BUSINESS NEWS

Briefly

PART-TIME employees who have been excluded from company pension schemes may be able to make substantial compensation claims, following the ruling by the European Court of Justice that exclusion is unlawful. The judgment is retrospective for at least two years and takes effect on 31 May.

GARTMORE is offering a personal equity plan based on its UK index tracker fund, which has no initial charge and a management fee of 0.5 per cent a year. The PEP will add an extra fee of 0.5 per cent a year.

HENDERSON Touche Remnant is raising the minimum monthly investment in its investment trusts and split-capital share plans from pounds 25 to pounds 50, and the minimum lump sum from pounds 250 to pounds 500 - the first increases since 1986.

NATIONAL & Provincial Building Society members can get a free telephone update (ring 0800 808089) on the state of play in potential takeover and merger bids for the society. But it will name no names apart from Abbey National and it will give no timetable for a decision.

THE VALUE of funds under management in Jersey fell by 4.3 per cent to pounds 21.05bn in the three months to the end of March. Sales of investment products totalled pounds 1.433bn and redemptions were pounds 1.654bn, with the balance due to a fall in asset values. Investments in Japanese funds, European funds and foreign currency bonds all declined.

PORTMAN Building Society is offering a no-fees discount mortgage at 1.46 per cent below the current variable rate of 8.45 per cent for the next two years, or a further 1 per cent discount to borrowers who pay a pounds 295 acceptance fee. Borrowers who take a variable-rate mortgage can secure a cashback of 6 per cent of the loan on completion.

SKIPTON Building Society is offering a three-year discount mortgage, with 3 per cent off for the first year, 2 per cent in the second and 1 per cent in the third off the current 8.44 per cent standard rate.

DERBYSHIRE Building Society has added a two-year fixed-rate mortgage at 6.75 per cent, with a three-month penalty for repayment within four years and an administration fee of pounds 50.

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