The John Lewis Partnership is offering its customers that hold Partnership Card and Account Cards the opportunity to invest in a retail bond issued by the Partnership.

The John Lewis Partnership bond is available to qualifying individuals (Partnership Card holders, Account Card holders and current Partners) with a lump sum of between £1,000 and £10,000 (in multiples of £1,000) without having to go through a broker. The bond is a new five-year investment product and has a fixed annual return of 4.5% in cash with a further 2% paid in John Lewis Partnership gift vouchers.  At the end of five years the John Lewis Partnership will return all the money invested in full.

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.

The offer is limited and available on a first come first served basis and applications must be received between 7 March and 11 April 2011. Please note the issue will be closed when the total bond applications reach £50 million.

If Partners and cardholders apply online they will be able to make an instantaneous transaction and confirm the success of their application immediately. Postal applications can be subject to delays, but John Lewis Partnership will contact subscribers by post or email to confirm whether their application has been successful.

Charlie Mayfield, Chairman of the John Lewis Partnership, said: “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.”

Ian Fleming, Head of Treasury at the John Lewis Partnership said: “The John Lewis Partnership is offering a unique opportunity to its most loyal customers. Before launch we carried out research amongst our cardholders to see which features they valued and what they told us was they wanted a competitive return with the added reward of gift vouchers. We listened to what they said and the result is the bond issued today.”