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PERSONAL FINANCE NEWS

STATE-OWNED MORTGAGE LENDERS FAIL TO SATISFY
State-owned mortgage providers are trailing behind smaller lenders and building societies for customer satisfaction, says a new survey from Which? Money. Bank of Scotland – part of Lloyds Banking Group – had the lowest score; just 41 per cent of customers were satisfied with the provider. Halifax (44 per cent), Northern Rock (45 per cent) and Lloyds TSB (48 per cent) were close behind. The main problems were new customers being unable to get the best deals, and not being informed of better deals when theirs came to an end. For the third year running, HSBC’s First Direct was top with 89 per cent. The Co-operative Bank was second on 78 per cent.

STRONGEST ISA SEASON FOR EIGHT YEARS SAYS IMA
British investors ploughed £756m into their ISAs between 1 March and 5 April, making it the best ISA season since 2001-02. For the 2009-10 tax year as a whole, Britons put away £3.5bn. This was in contrast to the previous five years, when people withdrew more from their stocks and shares ISAs than they invested. Separate research by Barclays Stockbrokers showed that 89 per cent of investors who subscribed to the Barclays Stockbrokers investment ISA in the last tax year contributed the maximum allowance. A third of its investment ISA holders said they planned to invest a lump sum at the start of the new tax year.

FIDELITY MONEYBUILDER GROWTH AT AA
Fidelity’s MoneyBuilder Growth fund has been assigned a AA rating by Standard & Poor’s after a successful fund manager transition. The fund, which can be included in your stocks and shares ISA or your Sipp, has been managed by James Griffin since January. The AA rating recognises his consistently strong fund management performance. Griffin said that the fund is overweight in mining companies such as Lonmin, Anglo American and Rio Tinto as well as Barclays, HSBC and Standard Chartered.