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Update! Santander First Home Saver Account: 5% on up to 50k savings (up to 35 only)
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# 1
TheJimster
Old 12-06-2010, 2:34 PM
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Default Update! Santander 5% First Home Saver Account: Account no longer available

UPDATE: 9 SEPTEMBER 2011
This account has been withdrawn from the market by Santander and is no longer available for new applications (existing accounts are unaffected). The interest rate is still 5% and will remain so until further notice but is likely to fall steadily. I'll post back here if I notice it dropping.

Original post follows:

Further to the discussions (here:
http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/...php?p=27583661)

I have managed to squirrel away about 40k in my Santander First Home Saver account at 5%, despite the fact that you're supposed to be restricted to a 5k initial deposit plus 300/month.

I did this by opening the account with the minimum deposit of 100, and then towards the end of the month paying in a 40k deposit. For the rest of that month only you get 0.1% (hence paying late in the month) and then 5% interest going forwards.

This is within the rules, which say that you should save up to 300/month but that any month in which you pay in more than 300 will only get interest at 0.1% for that month only.

Go here for the account: http://www.santander.co.uk/csgs/Sate...COM_TemplateB2

Note that:
(i) you are supposed to be a first-time home buyer (but they don't check, other than making you sign a declaration that you don't own a home - but it would almost certainly be fraud to make a false declaration)
(ii) you can only get the account if you are under 35 at the date of opening (the account doesn't then close when you reach 35, of course)
(iii) you need to do a 'mortgage interview' before closing the account and withdrawing cash - this just means visiting a branch for a quick chat, no credit search required, and no need to take out a mortgage (just say you're not interested)
(iv) you cannot make partial withdrawals - to get money out you need to close the account completely and
(v) Santander say they "may" close the account if you pay in more than 300 in a month (but they haven't with my account!)
(vi) maximum account balance is 50k (although there is a chance this will not be enforced...)

*Further edit - 13 November 2010* I can confirm that this loophole still works and is definitely available. The loophole is not really 'in the spirit' of the savings account, but it's definitely within the letter of the rules and in practice it works so if you're under 35 I say go for it.

Last edited by TheJimster; 09-09-2011 at 12:18 AM.
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# 2
antispam246
Old 12-06-2010, 3:10 PM
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Can you verify you're actually get 5% the following month (I know it maybe too early too tell, unless you've had the account awhile)? If this is the case, that's bloody fantastic. Hell, I'd be able to clean up my multiple accounts and consolidate for once.

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# 3
TheJimster
Old 12-06-2010, 9:31 PM
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The interest rate on the account is 5% so that's what's being paid. Santander's only other option is to close the account. In any month with overpayments the interest drops to 0.1% but then reverts to 5%.

Last edited by TheJimster; 13-06-2010 at 1:02 PM.
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# 4
fairmorn308
Old 13-06-2010, 1:34 PM
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I have been looking at this. I currently bank with A+L which are part of the santander group. Would i beable to access this account within my A+L Account screen?
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# 5
Essex123
Old 13-06-2010, 6:18 PM
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No. The ex-Alliance & Leicester systems are still seperate to Santander's. It might be possible once A&L Current Accounts are migrated across to Santander's platform.
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# 6
thepearce
Old 13-06-2010, 6:34 PM
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Interesting - I saw it mentioned but quickly countered with the threat of account closure.

Actually - over-funding might be a good way around bothering with a mortgage interview when you want your money back (if they close the account).
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# 7
owains
Old 07-07-2010, 7:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by antispam246 View Post
Can you verify you're actually get 5% the following month (I know it maybe too early too tell, unless you've had the account awhile)? If this is the case, that's bloody fantastic. Hell, I'd be able to clean up my multiple accounts and consolidate for once.
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheJimster View Post
The interest rate on the account is 5% so that's what's being paid. Santander's only other option is to close the account. In any month with overpayments the interest drops to 0.1% but then reverts to 5%.
As far as I know, interest is only paid into your account at the end of the year. So, have you confirmed that your rate has reverted back to the standard 5% yet? Have you spoken with anyone from Santander about this?

