered applications right up until midnight on April 5.

ONCE IN to the new tax year it will be back to business as usual - but the meaning of "business as usual" continues to evolve. Analysis by market research group Datamonitor for Reuters Business Insight suggests that almost a third of us are already prepared to use the Internet in dealing with a financial services provider, with one in 10 now willing to buy life insurance, mortgages or endowments online. Datamonitor forecasts 21 per cent of households will have a PC and a modem by next year, rising to 30 per cent in 2002.

Datamonitor's findings are pitched at the service provider rather than the consumer. The report "UK Financial Services on the Internet" highlights the expectation we now have for the provision of quality financial services online. It warns product providers that they will "compromise their reputation for consumer service" if they do not offer Internet facilities.

What is becoming increasingly clear is that regulation is lagging behind Internet developments. This month HM Treasury issued a consultation document reviewing the legislation covering financial promotion and proposed changes in the Financial Services & Markets Bill. You can view the document on the Treasury website and you can read my comments on it here next time.

Virgin Direct: www.virgin-direct.co.uk; Datamonitor: www.datamonitor.com; HM Treasury: www.hm-treasury.gov.uk

Robin can be reached at RobinAmlot@aol.com

Sport
sportGareth Bale, Carl Froch and Kelly Gallagher also in the mix for award
News
Japan's Suntory Beverage & Food has bought GlaxoSmithKline's Lucozade and Ribena
news
News
A tongue-eating louse (not the one Mr Poli found)
newsParasitic louse appeared inside unfilleted sea bass
Sport
Nathaniel Clyne celebrates after salvaging a point with the Southampton equaliser
footballAston Villa vs Southampton report
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
Out and about: for 'Glee' character Bert Hummel, having a gay son was a learning curve
lifeEven 'cool' parents need help parenting gay teens
News
peopleJack Monroe accuses David Cameron of 'misty-eyed rhetoric'
News
The illusionist believes hypnotism helped him to deal with the lack of control he felt growing up
people
News
Tana Ramsay gave evidence in a legal action in which her husband, Gordon, is accusing her father, Christopher Hutcheson, of using a ghost writer machine to “forge” his signature
peopleTana Ramsay said alleged discovery was 'extremely distressing'
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Windsor and Aljaz Skorjanec rehearse their same-sex dance together on Strictly Come Dancing
TV
Money
Anyone over the age of 40 seeking a loan with a standard term of 25 years will be borrowing beyond a normal retirement age of 65, and is liable to find their options restricted
propertyAnd it's even worse if you're 40
Arts and Entertainment
Perhaps longest awaited is the adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road with Brazil’s Walter Salles directing and Sam Riley, Kristen Stewart and Viggo Mortensen as the Beat-era outsiders
books
Arts and Entertainment
theatreSinger to join cast of his Broadway show after The Last Ship flounders at the box office
Life and Style
fashion'To start singing with Pharrell is not that bad, no?'
News
news
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Austen Lloyd: Employment Solicitor

    £30000 - £60000 per annum + Excellent: Austen Lloyd: Employment Solicitor - Ke...

    Argyll Scott International: Risk Assurance Manager

    Negotiable: Argyll Scott International: Hi All, I'm currently recruiting for t...

    Austen Lloyd: Clinical Negligence Solicitor

    Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: HAMPSHIRE MARKET TOWN - A highly attr...

    Ashdown Group: IT Systems Analyst / Application Support Engineer (ERP / SSRS)

    £23000 - £30000 per annum + pension, 25days holiday: Ashdown Group: An industr...

    Day In a Page

    In a world of Saudi bullying, right-wing Israeli ministers and the twilight of Obama, Iran is looking like a possible policeman of the Gulf

    Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf

    Robert Fisk on our crisis with Iran
    The young are the new poor: A third of young people pushed into poverty

    The young are the new poor

    Sharp increase in the number of under-25s living in poverty
    Greens on the march: ‘We could be on the edge of something very big’

    Greens on the march

    ‘We could be on the edge of something very big’
    Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby - through the stories of his accusers

    Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby

    Through the stories of his accusers
    Why are words like 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?

    The Meaning of Mongol

    Why are the words 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?
    Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

    Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

    Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
    Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

    The last Christians in Iraq

    After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
    Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

    Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

    Britain braced for Black Friday
    Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

    From America's dad to date-rape drugs

    Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
    Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

    Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

    As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
    Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

    Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

    The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
    Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

    The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

    Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
    Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

    Flogging vlogging

    First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
    Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

    Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

    US channels wage comedy star wars
    When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

    When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

    When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible