loose change

If you don't think you can follow the guides to filling in tax forms the Inland Revenue is sending out, you could send for a 90-page guide, Tax Self-Assessment Made Easy, by Stefan Bernstein. Send cheques payable to TTL, PO Box 200, Harrogate HG1 2YR, and mention The Independent to get a discount price of pounds 4.99 including p&p.

John Charcol has introduced a two-stage, five-year fixed rate mortgage, fixed at 6.99 per cent until April 1999, followed by a variable rate until April 2002, capped at a maximum of 7.99 per cent but with no lower limit during that period. The funds are provided by a leading mutual society currently charging a standard variable rate of 6.99 per cent. Insurance is not compulsory, loans are up to 90 per cent of valuation on purchases, 80 per cent on remortgages. There is a redemption penalty of 3.5 per cent of the loan for redemption within five years. Call 0800 718 191 for details.

NatWest Bank is offering readers a free 32-page windfall share guide, discussing the pros and cons of buying, selling or holding the shares, PEPs, the tax implications and who may be next to demutualise. Call 0800 200 400 8am-8pm Monday-Friday, 9am-6pm on Saturday to reserve a copy.

Bradford & Bingley Building Society is also offering a free guide to windfalls, Call 0800 570 800.

Invesco is offering a free guide to PEPs and windfalls. Call 0800 010 310. Investors can transfer windfall shares into the Invesco PEP or sell them to buy units in the PEP. Each transfer will cost pounds 15 and investors retaining shares will be asked to invest an extra pounds 1,000 or pounds 35 a month.

TSB has cut the rate on personal loans of pounds 10,000-pounds 15,000 to 13.8 per cent APR.

Pearl Assurance is offering Platinum Bond, a unitised with-profits bond with no initial charge, no surrender charge after five years, and full return of investments on death. Bonuses are added daily.

Woolwich is raising rates on its Premier 30 account by up to 0.4 per cent from the end of April. Cater Allen bank has raised rates on one to five years. On minimum sums of pounds 10,000 it offers 6.375 per cent gross for a year, 7 per cent for four years and 7.125 per cent for five years.

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