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BRIEFS; PERSONAL FINANCE.

If any Post Offices survive in your area, you could do worse than to go in and ask for a mortgage.

The Post Office has made a further cut to its three-year fixed rate mortgage, taking it down to 5.34 per cent, up to 95 per cent LTV (loan to value) with a pounds 399 arrangement fee and a lending fee of pounds 195 payable at either the beginning or the end of the term.

Wonder if they give that to the sub-postmaster as they hurry him off into early retirement?

This is the third cut to the Post Office's fixed rate mortgage since its launch at the end of 2007.

Enquiries: 0800 707 6204 or www.postoffice.co.uk

Are you a wealthy non-dom worried about the fact that the Chancellor of the Exchequer will start sending you bills if you want to carry on working here?

Lee Smythe a director at Killik & Co, thinks offshore bonds are one solution for harassed non-doms.

He explains: "The beauty of an Offshore Bond is that tax is payable when it is encashed; making them useful for foreign nationals resident in the UK as well as for nationals paying 40 per cent tax who can defer payment until they are subject to lower-rate income tax in retirement, or until they move offshore."

"A further advantage is the opportunity to draw five per cent per year income with no immediate tax to pay although anything above that will be deemed a 'chargeable event' subject to income tax at their marginal rate of tax."

Killik enquiries: 0207 337 0770 and www.killik.com

In May 2007, BT introduced an pounds 18-ayear penalty for 2.9 million customers paying telephone bills by cash, cheque, debit or credit card - and from April, 9.4 million customers receiving paper bills will pay pounds 15 a year more than those receiving bills electronically.

For Virgin customers the gulf in bills is even wider.

Customers could save pounds 21 million a year by accepting electronic bills and another pounds 22 million (pounds 60 each) by using direct debits.

Price comparison service uSwitch.com reckons consumers could save pounds 237 million on their telephone bills - opting to pay by direct debit could save pounds 75 million, and receiving bills by email could save a further pounds 162 million.

Meanwhile the regulator Ofcom has announced an inquiry into additional charges placed on bills.

Northern Rock customers who have been told their fixed rate mortgage will not be renewed face 'financial meltdown', says personal finance data comparison site Moneynet.co.uk

Moneynet's Richard Brown warns: "For those who have a history of adverse credit, a high Loan to Value (LTV) or who rely on non-standard means to prove their income, searching for an affordable deal could be very difficult.

"After months of Government platitudes, the outcome many Northern Rock customers feared most has come true - they are going to lose out in the worst possible way."

At worst, a borrower with a pounds 200,000 interest-only loan at 5.19 per cent could have to find nearly 50 per cent extra in monthly repayments if their deal reverts to Northern Rock's variable rate of 7.59 per cent.

General enquiries: www.moneynet.co.uk
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Mar 15, 2008
Words:543
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