Has anyone else had any sucess with paying in significantly more than their 300 allowance in one month?

I was hoping to deposit about 4,000 into my account but was worried about them closing it. But, if they haven't kicked up a fuss about 40,000, I shouldn't have any problems!
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# 8
owains
Old 09-07-2010, 5:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by owains View Post
Has anyone else had any sucess with paying in significantly more than their 300 allowance in one month?
Has anyone else tried this?!
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# 9
withnell
Old 10-07-2010, 10:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fairmorn308 View Post
I have been looking at this. I currently bank with A+L which are part of the santander group. Would i beable to access this account within my A+L Account screen?
You can't access the account online from within the Santander account screen! I can't remember quite the term they use - they send you statements but its not available online.
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# 10
**woody123**
Old 10-07-2010, 1:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by withnell View Post
You can't access the account online from within the Santander account screen! I can't remember quite the term they use - they send you statements but its not available online.
Just to add, that you can check your balance over the telephone.
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# 11
owains
Old 12-07-2010, 7:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by **woody123** View Post
Just to add, that you can check your balance over the telephone.
I haven't checked my balance since opening in April. Will it include any interest that year, or is that added in one payment at the end of the year? If the latter, is there actually any way to confirm interest is accumulating as expected following a large deposit?
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# 12
dollywops
Old 12-07-2010, 8:16 AM
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DD opened this account on Friday, depositing 5,000 with monthly payments of 300 to follow. When the advisor asked if she should set up the SO, I said not to bother and we would do it ourselves. Looking at the paperwork last night, the only details are a K account no, no sort code to set up the SO.

Can anyone please advise how to set up the SO using internet banking using only the K no.
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# 13
**woody123**
Old 13-07-2010, 1:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by owains View Post
I haven't checked my balance since opening in April. Will it include any interest that year, or is that added in one payment at the end of the year? If the latter, is there actually any way to confirm interest is accumulating as expected following a large deposit?
Interest will be added next april then in one payment.

I'm afraid i don't know the answer to your last question.
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# 14
intalex
Old 13-07-2010, 2:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dollywops View Post
Can anyone please advise how to set up the SO using internet banking using only the K no.
From what I remember, it was a generic account number and post-code (best if you obtain this directly from Santander), with the K no. to be used as the reference on the SO.
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# 15
intalex
Old 13-07-2010, 2:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by owains View Post
is there actually any way to confirm interest is accumulating as expected following a large deposit?
I wonder how a bank would react if one was to put in a request for a statement of accumulated interest as at a certain date. Anyone ever done this before?
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# 16
Essex123
Old 13-07-2010, 3:46 PM
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If you go into a branch they may be able to tell you how much interest has accrued to date. I know other institutions can tell you this by doing a dummy closure transaction on the account.
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# 17
housesitter
Old 14-07-2010, 11:53 AM
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Without that knowledge this account is a serious risk!!
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# 18
neas
Old 14-07-2010, 12:26 PM
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I used this account legit for saving (just 5k +300 per month)... i got the interest on closure... but you could find after a year of doing this you get 0.1% interest :P
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# 19
intalex
Old 14-07-2010, 12:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neas View Post
I used this account legit for saving (just 5k +300 per month)... i got the interest on closure... but you could find after a year of doing this you get 0.1% interest :P
Are you saying you only got 0.1% interest for the entire duration?
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# 20
owains
Old 14-07-2010, 7:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by intalex View Post
Are you saying you only got 0.1% interest for the entire duration?
I hope not! I think the point intalex is making is that you wouldn't know until you wanted to close the account.

Again, has anyone who has exceeded their 300 monthly allowance actually confirmed that they are getting the 5% interest rate that they expect?
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