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Skipton Building Society has introduced new discount mortgages, including a discount of 6 per cent on the current standard variable rate of 6.99 per cent for five months and 0.75 per cent off for a further 12 months, or 3 per cent off for two years.

A 1 per cent discount for a year, a pounds 250 cashback and a loan of up to 95 per cent is also on offer without the need for a mortgage insurance guarantee.

Halifax Building Society has extended the life of its incentive packages by a further three months and introduced a three-year discounted first- time buyer and remortgage with 1 per cent off the standard variable rate of 7.25 per cent and no repayment penalties.

Alliance & Leicester is offering a new specifically remortgage product combining a 3 per cent discount for a year, no arrangement fee, a refund of valuation fees and up to pounds 350 towards legal expenses.

Cheltenham & Gloucester has launched a three-year fixed-rate bond paying 7 per cent annually on a minimum investment of pounds 1,000. A monthly income option pays 6.78 per cent.

On a minimum investment of pounds 500 Abbey National is paying 6.5 per cent annual or 6.31 per cent on a monthly income option.

Sun Banking Corporation is raising rates on its fixed-rate Tessas from 7.4 per cent to 7.5 per cent. Royal Bank of Scotland has launched a fixed- rate follow-on Tessa paying an escalating rate rising from 6.75 per cent in year one to 10.75 per cent in year five but not compounded.

Mercury Asset Management is offering shareholders in UK privatisations the opportunity over the next three months to switch into Mercury's Privatisation Trust at a flat fee of pounds 10 plus VAT for each holding. The minimum investment is pounds 1,000 in shares and/or cash.

Scottish Equitable and Guildford-based Premier Fund Managers are launching International Portfolio, a low to medium-risk investment fund. Some 80 per cent of the fund will be invested in a world-wide portfolio of unit trusts. The balance will be invested in FT-SE 100 shares using derivatives to limit the downside to 2.5 per cent a quarter.

NatWest is launching Safeguard, a "guaranteed" unit trust designed to limit the downward impact of falls in major stock markets. Falls are limited to 5 per cent a year and gains of 10 per cent are locked in.

Share shops are accepting registrations for the British Energy privatisation. The pathfinder prospectus is published on 10 June.