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&#39Most fixed-rate mortgages are overpriced&#39

The majority of fixed-rate mortgages are currently overpriced, says The MarketPlace at Bradford & Bingley.

Head of product operations David Bitner says, despite the drop in the bank base rate in July, fixed rates have risen dramatically in the last month with the City expecting rate rises.

He says there are still some cheap deals, such as Britannia&#39s two-year fix at 3.64 per cent, and Coventry&#39s five-year fix at 4.39 per cent, but borrowers should move fast before they disappear.

Bitner points borrowers towards tracker and discount deals with no early redemption charges instead of fixed rates. He says: “In June, there was no difference at all between the best fixed and variable rates on the market. Indeed, some fixed rates were even lower than their variable rate equivalents, triggering a leap in fixed-rate borrowing. Today, though, the gap between the best of the fixes and the best of the variables has increased to its widest point this year, with fixes generally priced much higher.”


Maintain high exam standards

It was remarkable to see that the pass mark in the July 2003 sitting of the savings and investments exam was 70 per cent. Clearly, the exam is proving popular, with many IFAs keen to sit it.Having sat the exam in July, my only concern is that the multiple-choice nature of the exam makes it […]

Inside edge

The ability to provide quality customer service has been the Achilles heel of many providers and yet, as far as advisers are concerned, it is a key area where insurers can make a difference to their business efficiency and the service that IFAs in turn provide to clients.Shortcomings in service cause instant dissatisfaction among IFAs […]

B&B goes North with Aitchison & Colegrave buy

Bradford & Bingley has acquired the biggest IFA in Scotland, Aitchison & Colegrave, in a bid to extend its geographic coverage and weight in the high net worth market.A&C was believed to be in talks with Skipton and other suitors recently. It will come under B&B&#39s Charcol brand as Charcol Aitchison & Colegrave, and will […]

Healthcare insurance trends set for U-turn

The number of people with individual private medical insurance has fallen by more than 12 per cent between 1997 and 2002 but group PMI has grown and critical-illness cover has steamed ahead but this trend could soon be reversed, says Datamonitor.It puts the decline in individual PMI sales down to the cost of the average […]


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