loose change

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The Independent Online
Scotlife Home Loans is launching a mortgage with 2 per cent off the standard variable rate (currently 7.24 per cent) for the first three years, a pounds 500 cashback following completion and a further pounds 1,000 cashback in December 1999. A reservation fee of pounds 250 is required plus a pounds 295 arrangement fee which can be added to the loan. There is a penalty for redemption in the first five years, but no compulsory insurance. The discount is reduced to 1.5 per cent for loans under pounds 60,000. Call 0131-456-7128 for details.

Nationwide BS is offering a new range of mortgages including a choice of a 2.6 per cent discount for two years off the standard variable rate (which is currently 6.99 per cent), a 1.5 per cent discount for five years, and a seven-year fixed rate of 8.29 per cent, all on up to 90 per cent loans to value. An arrangement fee of pounds 295 and Nationwide buildings and contents insurance are required.

Bupa is going nationwide with its out-of-hours service presently only available to its private medical insurance holders in the Reading area.

The service, designed for policyholders who find it hard to reach a surgery in working hours, allows them to phone a doctor between 7pm and 10pm on weekdays, visit a doctor or have a home visit free of charge.

A 24-hour call-out service is available at pounds 30 a visit and a free telephone advice service for pounds 6 a month.

AA Insurance's latest survey's shows average buildings insurance premiums are down 10 per cent over 12 months but up 1.5 per cent over three months.

Contents policies are down 7 per cent over a year but up 1.4 per cent over the last quarter, while comprehensive car cover is 3.8 per cent higher than it was a year ago and 3.9 per cent up on the last quarter.

The changes include the rise in insurance premium tax from 2.5 per cent to 4 per cent this month.

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