Antiques and classic cars may yet replace shares and bonds. The index tracking vintage motors went up 20% last year, while a Ferrari has just been sold for £20.2m. The Guardian points out that if the £6,000 the car cost in 1963 had been put in the bank instead, it would still only be worth £110,000. Peter Temple in the FT also notes that rare vintage stamps have gone up at an annual rate of 11% since 1998.
Warranties on household goods are set to become easier to understand. Electrical retailers Dixons, Comet and Argos have agreed to provide more information in their stores. They will also launch a price comparison website. But even although the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has welcomed the initiative, they will still have to ask consumers what they think. Rising numbers of complaints mean that the OFT could still carry out its threat to refer the market to the Competition Commission. Consumer group Which? still thinks they are a bad deal. "Many of the warranties on offer today are worse value than ever before and ignore the fact that appliance reliability has improved significantly."
Chelsea Building Society has launched a mortgage that is fixed at 3.19% for five years. However, there is a large fee of £1,495 and buyers require a deposit of 30%. Meanwhile, rival Santander is tightening its lending criteria for new interest-only deals. Customers will need to have a loan-to-value ofat least 50%, down from 75% previously. Existing customers who are moving house will also be affected.
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Only weeks after snapping up Northern Rock, Virgin Money has launched two more savings accounts. The one-year bond pays a fixed-rate of 3%. And if you're prepared to lock your money away for three years, Virgin Money will pay you 3.3%. Identical individual savings account (Isa) versions are also available for both.
There's not much point in signing up to the new deals, however, as there are better offers elsewhere. AA, FirstSave and Shawbrook banks are all paying out 3.6% on a one-year bond. The competition for the three-year bond is even more impressive, with Clydesdale Bank and Yorkshire Bank both offering 4.3%.
One-year savings accounts beat the Bank of England’s base rate - should you fix your cash?
Several savings providers have upped their one-year rates meaning you can now earn more than the bank rate for the first time in over a month. Is now a good time to fix?
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How likely are Spring Budget tax cuts? What the economists say
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt is expected to announce some tax cuts in the Spring Budget. But analysts warn they may come at a price for the UK
By Henry Sandercock Published