Pick of the week - 31.12.15

Thursday, 31 December 2015

The Moneyfacts Pick of the Week showcases the best of the latest products or rate changes to hit the consumer finance market.

Brief product details together with independent Moneyfacts analysis can be used with confidence in your finance sections. You can select one or two products to sit beside a relevant story or use them all as a general feature.


Paragon Bank

Paragon Bank has relaunched its 120 Day Notice Account (Issue 4), which pays a variable rate of 1.96% yearly or 1.94% monthly. Savers can invest from £500 and up to a maximum of £100,000. Further additions are permitted and an unlimited number of withdrawals can be made provided 120 days’ notice is given. This deal is for savers aged 18 and over and must be operated online.

Investors looking for easy access to funds will be delighted by this relaunch. Paying 1.96%, this deal enters the Moneyfacts.co.uk Best Buys to hold a market-leading position, and provided savers are willing to plan their withdrawals, will be an excellent choice for those looking for a decent return.

Secure Trust Bank

Secure Trust Bank has re-issued its five-year fixed rate bond, paying 3.11% yearly until 31.12.20. Savers can invest from £1,000. Further additions are allowed while the issue remains open, but early access is not permitted. This deal is for savers aged 18 and over and can be operated by telephone or by post.

This latest update from Secure Trust Bank reaffirms its status as a Moneyfacts ‘Best Buy’ and earns an ‘excellent’ product rating as a result. Savers looking to invest over the longer term will find this competitive rate highly attractive, but as with any long-term deal, they must be happy to lock their money away.



HSBC has extended the end date on its two-year fixed rate mortgage, which is priced at 2.19% until 31.3.18. This deal is for all customers who borrow at 90% loan-to-value with a fee of £1,499. An incentive package of free legal fees is available for remortgage customers and all borrowers have the flexibility to make overpayments.

The 2.19% two-year fixed rate mortgage from HSBC is competitively priced in the market for customers who have a 10% deposit. The free legal fees incentive for remortgage customers will be great for those looking to keep initial costs down, while those who want a little flexibility will welcome the option to make overpayments. This deal therefore earns a well deserved Moneyfacts ‘excellent’ product rating.

HSBC’s lending area includes Scotland.

Personal Loans

first direct

first direct has reduced rates on selected tiers of its unsecured personal loan. Customers can now apply for a competitive loan of £7,000 to £25,000 over one to seven years with a rate of 3.4% APR. Customers must be 18 and over and must either open a first direct current account or be an existing customer. Applications can be made online or by telephone.

first direct earns an ‘excellent’ Moneyfacts personal loan rating following a reduction to its £7,000 to £25,000 tier. Applicants must be an existing customer of first direct or open a current account to apply for this competitive deal, which is currently the lowest rate on the market at 3.4% APR.

Credit Cards


Halifax has increased its introductory 0% interest term for balance transfers to 38 months on its Balance Transfer Credit Card MasterCard. The card carries a 2.75% introductory balance transfer fee with any transfers outside of the introductory period charged at 18.95% per annum. The card also offers an introductory 0% interest deal on purchases for six months. Purchases will be charged at 18.9% APR thereafter. Customers must be 18 and over and apply online.

By extending its 0% interest balance transfer offer by one month, Halifax improves its position in the market as one of the longest deals around, thereby earning a well-deserved ‘outstanding’ Moneyfacts product rating. As with any lucrative interest-free deal, customers would be wise to pay more than the minimum repayment to ensure the debt is cleared before interest is charged.

Notes to editors: Publications are free to reproduce the tables and comments for their readers and the correct sourcing should read Moneyfacts.co.uk. Online publications are also free to reproduce the tables and comments for their viewers by sourcing a hyperlink to Moneyfacts.co.uk on any page that uses the information provided.

About Moneyfacts

Moneyfacts is the UK’s leading independent provider of personal finance information. For two decades, Moneyfacts’ information has been the key driver behind many personal finance decisions.

Moneyfacts.co.uk is a completely independent comparison site that helps consumers make better financial decisions. Our constantly reviewed Best Buys help people find the best savings rates and credit cards while our mortgage calculator and loan calculator search the whole market to find the best products.

Moneyfacts also supplies Best Buy charts to many of the UK national and regional newspapers, with a total weekly readership in excess of 22,000,000. Our dedicated research experts produce five monthly publications as well as providing real-time news and data services to the majority of banks and building societies. Additional information can be found at www.moneyfactsgroup.co.uk.

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