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John Lewis goes bond crazy

Good news for fans of John Lewis - the department store is offering staff and customers a five-year savings bond that pays 4.5% interest in cash with another 2% interest in gift vouchers thrown in.

Customers will need to have a John Lewis store card to take out the bond. The minimum investment is £1,000, then in multiples of £1,000 up to £10,000.

After five years, you’ll get your money back. The company says: ‘With a combined coupon and voucher rate of 6.5%, the bond offers customers a competitive rate on their investment and a chance to diversify their portfolio of investments.’

Applications will be received until 11 April 2011 and the bonds will be made available until the fund reaches the £50 million mark. You can apply online or by post.

Charlie Mayfield, Chairman of the John Lewis Partnership, told WalletPop UK: ‘The Partnership Bond issue is in keeping with HM Treasury's desire to develop non-bank lending channels to help improve macroeconomic resilience in the longer term.

‘For many years the Partnership has raised finance via corporate bonds and bank lending. We want to explore alternative ways of raising funds as part of the Partnership's borrowing programme, and to reach out to the retail investor.

‘With interest rates and yields close to historical lows we believe our cardholders and Partners will welcome a competitively priced, innovative product of this nature with the added comfort of the John Lewis Partnership brand and reputation.’

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