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Will a dangerous road near you be made safer? Beekeeper John Edwards was killed off by TSB with cards, account and pensions axed: The sting in the tail? Debit card payments overtake cash for first time after Britons use plastic for 13. Investments has relaunched its index-linked savings certificates. But savers should act fast as they may not be available for long.
I, the Government-backed savings provider, announced in March it would be bringing back the bonds, which track the rate of inflation. This followed their withdrawal from the market last July. In the meantime inflation has increased. The Retail Prices Index was 5.
The Governor of the Bank of England, Mervyn King, has warned the RPI is likely to remain high for at least two years. I bonds pay the annual rate of change in the RPI plus a fixed rate of interest that rises each year. Over the five-year term, the average annual fixed rate is 0. This is less generous than previous issues, which paid RPI plus an average annual fixed rate of one percentage point.
Based on inflation rates in the year to March, the bonds would currently be paying an annual equivalent interest rate, given the tax break, of 7. The bonds must be taken out over five years. Previously, they could also be taken out over three years. Interest is calculated annually, compounded and added to the bond, but no interest can be taken monthly or annually. Returns are paid only on maturity. I’s bonds make a welcome return for savers keen to stop their cash being eroded by tax and inflation,’ says Pat Connolly, spokesman at Bath-based financial adviser AWD Chase de Vere. It is likely inflation will fall significantly over five years so the overall return may not be that attractive in hindsight.