Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.


Cashpoints: Lloyds makes a six-year guarantee

Lloyds TSB has a Guaranteed Stock Market Bond on offer until the end of October. An investor's capital is guaranteed for the six-year life of the bond, and returns are linked to the performance of the FT-SE 100. The performance of the index will be averaged over the last 12 months of the term to "smooth" any last-minute volatility. Minimum investment is pounds 2,000 and there are bonuses of up to 0.6 per cent on offer for early investment. Call 01634 836 561 for details.

Stock broker Charles Schwab has signed a deal with Reuters to offer a range of share information on the internet. Customers pay pounds 10 a month for the service, which will offer real time share prices. For more details about the Reuters Investor Premium Service call 0870 606 6655 or key in www.schwab-worldwide.com/ europe on the web.

Gas supplier Amerada has launched a Climate Care Tariff to help reduce global warming. Amerada and the Carbon Storage Trust (CST), a "waste management" organisation are working to re-plant deforested areas around the world.

The tariff is slightly higher than usual, but Amerada makes a pounds 10 donation to CST for every customer. Call 0500 001100 for more details.

With-profit funds are run by the giant life companies and invest in a range of shares, fixed-interest securities, and property. Chartwell Investment Management has produced free guides to investing in these funds through with-profit bonds and distribution funds. The guides explain what the investments are and which products offer a good deal. Call 01225 446 556, or write to Chartwell at 6 Kingsmead Square, Bath BA1 2AB.

b2, the Barclays direct sales spin-off, has launched two stock market investment schemes. The Monthly Income PEP is a corporate bond fund which invests in the existing BGI (Barclays) gilt and fixed-income fund. There is no initial charge and an annual management charge of 1 per cent. The expected income from the fund is 6.2 per cent a year, tax free in a PEP. The other fund is a tracker following the FTSE 100 and the medium-sized companies of the FTSE 250 index. The b2 Market Track 350 PEP is the first fund to offer this tracking combination. Again, there is no initial charge and the annual fee is 1 per cent. Investors can put in pounds 50 a month upwards, or lump sums from pounds 500. Call 0800 626262 or key in www.b2.com