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Your MONEY: Halifax Offering Extra in Fight for Switchers ; CASHPOINT

Jan 30, 2007

By John Husband

TWO of our biggest banks are battling it out to tempt the 600,000 customers who switch current accounts every year.

Halifax is offering pounds 100 to anyone who switches to them between next Monday and March 23. It is also increasing its High Interest Current Account rate to six per cent if you deposit at least pounds 1,000 a month from your salary or pension.

HSBC is matching the six per cent on its fee-charging Bank Plus packaged account and paying regular savers 10 per cent for a year. It claims customers could earn pounds 275 interest in a year if they save the maximum pounds 250 a month.

The Bank Plus account is offering other sweeteners including discounts on mortgages, loans and credit cards, cheaper home and car insurance and higher returns on some savings accounts. But you must earn at least pounds 30,000 a year and pay pounds 12.95 a month in fees.

HSBC is the highest paying packaged account but there are plenty of attractive fee-free accounts to choose from.

The Halifax package must rate as a best buy. But if you need an overdraft, Alliance & Leicester's Premier Direct, paying 5.94 per cent, is better. It charges only 5.9 per cent if you're in the red, compared with the Halifax rate of 15.9 per cent. The first pounds 2,500 you borrow is free for a year too.

(c) 2007 Daily Mirror. Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All rights Reserved.

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