Browsing "Latest Product Updates"
Over on Which4U, we’ve started a monthly ‘What’s Hot’ review of the best mortgages available on the market. It won’t surprise most readers to learn that many of these offers are provided by mutuals rather than by major banks. And though eligibility for these offers tends to be limited to those based solely in the vicinity of the lender, there is far greater coverage than many will suspect. Check out some of the highlight offers below.
60% / 65% LTV
Skipton Building Society has launched a 2-year tracker deal at just 1.78%, which enters at the top end of the market. The initial rate falls slightly behind HSBC, but the fee of £995 outstrips rivals, who (with the exception of Nationwide and the Post Office) are charging £1,500 or above.
If the Bank of England is able to hold off on raising interest rates until 2016 (though it’s hardly a certainly), it’s the ideal window of opportunity for a cheap tracker mortgage, and such low-cost deals won’t last much longer.
The Norwich & Peterborough Building Society is offering an impressive 65% LTV 2-year fixed-rate mortgage at just 1.99%, taking the fight to the major banks in the lower-risk mortgage sector. The fee of £295 offers terrific value compared to similar products in this sector, where fees are now sky-high.
For this low-risk category, major banks are offering lower rates but much higher fees. Mortgages like N&P’s become most competitive when the value of the loan is smaller (up to £200,000), because it’s only when borrowing large sums that the lower rate is able to offset the high product fees (of up to £1,999) over the course of the offer period. For lower value loans, a slightly higher rate and lower fee can prove a better option.
Our guide to mortgage arrangement fees offers an example of how favourably this N&P mortgage compares to larger rivals.
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The UK’s second biggest supermarket, Asda, is the latest retailer to announce new personal finance products as customers flock away from malfunctioning and scandal-struck high-street banks towards alternative providers.
The launch comes with a rename of the supermarket’s personal finance arm to Asda Money, and follows in the footsteps of high-street favourite, Marks & Spencer, which begins its banking operation this summer.
What’s on offer? How does it compare?
The supermarket’s force majeure is a credit card that will offer unlimited cashback of 1% on all Asda shopping (including petrol) and 0.5% on all other spending.
Asda entered the market for utilities recently, and it’s also offering a range of insurance products as part of its brand relaunch.
The appeal of the credit card has to be its rare combination of cashback together with a 0% offer on balance transfers for 12 months. However, does it really compete as the collective sum of its parts?
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Previously, on IS4
- 27-02-12: Nationwide leads the way, at 3.10%.
- 02-03-12: Cheshire strikes the front, at 3.16%.
- 05-03-12: Santander’s new rates reach 3.30%.
- 08-03-12: Cheshire is poised to re-take the lead at 3.35%.
The battle over ISAs has taken another development as the Cheshire Building Society, parented by Nationwide, re-raised its instant access cash ISA rates to 3.35% to seize the initiative back from Santander.
It seemed like Santander’s ‘Promethean’ revelation of its latest ISA rates would prove to be the last word on the matter – at 3.30% AER for the instant access cash ISA and 4.00% AER for the two-year fixed-rate ISA. But Nationwide and Cheshire were not ready to surrender there and they have struck back with interest.
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There’s a new contagion going around during ISA season. It’s called longevitus. And it’s catching fast.
As it stands, the usual game of cat-and-mouse is taking place as banks continue to snare UK savers seeking the right home for their tax-free cash ISA allowance.
Some banks have declared their rates early, hoping to tempt savers into an early decision. Others have paused, observed their rivals, and tried to usurp them with Promethean intent.
As more reveal their sparkling new ISA products, there is a distinct pattern emerging which differs from the recent past. Few institutions are still banking on a one year plan. The assumption must be that consumers are not thinking this way either.
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Nationwide have increased their rates on a wide range of its saving products from last week (September 7th).
The interest that is paid on their six-month and one-year Fixed Rate Bonds and e-Bonds has raised by 0.2 per cent. This will also apply to their 18 month Tracker Bond and Tracker e-Bond.
As well as this, Nationwide have also announced the launch of a new two-year deal to go along side their existing three-year option, which is set to stay the same.
For Fixed Rate ISAs, the rate has grown by the same percentage for the one-year deals, stays the same for the three-year option and there is a new two year account now available to customers.
In related news from Nationwide, there has been an interest increase on their MySave Online Plus account, and in addition to this a new 75 Day Saver product has now been launched by the bank.
Richard Marriott, head of savings at Nationwide, has recently said: “As one of the country’s leading savings providers we aim to ensure our savers get a competitive return on their money and these new rates will help do just that. In the current climate, it is important to cater for a variety of savings needs.” Read More »
From today (6 April), anyone that qualifies for an ISA can enjoy an increase of £480 per year to their tax free savings allowance.
Many people may not know it, but any earnings made through interest from standard savings accounts is counted as a form of income, so it qualifies for income tax.
This can be anything from 10% to 50%, which can significantly lower the total returns on your investment.
However, with a tax free ISA savers can benefit not only from tax free interest paid in their savings, but also tax free returns from shares spanning a large number of businesses and companies using an share dealing account or investment ISA. Read More »