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Thomas Cook is waiving all commission charges for today only on French francs sold by its 600 shops and bureaux de change. The company also guarantees to beat its main rivals' exchange rates for francs.

Newcastle Building Society is offering a 2.5 per cent discount off its standard variable mortgage until November 1998, giving a current variable rate of 4.49 per cent. The offer applies to loans of up to 95 per cent of value. Call 0191 244 2442.

Petplan, the specialist pet insurer, is offering a free guide explaining everything you need to know about insuring your pet. Call 0181 580 8228 for a free copy.

Leeds and Holbeck Building Society has reduced the opening balance on its instant access YoungSaver Account from pounds 200 to pounds 100. The acount pays 3 per cent gross on deposits of pounds 100, rising to 6 per cent on more than pounds 1,000. Call 0113 225 2000

Norwich Union is cutting 10 per cent off the cost of home insurance for all motorists who already have car insurance with the company. Call your broker for details.

Sun Life is relaunching its Education Expenses Scheme in conjunction with Royal Bank of Scotland. The scheme offers unsecured loans of up to pounds 20,000, repaid with a flexible endowment. Loans up to pounds 50,000 are available secured on the client's property. Interest rates are 4.5 per cent over base. Details from RBS branches.

Scottish Life International in the Isle of Man has a six-year investment bond offering an annual return of 17.5 per cent for each year the FT-SE 100 in the UK and the United States' S&P 500 share indexes do not fall. The original sum is guaranteed for the six years. Details from independent financial advisers.

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