Consolidated competes in guaranteed market

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In terms of savings product launches, the new year has got off to a fairly slow start. However, Consolidated Life has introduced a new element of competition to the guaranteed income bond market, matching Laurentian Life's 7 per cent return on the seven-year bond and trailing 0.4 per cent behind on the five-year bond. But the minimum investment at Consolidated Life is only pounds 2,000 compared to the pounds 50,000 minimum required by Laurentian Life.

Britannia has overtaken Bristol & West in offering the highest building society rates. But Northern Rock has reopened its postal Go Direct account, which pays 8.05 per cent on pounds 2,000 and 8.55 per cent on pounds 20,000-plus.

Tessa rates continue to show a wide divergence among the top building societies and banks. One of the first cumulative calculations of their performance was conducted by National Counties Building Society at the end of last year. However, the performance of the Hinckley & Rugby Building Society Tessa appears to have been underestimated. Its Tessa should, in fact, rank 39th just after the Abbey National Tessa.

----------------------------------------------------------------- Six of the best ----------------------------------------------------------------- Savings Type Account Term *0% *25% *40% Min GIB Laurentian Life 5 years 7.00 7.00 5.95 50,000 B Soc Britannia Instant 9.00 6.75 5.40 25,000 Tessa Allied Trust Bank 5 years 9.49 9.49 9.49 9,000 ----------------------------------------------------------------- *Compounded annual rate except for GIB (guaranteed income bond) Source: Chase De Vere 071-404 5766 -----------------------------------------------------------------

----------------------------------------------------------------- Mortgages ----------------------------------------------------------------- Type Source Deal Variable Halifax 7.80% on loans over pounds 100,000 Fixed Woolwich 7.99% for 3 yrs, fee pounds 225 Capped Woolwich 7.25% for 2 yrs, 1st time buyers only ----------------------------------------------------------------- Source: John Charcol 071-589 2626 -----------------------------------------------------------------

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