FINANCE NEWS: 'Guaranteed' savings account attracts £7m

A new 'guaranteed' savings account for charities has brought in £7m from charity investors in only seven weeks.

Charities Aid Foundation's Charity Guaranteed Reserve is the first account of its kind marketed specifically for the voluntary sector. The account aims to offer the security of a bank deposit account with the growth potential of stock market investment.

During June and July, the period for investment, nearly 100 charities invested £7m in the fund.

"We're very happy with the response," said CAF investment executive Ron Green. "It shows how charities are keen to benefit from the potential growth of stock markets but, after the turbulence of recent years, want to protect themselves against losses."

The fund is split in two, with half going to a high-interest income account and the rest in a deposit account linked to the performance of selected world stock markets. If those stock markets do well over the six-year period of the fund, the investors will receive 70 per cent of the gain.

Investors' capital will be protected if the stock markets perform badly.

Charities are able to withdraw capital from the income side of the fund at any time, but if they withdraw money before the six-year period is over, they must pay penalties from the deposit fund linked to stock markets.

The charity fund has been designed by CAF, in partnership with Bristol & West.

Andrew Janes, Bristol & West national sales manager, said: "This shows there is a definite demand from charities, which on the whole, tend to be cautious investors, for this type of product."

Green said that given the limited offer period and the relatively low-key marketing campaign, he was very happy with the interest in the product: "We will be looking to offer other, similar products in future."

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