BARCLAYLOAN DIRECT, the lending arm of Barclays bank, is cutting the rate charged on its personal loans. For loans between pounds 500 and pounds 19,000, the rate charge is 19.9 per cent APR, reducing in stages to 13.9 per cent on borrowings between pounds 12,000 and pounds 15,000. Call 0500 200250.

CHARTWELL INVESTMENT Management, a Bath-based independent financial advisers, is offering a free guide to inheritance tax planning. Call 01225 321700.