Personal Finance: Loose Change

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SAVILLS PRIVATE Finance, the independent mortgage broker, says it has launched two buy-to-let mortgages. For loans of more than pounds 50,000 SPF is offering terms of 6.49 per cent over two years, and 6.55 per cent over 10 years. Mark Chilton, managing director, said: "UK residential property produces a more attractive risk and return profile than all major asset classes. It also offers a degree of portfolio diversification against equities and bonds."

UK Property Shop, a new British company, aims to simplify the search for information on house sales and rentals.

The business has set up an internet site at: www.ukpropertyshop.com which it says contains a comprehensive list of 17,000 estate and letting agents across the UK. Links from the site are provided to agents' own websites and there is a special section for student accommodation.

SCOTTISH LIFE International, the joint venture between Scottish Life Assurance and Dresdner RCM Global Investors, has launched a computer-run investment fund. The Protected Multi Index Fund, sets its allocations across the US, UK, Japanese and European markets using a computer model, which analyses market information. Investors can choose one of six levels of capital protection each quarter. A performance model suggests that over five years a 95 per cent protected fund would have returned 20.6 per cent.

THE BRITISH Bankers' Association says it is helping to explain why banks demand information when they open accounts. It has published a leaflet which says the need to prevent money laundering compels banks to ask customers for proof of identity. BBA director general Tim Sweeney said: "In the light of current financial inclusion initiatives, understanding the need to prove who you are is paramount." Copies of the leaflet are available from banks as well as from the BBA's website on: www.bba.org.uk

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