What are they? FRNs, or "floating rate notes", are essentially tracker bonds. They are usually tracked against a benchmark such as the infamous Libor, and the interest rate will "float" in accordance with the market.
Like most debt instruments, investments are made over a fixed term, usually three to five years. Interest rates are generally calculated at six-month intervals and accumulate over time until the FRN reaches maturity.
FRNs are considered to be less risky from a seller's point of view, although unlike fixed-rate bonds there is always the risk the value may drop or remain static over the investment term. | LEEK United Building Society has launched a two-year fixed-rate mortgage at 2.29%.
It is available to all borrowers with a deposit of at least 25% LTV, while purchase and remortgage customers can borrow between PS30,000 and PS500,000. The deal expires at the end of June 2015.
While it comes with a fee of PS995, a rebate of PS250 is offered on completion, and the building society will refund valuation fees on all properties worth up to PS500,000.
Moneyfacts has awarded the mortgage five out of five stars, stating that it "offers a great all-round package for purchase and remortgage borrowers alike".
FIXED-RATE mortgages have dropped to their lowest levels ever, according to finance specialist Moneyfacts.
The average five-year fixed mortgage has fallen from 5.67% in February 2009, to 4.14% this month, while the average two-year fixed rate is down to an average of 4.11%, compared with 4.88% four years ago.
The Government's PS80bn Funding for Lending scheme is thought to be behind the dramatic reduction in rates.
The scheme was introduced in August last year, and provides cheap loans to banks in the hope that this will have a trickle-down effect to the end user.
THE naming and shaming list of tax dodgers has been published on HM Revenue and Customs' website for the first time.
The revenue body has been given powers to publish the names to deter taxpayers from deliberately defaulting on their tax and encourage people to come clean about what they owe from the outset.
Cheats can be named where, in investigations started in or after April 2010 it is found the taxpayer is liable for a penalty for deliberately defaulting and more than PS25,000 of tax would have been lost without HMRC's intervention.
For someone to be named, they must have failed to fully disclose what they owe at the outset. | WORKPLACE pension scheme membership slipped to a 15-year low in the UK in 2012.
Just 46% of employees belonged to a workplace pension last year, marking the lowest level recorded since similar data began in 1997, according to Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures.
Pensions experts said that 2012's trough should be reversed in the coming years amid landmark Government efforts to get more people saving for their old age.
The ONS said that the fall has been driven by a declining membership of defined benefit (DB) schemes, such as final salary schemes, which promise people guaranteed incomes when they retire, regardless of how well underlying investments have performed. Employers have increasingly said such schemes are too expensive to keep open for new members and they have replaced them with defined contribution (DC) schemes, where the worker shoulders more of the risk and their pension depends on how well their investments have done and what sort of annuity they buy.
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|Publication:||Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)|
|Date:||Feb 23, 2013|
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