PERSONAL FINANCE NEWS

NEW SHARE BROKING FIRM LAUNCHED
Rivington Street Holding yesterday launched its execution-only share broking service, promising to cut the cost of share dealing for private investors. Created by Barry Jenkins and Brian Gould, JPJshare.com will charge from £4.75 per trade for those making more than 15 trades a month and £5.75 for less frequent users. Telephone trades will cost £8 a time. The platform will offer share prices, news feeds, a telephone help desk, charting functionality and a rolling blog.

LEEDS UNVEILS NEW DISCOUNT MORTGAGE
Leeds Building Society has just unveiled a new two-year discount mortgage rate of 2.54 per cent, which is available for loan-to-values (LTV) of up to 70 per cent. This is a 3.15 per cent discount on the standard variable rate. Borrowers have the flexibility of 10 per cent capital repayments each year and there is no higher lending charge. There is a flat completion fee of £2,800 on loans up to £500,000 and 1 per cent on those over £500,000.

PENSIONS NOT ATTRACTIVE WAY TO SAVE
Research from Defaqto has found that only 40 per cent of the British adults are saving for later life while 20 per cent are not putting anything aside for their retirement. Almost a fifth of the 1,000 surveyed believe that pensions are not a safe investment and 14 per cent think that they are inflexible because the money cannot be accessed until retirement. Respondents suggested that pensions would be more attractive if they had a guaranteed return, better tax incentives, flexibility, mopre favourable inheritance rules and simplicity.

INVESTMENT MANAGERS UPBEAT FOR FTSE
More than three-quarters of investment company managers believe that the FTSE 100 will end 2011 between 6,000 and 6,500, according to a poll conducted by the Association of Investment Companies (AIC). A full 80 per cent tip equities as the best performing asset while resources are forecast to be the best sector. But 34 per cent see the threat of terrorism and geopolitical instability as the biggest threats to equities.

BRITS TO SPEND £53BN AHEAD OF VAT HIKE
Britons plan to bring forward £53bn of spending ahead of 4 January when VAT rises to 20 per cent, research from Sainsbury’s Finance revealed earlier this week. One in four have planned to make big ticket purchases in the last three months of the year, with the average spend per person in this period expected to be £3,426.