Personal finance: bargain basement

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The Independent Online
Woolwich has launched a five-year fixed-rate mortgage at 6.65 per cent. Customers can borrow up to 95 per cent of the value of the home. There is an application fee of pounds 295 and a redemption charge of six months gross interest if customers wish to switch to another lender within six years, before May 2004. Telephone 0645 757575.

NatWest is offering a similar deal, with higher rates but no application fee. Rates are fixed at 6.75 per cent until June 2003. Customers can also opt for a cash-back of pounds 500 with a higher rate of 7.19 per cent.

Independent Mortgage Collection, a new grouping of independent mortgage advisers, is offering a mortgage with a rate of 6.99 per cent fixed for seven and a half years. Borrowers can take 100 per cent of the purchase value of the home if they pay 7.49 per cent for the same deal. Telephone 0800 731 0137.

GE Financial Assurance is launching its first bond linked to the FTSE Eurotop 100 Index, which tracks the fortunes of the 100 most actively traded blue chip UK and continental European shares. The final return is 130 per cent of the growth in the index. The bond offers a minimum return of 100 per cent of the original investment after five and a half years as capital security. Telephone 0181-380 3388.

Norwich & Peterborough building society has launched a variable-rate mortgage with a 6 per cent cashback. Its rates currently stand at 8.35 per cent, below the market norm. Customers can borrow up to 85 per cent of the property's value. An arrangement fee of pounds 295 applies. Telephone 01733 372372.

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