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PERSONAL FINANCE NEWS

POST OFFICE HAS NEW GROWTH BOND
The Post Office has just launched a new growth bond, which offers one-, two- and three-year terms and with rates up to 4.10 per cent AER. The Growth Bond Issue 12 has a minimum opening deposit of £500 and a maximum of £1m. But additional deposits aren’t allowed and no withdrawals are permitted during the fixed term. The rate of interest is fixed and paid annually on the anniversary of opening the bond.

NATIONWIDE CUTS MORTGAGE RATES
Nationwide this week cut rates on 56 selected fixed and tracker products across its mortgage range. The average cut is 0.3 per cent but the range is between 0.05 per cent and 0.6 per cent. It has also extended the maximum loan-to-value to 85 per cent on remortgage tracker deals. For those buying a home, the three-year tracker was reduced by 0.51 per cent to 4.48 per cent and first-time buyers get a £500 discount on the £896 product fee.

LEEDS’ NEW BUY-TO-LET MORTGAGE
Leeds Building Society yesterday launched a two-year fixed-rate buy-to-let mortgage. Rates start at 5.29 per cent if you have a loan-to-value of 60 per cent. The product also has a fixed fee and allows 10 per cent capital repayments each year, without penalty, and there is no higher lending charge. The mortgage is fully portable if borrowers move during the fixed rate period and the booking fee is £199.

INVESTORS UNAWARE OF FUND RISKS
Nine in 10 financial advisers think investors do not fully understand the risks associated with UK-based passive funds, research from Ignis Asset Management showed this week. Over half said passive funds were “somewhat riskier” than investors realised, with 30 per cent reckoning the risks were significantly greater. Contrary to expectations, most advisers don’t expect to increase their usage of passive funds ahead of the Retail Distribution Review.