Money: cashpoints - Quitters stub out premiums

Smokers can cut their life assurance premiums in half by giving up smoking, according to Royal & Sun Alliance. With one eye on National Non-Smoking Day next Wednesday they say a 41-year-old male smoker who takes out a Progressive Protection policy for pounds 100,000 would pay pounds 20.68 a month, but at the next policy anniversary, aged 42 and not having smoked for a year, he could be paying just pounds 10.23 a month.

UK households will have wasted an average of pounds 185 each this winter according to Energy Efficiency, a government-sponsored initiative. Savings could be made through more efficient heating systems, improved insulation, more efficient household appliances and energy-saving lighting. Grants of up to pounds 200 are also available for condensing boilers and similar sums for cavity wall insulation. Advice (and a free energy check) are available on 0345 277200.

Henderson Investors, the UK's largest investment trust manager, is waiving purchasing commissions on new investments in any of its 11 trust PEPs before the end of the tax year. The minimum investment is pounds 2,000 in each of up to three separate trusts. Call 0800 106106 for further details.

Royal & Sun Alliance with Alliance & Leicester is offering a discount mortgage with 1.5 per cent off the standard variable rate (currently 7.05 per cent) for five years, no MIG fee for loans up to 90 per cent of valuation, a refund of valuation fee on completion and no early redemption penalties after the five years is up. First-time buyers get pounds 200 towards legal fees.

Coventry Building Society is launching a new postal savings account. Post Plus will pay a variable rate (initially 6.25 per cent) which is guaranteed to exceed base rate by at least 0.75 per cent until 31 January next year. The minimum investment is pounds 5,000 and the minimum transaction level is pounds 500.

Abbey National is offering a new fixed-rate savings bond paying 5.75 per cent gross until 1 September 1999. The minimum balance is pounds 2,000. Phone 0800 174635 for details.

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