MUTUAL ONE is a company consisting of eight Midlands-based building societies, which have combined to launch a new three-year "stepped discount" mortgage.

This deal gives a 3 per cent discount on each society's own variable- rate mortgage in year one, a 2 per cent discount in the second year and 1 per cent in the final year.

At present variable rates, the cost of a loan, available up to 80 per cent of a property's value, is up to 3.94 per cent in year one. Because some societies' rates are lower, the amount payable in the first year could be less. There are no compulsory insurances.

The deal is available exclusively through FirstMortgage Direct. A pounds 295 arrangement fee is payable. Call 0800 080020.