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  • FIRST POST
    • MSE Martin
    • By MSE Martin 2nd Mar 09, 10:30 AM
    • 8,115Posts
    • 42,285Thanks
    MSE Martin
    Savers Rights: Name & Shame Accounts which hide interest rates
    • #1
    • 2nd Mar 09, 10:30 AM
    Savers Rights: Name & Shame Accounts which hide interest rates 2nd Mar 09 at 10:30 AM
    Does your savings account HIDE the interest rate?

    Why don't savings accounts statements tell us the exact interest rate we're earning? Even online accounts seem incapable; at best, clicking check current rates provides a list of scores of accounts; not your specific interest rate, leaving many mistakenly thinking they get more than they do.

    With rates changing so rapidly, knowing your current interest is crucial. There's no technology barrier to doing this, so it must be deliberate obfuscation, to keep people in poor paying accounts.


    Time for a Savings Summary Box.

    Credit cards must provide a summary box, listing all the key info. With base rates nearing 0%, it's time the regulator, the FSA, gave savers similar protection. It should list the current interest rate, any bonuses, withdrawal penalties, the savings safety situation & more. So I'm starting a campaign, this is a small change, so there's no obstacle...



    Sign the No 10 Petition:
    Savers Rights: Savings Summary Box

    Name & Shame (or Praise) your account

    Reply below to name & shame (or praise) your account and help us find the honest dealers and worst offenders. How easy or tough it is to find your current interest rate?


    Further reading:
    Instant Access Savings, Cash ISAs, Regular Savers, Savings Safety

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    Last edited by Former MSE Dan; 18-03-2009 at 9:38 AM.
    Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
    Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.

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Page 2
  • ISAmad
    Great issue to campaign on Martin!

    TESCO - Sure, they tell you the main rate easily enough. But how much is my bonus rate? Exactly when will the 12-month bonus rate period expire? CONFUUUUUSED!:confused:

    Scottish Widows - Very slow to inform of rate changes. Done by post usually 6 or 7 weeks later. An email should go out on the day of the rate change (or before even).

    Birmingham Midshires - Seem open enough.
    • grandma247
    • By grandma247 18th Mar 09, 7:00 AM
    • 2,391 Posts
    • 33,223 Thanks
    grandma247
    My co op isa has the rate on the bottom of the statement as well as what i could get if I put a lot more money in ( I wish)
  • bluejosiah
    Cahoot - Good
    I have an account with Cahoot online, who periodically send an email when the interest rate changes. I've just been online to see how easy it is to find it and it was very easy...though they say "Start saving from 1 and earn a great rate of 1.00% gross p.a./AER (variable)." Great?!
    • tindella
    • By tindella 18th Mar 09, 7:23 AM
    • 90 Posts
    • 91 Thanks
    tindella
    Have to agree on

    Yorkshire Building Society

    Interest rate is next to your account information when you check online. Also appears on home page - but the letters do arrive later so if you don't bank online it takes longer to find out. I expect that's the same for everyone - and have to say they have kept the rates higher for longer than banks. so to them as I'm one of those who depends on interest for income.
  • Stavros
    Bradford & Bingley, shame, in fact they are a set of
    Liquidity is when you look at your investment portfolio and **** your pants
    • edda
    • By edda 18th Mar 09, 7:54 AM
    • 1,043 Posts
    • 3,966 Thanks
    edda
    The worst - ING (for both on website and if you ring up - staff can't help)

    Not perfect, but I like the link on the front page of Dunfermline B. Soc. It points to rates for all historic and closed accounts. Once there, you need to know the account name but it's only one click to reach the correct page.
    • grade15
    • By grade15 18th Mar 09, 7:54 AM
    • 528 Posts
    • 220 Thanks
    grade15
    I wrote to HSBC about this exact thing with its online service but they said that they can't do that..but you can go through all its hoops hidden somewhere on its over loaded website and if your lucky, you might just find it..
    also I said why not send a email about a new product they are offering and give the customer the chance to move to the new product..(i.e ISA saver 2 issue 3% is out whilst the customer has ISA saver 1 issue 2%) hassle free. but again they can't do that.
    smile everyday...cos its free
    Live everyday to the Full..cos there is no tomorrow
    • zebedy
    • By zebedy 18th Mar 09, 8:13 AM
    • 423 Posts
    • 547 Thanks
    zebedy
    I have been finding it hard to find this information so have been emailing them to ask the specific question.
    It's particularly hard to find information from Egg and A&L

