When one door opens, another closes

Investors in Tessas need nimble wits and quick reflexes to catch the best offers
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Northern Rock has closed its fixed rate follow-up Tessa account paying 7.64 per cent, but the variable rate account paying 8 per cent on the maximum pounds 9,000, 7.5 per cent on other balances down to pounds 3,000 remains available.

West Bromwich Building Society has withdrawn its follow-up Tessa offering 7.55 per cent fixed for the next five years "following unprecedented demand", and replaced it with a 7.35 per cent fixed rate.

The West Brom claims this remains the best fixed-rate Tessa available, topping 7.30 per cent at Yorkshire Building Society and Bradford & Bingley, 7.22 per cent at the TSB and 7 per cent at Barclays Bank.

Leeds & Holbeck BS has launched an escalator Tessa for maturing pounds 9,000 Tessas. It will pay 6 per cent in the first year rising to 6.2 per cent in year two, 6.5 per cent in year three, 7.2 per cent in year four and 9 per cent in the final year.

Ipswich Building Society has increased its rates for maturing Tessas to 7.25 per cent for existing customers, 7 per cent for transfers from other providers.

Alliance & Leicester has introduced two new investment accounts, which do not qualify for membership of the society, to replace qualifying accounts withdrawn last week. Prime 90 Deposit account will pay 4.1 per cent on amounts from pounds 1,000 to pounds 5,000, 6.1 per cent up to pounds 10,000 and 6.60 per cent up to 325,000 The Tessa deposit account pays 6.1 per cent (variable) on amounts between pounds 500 and pounds 3,000, 6.20 per cent up to pounds 4,800 and 7.25 per cent on the maximum pounds 9,000 rollover account.

Skipton Building Society has increased the minimum investment needed to open a share account which makes the investor a voting member of the society to pounds 2,500.

"This is one decision the society would have preferred not to make, but we have a business to run," Skipton's chief executive, John Goodfellow, said. "The society has no intention to convert or be acquired."

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