views

PERSONAL FINANCE NEWS

CHELSEA OFFERS FIRST ONLINE ACCOUNT
Chelsea Building Society has launched its first ever online account, the e-Saver Reward. The account, which pays monthly interest of 2.57 per cent (2.60 per cent AER), is available to UK residents aged 16 and over and has a minimum deposit of £1. Withdrawals can be made online with only a loss of interest in the month of the withdrawal. A grace month in April will allow any withdrawals to be made without loss of interest. The bank says that its merger with Yorkshire Building Society has given it the technology to offer this product.

MORTGAGE PRODUCTS ON OFFER FOR LONGER
Mortgage lenders are keeping their products on offer for much longer, new statistics from Moneyfacts.co.uk showed this week. The average shelf life of a current mortgage deal now stands at 30 working days, the longest since August 2007, when the market was heavily subscribed with 9,549 products. The extended shelf life of a mortgage product to 30 days coupled with falling average rates suggests that parts of the market have become static. But in contrast to August 2007, the number of products has fallen to below 3,000.

NATIONWIDE PROTECTED EQUITY BOND
Nationwide’s new protected equity bond offers investors safe exposure to the markets. Returns are linked to the performance of some of the world’s stock market indices but because it does not directly invest, balances are protected from any negative market movement. The maximum potential return is 50 per cent gross of the original investment. Customers who invest in this bond can also take out a one-year fixed-rate Combination Savings Bond paying 3.50 per cent gross per year, based on the annual interest rate.

INVESTORS SAY THEY NEED MORE ADVICE
Almost two-thirds of investors said they have needed more support from their financial adviser over the past year, according to research conducted by Skipton Financial Services. In a time of market turmoil, over 60 per cent said they had not had their investments reviewed in over a year, with 20 per cent saying it had been more than three years since their last review. Surprisingly, the investors most in the dark live in the capital – 71 per cent of respondents from London have felt the need for more help from their adviser.