LOOSE CHANGE

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The Independent Online
Chelsea Building Society has reopened the Chelsea 120 account which pays high interest and charges no withdrawal penalty provided 120 days' notice is given. But the minimum deposit to open an account is pounds 5,000 against pounds 1,000 on the account withdrawn last month. Up to pounds 25,000 the account earns 6.5 per cent gross, or 5.2 per cent net, payable annually in December, rising to 7 per cent gross and 5.6 per cent net on larger amounts. Non-members can still open a deposit account for pounds 100.

Alliance & Leicester has launched a new range of discount rate mortgages offering a discount of 5.5 per cent on the standard variable rate of 7.49 per cent for one year, 2.85 per cent discount for two years, and 2.05 per cent for three years, all on 75 per cent loan to value. The discount on a three-year mortgage up to 95 per cent loan to value is 1.80 per cent.

Barclays Bank offers a capped rate mortgage at 3.75 per cent for one year and 5.49 per cent for two years , with a 3.5 per cent penalty for redemption within four years. Booking fees of pounds 100 and pounds 200 respectively are required.

Newcastle Building Society is offering a 6 per cent cash-back on new variable rate mortgages at 7.49 per cent with up to 90 per cent loans for buyers, 85 per cent for remortgages. Alternatively, a 6 per cent discount is available on the standard rate, or a five-year fixed rate of 6.95 per cent. The two-year fixed rate is 4.69 per cent.

Coventry Building Society has launched a new four-year escalator bond, earning 5.75 per cent gross in year one rising to 9.25 per cent gross in year four. Interest is payable annually in February. No withdrawals are permitted for two years, with a charge of 180' days interest in the remaining two years. Minimum investment is pounds 2,000.

Manor Park in Guernsey, specialist provider of guaranteed investments, is launching a Guaranteed High Income Fund paying 10 per cent a year for five years, plus the full return of capital provided the FT-SE 100 share index rises an average 3.36 per cent a year. Two per cent would be treated as income and 8 per cent as return of capital, giving a net 9.6 per cent return to the basic rate taxpayer. An 8 per cent guaranteed option is available with return of capital guaranteed if the index rises 1.3 per cent a year. Minimum investment is pounds 5,000.

Foreign & Colonial is introducing a Target Index Fund to offer a return linked to either the rate of inflation or the 100 share index, whichever is the greater over the next six years. The initial charge is 1 per cent, the minimum investment pounds 2,000.

Prolific offers a 1 per cent discount on lump sum investments in its Technology Unit Trust before 8 March. The trust ranks first over three and five years and second over one year and 10 years in the international equity growth sector. Initial charges are 5.25 per cent plus 1.25 per cent annually.

Hill Samuel has produced a free guide to end-of- year tax planning, covering personal equity plans, pension planning and inheritance tax planning. Call Freephone 0800-336600.

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