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There’s never a time to stop learning

A very famous British sportsman, unfairly famous for being intellectually clumsy, once answered a press conference question thus: “The day I stop learning is the day they are nailing the lid down on top of me.”

This was world champion Frank Bruno’s response to a journalist’s query about what he could learn from going back to big-time boxing after he had already retired. This witty quote ably demonstrates that all of us get rusty and are in need of refreshment from time to time.

Summer's end picSo, as we have sent the children and grandchildren back to school after an interminable summer holiday, it makes sense for us to use some time to take stock of the way we manage our money.

For a start, during the summer, the Bank of England cut the Bank Rate to an all-time low of 0.25 per cent which has had the dual effect of placing even more downward pressure on savings rates – bad for savers – and on mortgage rates – good for borrowers. So with savings rates at a historical low, could they be put to better use? With our Offset Mortgage, you can offset low¬-performing cash savings by putting them to use to lower your monthly mortgage repayments. This allows for greater affordability and more flexibility for your family finances.

Even better, as a result of the BoE Bank Rate cut, our Offset Mortgage has been reduced from 2.7% to 2.45%.

Also there is our unique Family Mortgage. Never before has there been a better time for family members to use their cash savings, which will not perform as well as they had hoped, to help the younger generation to get on the housing ladder.

Despite the low-cost borrowing environment, raising a deposit for a first house purchase has never been harder. Yet the Family Mortgage offers a unique pathway to achieving that longed-¬for goal because up to four family members, mum, dad, grandparents and aunts and uncles can all chip in.

And it’s not just cash that can help the youngsters out, family members can offset the equity in their own homes to help provide a deposit for a first house purchase.
For our savings customers, it’s not all bad news. While the interest rate paid on our Windfall Bond is directly linked to the Bank of England Bank Rate, at least the Windfall Bond offers the opportunity of winning a monthly prize (ten prizes of £1,000, two prizes of £10,000, and one prize of £50,000). Compare the odds of winning a prize at 64/1 in the course of 12 draws with Premium Bonds, where the odds of winning a major prize are in the millions to one.

And in an age where sourcing the best rates on the market can be a full time job in itself, isn’t it good to know that the Market Tracker Cash ISA will continue to reflect the average of the top 20 rates on the market, so you can rest easy knowing that we are on your side?

It is a sad fact, but for some of our other savings accounts, there are unavoidable interest rate reductions. Our recent review of interest rates meant that no variable rate accounts were reduced by more than 0.25% and no interest rate reductions applied to the Junior Saver.

By Steve McDowell

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Family Building Society
Ebbisham House
30 Church Street
Surrey KT17 4NL
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