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Charcol set for online venture with Tesco

The Investec Guinness Flight Asia fund changed its name this week to the

Asia New Economy fund to reflect a change in the fund&#39s investment

orientation.

The focus of the fund will be similar to that of Investec Guinness

Flight&#39s successful Wired index fund. It will invest in companies across a

spread of sectors which are considered to be in the vanguard of the

development of the new economy.

Charcol Online is teaming up with Tesco Personal Finance to launch an

online mortgage supermarket but claims this will not undermine the role of

professional advice.

The partnership means the 100,000 regular users of Tesco&#39s personal

finance site will have access to a jointly operated mortgage service with

Charcol Online within the next two weeks.

But while the service will allow borrowers to apply for mortgages online,

Tesco will also run a financial advice service in tandem by allowing

customers to click on a “ring me back” option which prompts a John Charcol

adviser to call the client.

Exclusive mortgages will be marketed under the brand name Tesco Special

Deals to supplement the existing Charcol Online range.

The retail giant is in negotiations with big-hitting lenders including

Abbey National, Egg, Halifax, Nationwide, Standard Life, Woolwich as well

as joint parent Royal Bank of Scotland to work out the exclusive deals.

Tesco says it has no plans to offer a Catmarked product, believing its

range will be able to better the benchmark.

The loans will carry no redemption penalties, no compulsory tie-ins and no

compulsory home insurance. Clients will have the option of clicking into

other parts of the site for related insurance products.

As the service offers borrowers easy access to a broker, Tesco says its

mortgages can work hand in hand with professional advice without

undermining its importance.

Tesco Personal Finance spokeswoman Fay Hogg says: “People are becoming

less and less afraid as sites become more secure. We are offering the best

of both worlds by offering the choice of buying direct or talking to an

adviser.”

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