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Personal Finance Update - A&L Regular Saver, Mortgages and PPI

Personal_Finance / UK Banking May 08, 2007 - 11:43 PM GMT

By: MoneyFacts

Personal_Finance

Rachel Thrussell, Head of Savings at Moneyfacts.co.uk – the money search engine, comments:

A&L regular saver makes a comeback

“Alliance & Leicester has relaunched its regular saver, but savers should still be ware of the limitations that such an account offers. Whilst the account offers a market-leading rate of 12%, this is limited to a total investment of £3K over a year, spread across maximum monthly contributions of £250. The account also requires that a Premier Current Account is opened, which pays 1.49% credit interest; that’s 4.45% lower than the award winning Premier Direct Account which Alliance & Leicester offers.


“If the thought of receiving 12% interest on your savings is appealing, the maximum possible return is £195, which is also subject to tax. Compare this with the best buy ISA from Barclays paying 6.31%, which does not have the caveats of requiring linked accounts or restricting the monthly investments, the return is £104.22. If you had the full £3000 to save at the start of the year, investing the full amount would net you a tax-free return of £194.89.

“The A&L account undoubtedly offers a great return, but only for savers prepared to make a commitment to a fixed amount each month, and who don’t require any flexibility. Also they must consider the ‘hassle’ factor of switching current account providers. Is the extra interest worth it?

Savings for the forgotten children

“While the Government has been actively encouraging savings in Child Trust Fund account, those children born before its introduction seem to have been forgotten. The good news it that providers are now realising this gap in the market, and this week we have seen the launch of Chorley & District BS’s Foxley Fund. An account paying 6.35%, using terms similar to that of a Child Trust Fund account. The maximum yearly investment is £1,200 and it matures on the child’s 18 birthday.

“It is great to see that providers are offering the forgotten children the same opportunities as those eligible for the Child Trust Fund scheme. This is a great rate of return but is a long term savings plan so you must consider that these funds will be tied up until your child reaches 18.

Mortgages

Julia Harris, mortgage analyst at Moneyfacts.co.uk – the money search engine, comments:

Rates going up, down and disappearing

“With a base rate rise almost certain to be on the cards next Thursday, the fixed rate market continues to be volatile. This week a further 12 lenders have increased their fixed rates by as much as 0.40% and six have withdrawn selected fixed rate deals.

“On the other hand, discounted rates have been gradually falling. This week Bradford & Bingley have reduced rates by 0.15%, while several other lenders have made similar changes over the last month. It will be an interesting market to watch over the next few weeks if, as expected Base Rate rises.

Loans

Michelle Slade, personal finance analyst at Moneyfacts.co.uk – the money search engine, comments:

Watch out for rising PPI

“For some time personal loan rates have been on the increase, with sub six percent loans now non existent. But lenders are more frequently using their PPI premiums to subsidise lower interest rates. This week Alliance & Leicester and Moneyback Bank both made changes to their loan offerings, including an increase to rates and PPI.

Alliance & Leicester:
• Rates increased by 1% on loans below £5K
• PPI increased on loans of £10K. Over a five year term this increases the monthly repayment from £234.49 to £246.21
• This increase to PPI adds an additional £703.20 to the final repayment amount, with the total PPI premium standing at £3127.20.

Moneyback Bank
• Rate increased on lower tiers by 1.3% and reduced on higher tiers by up to 0.3%.
• However the PPI premium has risen. Take for example a £10K loan over 5 years repayment with PPI increased to £244.80 (6.1%) compared with £233.83 (6.2%). While rates have fallen the monthly repayment amount has increased by £10.97. The total cost of PPI is now £3,095.40.

“These latest changes illustrate just how important it is to compare the monthly repayment amounts rather than rate alone when shopping for a loan. And remember you don’t have to take the insurance on offer from the loan provider; other independent providers such as paymentcare.co.uk and British Insurance offer more competitively priced and more flexible policies.

By Rachel Thrussell,
http://www.Moneyfacts.co.uk


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Comments


09 May 07, 00:49

The A&L regular saver is useless unless you move to their current account, and its not worth the hassel for the extra £60 interest a year. Unless you need to move your current account.


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