National Savings returns cheques

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NATIONAL SAVINGS is this week returning 2,500 cheques that failed to reach the offices before the current crop of fixed-rate savings products were withdrawn in the wake of the base rate cut.

The 38th issue national Savings Certificates paying 7.5 per cent after five years was on sale for just one month - from 24 August to 23 September - the shortest ever life of a certificate.

The First Option Bond (paying 7.25 per cent), Children's Bonus Bond (10.1 per cent) Capital Bond (10 per cent) and Yearly Plan (7.5 per cent) were all withdrawn at 5.30 on Tuesday.

Those whose applications were in the post and were not received by National Savings by Tuesday will have their cheques returned as it is not certain when new National Savings products will be relaunched on the market.

About 500 cheques for the 38th issue are being returned, plus 1,500 cheques for the First Option Bond and 500 for the Children's Bond and Capital Bond.

A National Savings spokesman said advertising had been stopped on the previous Thursday.' We knew that something might happen this week.'

Coupons clipped from newspapers and sent to the Freepost address go second class post, while the First Option Bond is posted in customers' own envelopes and other National Savings application go in a first class National Savings envelope.

The maximum investment in the 38th issue was pounds 5,000.

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