    The petition is a great idea and I've signed it.
    MS Stalwart. Used site for >10 years
    ---------
    Make Do, Mend and Minimise member - focussing on upcycling/repurposing and sewing
  • firstTimeBuyer
    Alliance & Leicester display the interest rates on their website, but normally when you open an account (such as I have done in the past) they include a bonus interest rate.

    When I tried to find out if the interest rate displayed on their website, includes any bonus rate, it doesn't state this information. If you contact an advisor through ebanking (email) they refer you back to the website!

    After speaking to about four people who all told me different information I eventually found out the rate does include the bonus. But it wouldn't surprise me if this is probably wrong anyway! The Santander way is spreading...

    Anyways, I've signed the position...
  • Sandy C
    Shame Abbey National
    Abbey National decide to pay my elderly, blind mother less than 1/2% (that is one half of 1 %) when BoE base rates were in the order of 4 to 5%. This only came to light after my step father died. I've complained to Abbey, the Financial Ombudsman and my MP. Anyone I talk to agrees its shocking but I can't find anyone to help fight my/her corner. Any tips?
  • ronniepurple
    A summary of the savings accounts I have:

    ING - they have an easy-to-spot link to "Interest Rates" when viewing account transactions. This opens a new window with a choice of 4 accounts to check the interest rate for. Only straightforward because of the small number of accounts listed.

    Halifax - the interest rate is shown at the top of the page when viewing account transactions. Top marks for clarity, bottom marks for the interest rate (0.10%!).

    ICICI - not terribly straightforward. On the homepage, you first need to click on "HiSave Accounts", then on "HiSave Savings Accounts" to take it away from the default to Fixed-Rate accounts, then on Interest Rates.

    Nationwide - from the Homepage, click on the Savings tab at the top, then (in my case) "Instant Access Accounts". There are several accounts listed but I found it easy to find mine.

    Barclays - from the Homepage, click on "Savings" at the top, then on "Compare All Savings Accounts" on the left hand side and find your account in the list.

    I am disappointed that 4 out of the 5 above accounts don't show your interest rate when you are looking at your account details. I am also disappointed that the only one that is clear about the interest rate is paying such a low amount that you may as well not even bother!!

    Ronnie
    • VickiB
    • By VickiB 18th Mar 09, 9:07 AM
    • 13 Posts
    • 20 Thanks
    VickiB
    SAGA hides interest rates
    I signed up for the SAGA tracker easy-access account as it tracks the top 5 easy access accounts (excluding any super-high ones). Fine. After 3 months I wanted to know what the rate currently was but couldn't find any reference on the website. I phoned them and the guy had to go off for ages to find out. The trick is to select a different account and then click on historic rates where you will find the current rate for this account - the process involves 8 clicks & none except the last refer to this account. If you didn't know you'd never work it out! Hardly intuitive!
    • JayD
    • By JayD 18th Mar 09, 9:21 AM
    • 535 Posts
    • 337 Thanks
    JayD
    Alliance & Leicester
    A&L are actually one of the better ones, if you enter the first 3 digits of your account number here, you are shown the rate for your specific account.
    Originally posted by Baldur

    The point is YOU SHOULDN'T HAVE TO!

    I am an A & L customer who is also very unhappy with the lack of openness regarding interest rates.

    Why can't the current interest rate being paid to you (or charged to you) be on the same page as your current statement - be it online or on paper?

    Why do we have to search it out?

    It is wrong - whether it is one hoop, several hoops or an impossible maze that has to be negotiated.

    It is wrong not to inlcude that very important piece of information with the rest of your current statement details.

    I hope the peition gets so many signatures that it can't be ignored.
    But then this governement is very good at ignoring things no matter how loudly we shout - and very good at giving huge rambling 'justifications' (wool over eyes waffle) as to why ....
  • FairyElephant
    Great petition idea!

