Bank offers twin benefits of security and high returns

Customers can get fixed-deposit rate of up to 9 per cent.

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Are the risks from playing the stock market too high, but the return on a traditional savings account too low? The latest promotion from Barclays Bank seeks to bridge this gap, providing both security and steady profits with the Twin Win account. Combining the merits of fixed deposits and international equity markets, the idea is to provide "twin" benefits of high security with the potential for capital growth at a higher rate of return.

The fixed-deposit rate of up to 9 per cent per year is available across all major currencies, including the dirham, the pound, the euro and the US dollar. "Barclays helps its customers to create a balanced savings and investment programme across a diversified portfolio," says Mark Elliott, the director of sales for the UAE. "Through this promotion, customers can get access to mutual funds of their choice across world markets and enjoy a market leading rate of up to 9 per cent per annum."

Customers signing up for the programme will have access to more than 300 offshore and onshore funds from 30 leading fund managers. However, a minimum commitment of US$20,000 (Dh73,458) is required and spread out between the fixed deposit and equity markets. Clients have the option of how much they wish to devote to each asset class, giving them full control over the exposure and degree of risk. One attractive aspect of the scheme is it only lasts for three months. After that term, you have the option of releasing your funds or signing on for an additional three months under the same conditions. Renewals after this point will be based on the current market rate.

You must be 18 years old to apply and the promotion runs until October 21. Prospective clients can call 800 428 6090 for more information, or SMS "TWIN" to 3652. Another unique offer from Barclays is the NRI account, specifically geared to non-resident Indians. The account is managed from the UAE simply by contacting a relationship manager at the bank, with a minimum term deposit for as little as 50,000 Indian rupees (Dh4,065).

Term deposits are held for at least one year and for as long as five years. Joint accounts with other non-resident Indians is also an option. The interest is compounded annually and paid at maturity. But perhaps the most appealing aspect of the account is that there is no charge for international money transfers. An application form can be downloaded at www.barlcays.ae/personal/accounts. jtodd@thenational.ae