Money: Loose change

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Newly-founded Guernsey-based Millennium Life Assurance has launched a three or six year Accumulator Plus Bond. Unlike some "guaranteed" high- income bonds on the market, which offer a guaranteed income that could be at the expense of capital, the Accumulator Plus offers a minimum return of 97.5 per cent of initial capital even if markets fall steadily.

The return builds to 142.5 per cent of the initial investment after three years if both the US and UK stock market indices rise in all three years, and up to 208 per cent after six years of continuous year-on-year gains. An income option pays out up to 5 per cent a year and still guarantees a total return of 112.5 per cent of capital if markets fall throughout, rising to 123 per cent of capital after three years of sustained growth in markets, and 178 per cent after six years.

Bonuses for gains in any one year are locked in and if markets fall the floor for the bonus is rebased at the lower level for the following year. Proceeds are taxed as income on redemption. Minimum investment is pounds 5,000 and bonds go on sale on November 18 through independent financial advisers.

Lambeth Building Society has launched a limited issue of fixed rate mortgages charging 7.45 per cent until January 2002 if borrowers take out ASU insurance or 7.65 per cent without. Property must be insured with the society. There is a fee of pounds 295 and six months' interest penalty for repayment in the first five years.

Chartwell Investment Management is offering readers a free guide to term assurance. Call 01225-446556.

Manor Park offers a PEP invested in its own Dublin-based selected growth fund. Capital is guaranteed to maturity in 2002, and gains are linked to the FTSE 100 index up to a maximum of 220 per cent. Minimum investment is pounds 3,000, maximum pounds 9,000. Call Helpline on 0171-452-1345.

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