    PRAISE - Halifax - always have the rates on the top of the internet banking screen for each account.

    SHAME - Lloyds TSB - you have to search for 5 mins or so to find the rate, and it is not always which rate applies to your particular account.

    WORST SHAME - A&L - even though it claims you can find the rate if you put in the first few digits of your account number, the rates then shown may not be correct!
    The best advice you can give your children: "Take responsibility for your own actions...and always Read the Small Print!"
    ..."Mind yer a*se on the step!"
    TTC with FI - RIP my 2 MC Angels - 3rd full ICSI starts May/June 2009 - BFP!!! Please let it be 'third time lucky'..... EDD 7th March 2010.
  • firstTimeBuyer
    The point is YOU SHOULDN'T HAVE TO!

    I am an A & L customer who is also very unhappy with the lack of openness regarding interest rates.

    Why can't the current interest rate being paid to you (or charged to you) be on the same page as your current statement - be it online or on paper?

    Why do we have to search it out?

    It is wrong - whether it is one hoop, several hoops or an impossible maze that has to be negotiated.

    It is wrong not to inlcude that very important piece of information with the rest of your current statement details.

    I hope the peition gets so many signatures that it can't be ignored.
    But then this governement is very good at ignoring things no matter how loudly we shout - and very good at giving huge rambling 'justifications' (wool over eyes waffle) as to why ....
    Originally posted by JayD

    Too right, when it comes to banks they seem to get all the handouts going, and still get to rob their customers as they always have done!
    • savetilibleed
    • By savetilibleed 18th Mar 09, 9:36 AM
    • 1,348 Posts
    • 326 Thanks
    savetilibleed
    [snipped]
    ING - they have an easy-to-spot link to "Interest Rates" when viewing account transactions. This opens a new window with a choice of 4 accounts to check the interest rate for. Only straightforward because of the small number of accounts listed.
    [snipped]
    Ronnie
    Originally posted by ronniepurple
    ING do indeed have the link you mention. But as my ING Direct account has only been open only a few months, and still has the bonus that applied when I opened it, when the underlying rates changes I have to remember what the bonus was to work out my gross. So much better it was displayed on the account view.
  • harryba
    Name & Shame
    Most of the accounts I use don't make it easy to check the interest rate but the worse is Alliance & Leicester. Not only do they keep closing and reissuing new accounts with very similar names but it's nearly impossible to find current rates of closed accounts. They also have a very irritating permium rate number for enquiries and don't take emails.

    The Principality and ICICI are quite good in that they always send you an email when your rate changes.
  • SirGoodKnightIn
    Full marks to NORTHERN ROCK. The only institution I know that publishes IN ADVANCE changes to their interest rates. Tesco did it for their February change but not for their March change.
    How many of us have chased an enticing rate and when all the paperwork is settled and the transfer is made the rate has dropped. And the bank doesn't know this....
    So why can't we see banks forced to publish interest rate changes two weeks IN ADVANCE. This should be published on their website, on your logon screen, and they should send you an email all two weeks in advance.
    Please sign the petition.
  • Andwynn
    HALIFAX: Praise. Although there's no full summary box, each account does give the current interest rate applying to your account when you log in to internet banking.
    Originally posted by rb10
    They do if you are looking at a web saver account, maybe some others, but my current account with them never has shown up. At the moment I have both a High Interest current account and a Reward account (which is different, cos they just give you a fiver a month - which is quite a nice deal atm, although I'm curious how the tax situation plays out on that one!), but when I had a 'normal' current account, that didn't, either. It's possible the 'overdraft limit' line replaces the interest rate line on current accounts.
  • djwhite01
    I heavily criticise ABBEY for keeping rates as hidden as they possibly can
    I have 2 joint Postal Savings accounts which only receive quarterly statements so it was not until 3 months after receiving a previous statement that showed a reasonably high interest rate that I noticed a small interest debit and when I worked it out it is only 0.1% - yes the decimal point is in the right place!!
    Having taken out these accounts as long term savings for retirement planning with a high interest rate why should they not HAVE to inform me that they are cutting the rate so drastically. They are only too keen to boast about the high rates to get you hooked in the first place
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