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Mini Cash ISA survey.

A survey of Mini Cash ISAs from Moneyfacts magazine has given top marks to Leeds & Holbeck BS (though the five-year fixed-rate ISA was available only to existing members), Bradford & Bingley, Lloyds TSB and Kent Reliance BS.

Bottom of the table is Northern Rock's instant access ISA which only turned pounds 3,000 into pounds 3,083.62 in a year.

Property fund return

SCOTTISH Widows is re-opening its popular unit-linked Life and Pension Property Funds to new investments from April 30.

The popularity of property funds took off during 2001, changing the nature of investment decisions. Historically, property weightings for most investors never exceeded 25pc. Suddenly, however, investors were allocating 100pc of investments to property, leading to unprecedented levels of cash flow into the property funds.

In response, Scottish Widows suspended investments into its Life and Pension Property Funds, to slow growth in cash holdings and prevent the performance of the fund being compromised by a high cash weighting or by hasty property purchases.

Since suspension of the funds, Scottish Widows Investment Partnership's (SWIP) property team reduced the cash levels in both funds to about 13pc with the purchase of commercial properties worth over pounds 300m.

For more information IFAs should contact their usual Scottish Widows sales consultant or visit www.scottishwidows.co.uk/ifa

New ISA deal

BRADFORD & Bingley (0845 600 88 85, www.bbg.co.uk/savings) has launched a new mini cash ISA with a fixed rate of 5pc tax free.

The product is available from today, the start of the new tax year, and is designed for investors who can commit their full year's cash ISA allowance of pounds 3,000 for the one-year term.

Offshore savings

ALLIANCE & Leicester International Limited (ALIL) (01624 663566), A&L's offshore savings bank, is offering an Offshore 90 Plus Account, for minimum opening balances of pounds 10,000.

Investors are allowed one penalty-free withdrawal up to 25pc of capital balance in any 12-month period.

The gross rate is 4.35pc from pounds 10,000, 4.42pc from pounds 50,000 and 4.57pc from pounds 100,000.

Bond extended

CHELTENHAM & Gloucester has extended the offer of its One-Year Fixed-Rate Bond, paying 4.50pc per annum gross until May 31, 2005.

The rate of 4.50pc is 0.50pc above the Bank base rate and is paid on balances as low as pounds 500. Additions can also be made for as long as the offer is open.

Accounts can be opened at any C&G branch, by post through C&G Invest Direct, or by downloading an application form from C&G's website, www.cheltglos.co.uk.

Information is also available by calling 0800 717 505.
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Apr 6, 2004
Words:445
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