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Money Masterclass - our gift to you!

Money Masterclass - our gift to you!

Category: Money

Updated: 03/02/2011
First Published: 03/02/2011

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

Welcome to your weekly dose of the best new products to hit the personal finance market.

This week, we showcase a couple of savings accounts that should appeal to both serious and casual savers, while there are a couple of mortgages for buyers at the higher end of the loan-to-value scale.

As usual, we've broken the products down into technical details and unbiased analysis, so you know exactly what you're getting.


Close Savings - Product details

  • Close Savings has re-entered the fixed rate savings market with a bang, launching a market-leading two year fixed rate bond paying 3.75%.
  • Savers can invest between £10,000 and £10 million into the bond, which can be operated by post, fax or telephone.
  • Once opened further additions and earlier access are not permitted, so savers need to ensure they can commit their money for the full two year term. analysis

Savers looking to commit funds for two years will be pleased by the launch of this market-leading account. The minimum investment of £10,000, whilst higher than some bonds, is not too onerous. In common with many short to medium term fixed bonds, no flexibility for additions or withdrawals is offered during the term.

KRBS - Product details

  • This week saw the partnership between Kent Reliance Building Society and private equity firm J C Flowers come into effect.
  • The new company, known as Kent Reliance Banking Services (KRBS), has launched a market-leading ISA.
  • The 2012 Bonus Account pays 2.87%, including a 2.12% bonus until 30 June 2012.
  • Savers can invest upwards of £500 into the account, which accepts transfers in. Savers must give 60 days' notice to access funds. analysis

If savers don't need instant access to their money then this market-leading account from KRBS could be a good option. The account accepts transfers in, so savers can transfer previous tax free allowances to the account and benefit from the top rate. A significant part of the rate is the temporary bonus, so savers should ensure they move the money when the bonus ends.

Find the best savings rates for you - Compare savings accounts


Norwich & Peterborough Building Society - Product details

  • Borrowers with a 15% deposit are now being offered a market-leading deal from Norwich & Peterborough Building Society.
  • The lender is offering a two year discounted variable rate of 2.59%, subject to a £995 fee. analysis

Norwich & Peterborough BS has withdrawn its best two year discounted rate at 85% but has increased the loan-to-value on its 2.59% deal to 85%. The enhancement to the loan-to-value on this product now makes this the top rate at this tier. A £995 fee is payable and no incentives are on offer. However, this is also true of its competitors, where rates are at least 0.40% higher.

ING Direct - Product details

  • ING Direct has this week followed other lenders by increasing rates on its fixed rate mortgage range.
  • Despite being 0.20% higher, the five year fixed deal at 4.99%, available to borrowers with a 20% deposit, remains highly competitive.
  • The deal has a low fee of £195 and a remortgage incentive package of free legal fees and free valuation. analysis

Although an increase in rate is disappointing, the deal offered by ING Direct remains an attractive product. While slightly lower rates can be found for those with a 20% deposit, they do charge a higher fee and don't come with the incentive package being offered by ING Direct.

Find the best mortgage rate - Compare best selling mortgages

Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.