Cashpoints: Five-year escalator with a 10% prize at the top

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The Independent Online
The Leeds & Holbeck building society has launched a five-year escalator bond, with rates rising every year and a guaranteed 10 per cent interest rate in year five. The bond goes on sale tomorrow with a minimum opening balance of pounds 500 (maximum pounds 250,000). Interest in the first four years rises from 4 per cent to 5.25 per cent. There are stiff penalties for withdrawals in the early years, starting with 180 days' interest during the first year. For more details call Leeds & Holbeck Direct Investments on 0500 225777.

The Ecology Building Society has teamed up with the Family Assurance friendly society to offer an ethical ISA with stocks and shares and a cash component. The cash mini ISA is managed by the Ecology Building Society and pays 5.5 per cent gross, although this includes a 1 per cent bonus if no withdrawals are made during the tax year. The minimum regular contribution is pounds 20 a month. The upper limit for both mini ISAs is pounds 3,000 during the current tax year. Call 0845 674 5566 for details.

C&G has increased the interest rate on its cash and Tessa ISA accounts, and is now paying 6.25 per cent tax free. This is not the top available rate (see above for best buys this week) but customers do get instant access to their savings and the Lloyds-TSB owned C&G is guaranteeing its rates will not fall below base rate until at least January 2000. Call 0800 717505.

Premier Asset Management has launched its first range of mini and maxi ISAs. If you are looking for a global tracking fund, the Premier Global 100 Fund invests in the world's biggest companies and the fund has grown by 50 per cent since November 1997. There is also a tracker fund investing in Europe's largest companies (excluding the UK). Both ISAs have a minimum investment of pounds 50 a month or pounds 1,000 lump sum and there's a 1 per cent reduction on the 5 per cent initial charge until July. Call 0800 212577.

Discount credit card issuer Capital One is now offering a Thomson Holiday Card, with a 9.9 per cent APR until October 1999, rising to 18.9 per cent after that. The hook is at least 5p off your holiday for every pounds 10 spent on the card. Call 0800 952 5351 for more details.