PERSONAL FINANCE NEWS

FLEXIBLE DRAWDOWN SUITABLE FOR MOST
Over 90 per cent of financial advisers think that flexible drawdown would be a suitable retirement solution for their clients, according to research conducted by pension product provider Suffolk Life. Suffolk Life’s John Moret said: “Industry statistics suggest that the number of new drawdown cases in 2010 is likely to exceed 40,000 and a significant number of these are likely to be potential users of flexible drawdown. In addition, there are over 300,000 current users of drawdown, many of whom will also find flexible drawdown appealing.”

ENERGY BILL PAYER APATHY COSTS BILLIONS
Energy bill payers are wasting £4bn a year by not shopping around for the best deal on their gas and electricity, according to the latest research from Moneysupermarket.com. The average household could cut its annual bill by £263 by swapping to the best online dual fuel deal available at the moment. Ofgem research shows that 58 per cent of gas customers have never even looked for a better deal on their energy provision, while the figure is 57 per cent for electricity customers.

BARCLAYS’ FANTASY FUND MANAGER
Barclays has this week launched a Fantasy Investment Portfolio competition which will run for nine months as of 1 December. Free of charge, the competition allows participants to manage their own portfolios with a virtual £100,000 to invest. The competitor with the largest assets under management on 31 August 2011 will win £25,000, which can be taken as a cash alternative or can be placed in one or more of the funds available on the Barclays investments website. For details or to register for the competition, go to www.barclaysfantasyfundmanager.co.uk

SKIPTON UNVEILS NEW PRODUCTS
Skipton Building Society today unveils that it will be launching its second, market leading E-Bond with a rate of 3.15 per cent. Once the term of the bond has expired, it will mature directly into an online account called Loyalty Saver, which currently offers customers a rate of 2.25 per cent annual equivalent rate (AER). This week, Skipton has also launched a new cash ISA range at rates of up to 4 per cent AER. It offers a one, two, three and five-year fixed ISA and these products will replace those that were withdrawn yesterday by the building society.