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    • 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 3
  • steveandel
    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
    I agree. A&L are one of the easiest ones, all you need to know is the first 3 digits of your account number.
  • jennynoo
    This is a great idea, something I have been wanting for ages, I've even emailed a few of my banks but with no success. They do send you email or letter update but who keeps track of those? The amount should be there on your account page with a history of previous rate and a yearly rate as well for those who get their interest yearly. Well done Martin for starting this
  • DebtSniper
    I agree. A&L are one of the easiest ones, all you need to know is the first 3 digits of your account number.
    Originally posted by steveandel
    This function doesn't work for me. "The first 3 digits of your account number that you have entered have not been recognised."

    And yes, I DO know my account number.
  • Bordigles
    HALIFAX - Half shame. If you have a High Interest (ahem!) current account they do not display the interest rate
    • mdr86
    • By mdr86 18th Mar 09, 1:10 PM
    • 100 Posts
    • 50 Thanks
    Halifax are mostly good - on each account page there are six bits of information about what account you're viewing, eg. balence, account number, interest rate. On savings accounts there's not much to put there so there's space for the interest rate, however on current account/credit cards there are things like credit limit etc. which are put on the page instead of the interest rate. But as this about savings and Halifax displays the rate on all savings accounts, then for current purposes Halifax are perfect
    Tesco are BAD. I applied for an account over 2 months ago, it's still not all set up, and it's been so long I'm not sure what interest rate I'd be getting and I can't find out.
  • grandma1
    Tesco internet Saver BAD

    I even sent them an email requesting the rate and got no reply.
    • thrombanks
    • By thrombanks 18th Mar 09, 1:19 PM
    • 24 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    Great idea - signed
  • Granville000
    Interest APRs & Gross & Annual (pa)
    Coventry b/soc does not give the interest rate in the ('complete details') schedule to my fixed-rate internet bond. I have written twice asking for a schedule showing the rate, without success, and am now close to making a formal complaint to the FCS.
    Last edited by Granville000; 22-03-2009 at 6:16 PM. Reason: Correcting wrong-thread text
    • gingergirl21
    • By gingergirl21 18th Mar 09, 2:07 PM
    • 72 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    I got my application in for my Tesco saving account on 7 Jan (deadline for bonus rate).

    When I got my forms back a leaflet was enclosed with the current rate but by the time I got the forms it was Feb.

    I telephoned to check what interest rate I would get and an automated message said that all applications received on or before 7 Jan were eligible for bonus rate - however I can't remember what this is and it does not say anywhere.

    My account is now open and my savings are in there but how do I know that I am actually getting the right rate? What do I do if I don't? I never got any confirmation of my application and the letter enclosing the paperwork did not say when the application was received.

    I just feel very uncertain about it and don't know how to check other than ringing them - but I should I have to go this far?
  • ClairB
    Great idea -

    Sainsbury's online bank

    already do this, interest rate is shown online along with your account summary... wish everyone else would do the same. We shouldn;t have to go looking for our rates as I have to with Alliance and Leicester
  • MC_Emily
    Alliance & Leicester - PRAISE

    Petition signed

    • munk
    • By munk 18th Mar 09, 2:59 PM
    • 984 Posts
    • 341 Thanks
    Not sure why people are praising A&L, the times I've spent looking for their interest rates I've never found the correct rate because there are so many different issues of the same account over time it's impossible to work out which one yours is - and I've not come across the 3 digit account checker either although will have a look for that...

    Still why didn't they tell me about that when I asked them directly what my interest rate was (to which they just said 'check the website' :rolleyes. Very poor, though not surprising given it's in their best interests to keep savers in the dark about how much they're really earning in interest.

    Petition signed, thanks.
    • Trying to be good
    • By Trying to be good 18th Mar 09, 3:13 PM
    • 1,925 Posts
    • 2,419 Thanks
    Trying to be good
    PRAISE - Nationwide Regular Saver account - online banking shows the rates for each of the past months as it's dependent on the increase in the balance as well as prevailing rates.

    SHAME - Barclays (was looking for the Tax Haven ISA rate just a couple of days ago). Just another thing they're REALLY bad at...
    Mortgage Free thanks to ill-health retirement
  • BruceyBonus
    PRAISE - Bank of Scotland Instant Access Savings Account (and Reward options) - online banking shows interest rate at top of transaction screen. Historic rates are also available on internet banking.

    PRAISE 2 - National Counties BS - Statement showed all their rate changes alongside the Bank of England rates for the same period.

    SHAME - Barclays Tax Haven ISA - relative who managed to set this up has received nothing other than a welcome letter. Annual statement should be arriving shortly.
    • DCurrer
    • By DCurrer 18th Mar 09, 3:28 PM
    • 26 Posts
    • 9 Thanks
    B&M good, Coventry bad
    Birmingham & Midshires show the current interest rate right in the mini-statement for each savings account or bond - excellent! Coventry Building Society, in contrast, offers only a link to a VERY long list of similarly named accounts - one of your nightmare providers, Martin!
    • buzzablinio
    • By buzzablinio 18th Mar 09, 3:31 PM
    • 15 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    Signed - good idea. I've started checking my interest rates regularly now, and for the ones that I've been able to find online, I bookmark for quick future reference, however, the URLs are often changed so this doesn't always work.

    Other banks change and rename accounts so often, its extremely difficult to work out what rate applies to your account, and often these rates on defunct accounts are buried away on a PDF document.

    This is a great idea to have your exact interest rate printed prominently on your statement or on the screen for online banking.

    What I've started to do, is split my savings across several institutions that all pay monthly interest. As I have the same amount in each account and the interest goes to another account it's very easy to see who is paying what, as the different monthly payments can be compared on a like for like basis.
    • arjar
    • By arjar 18th Mar 09, 3:34 PM
    • 55 Posts
    • 22 Thanks
    Might I suggest that it should be mandatory for all statements to show clearly the rate has been used to calculate interest for any particular period. I had a very bad experience with Abbey a little while ago when they applied the wrong (lower) rate to an account and then kept on telling me that I'd got it wrong, not them. They eventually accepted their mistake and coughed up the difference - but it took months of correspondence. The point is that it is very, very difficult to calculate yourself what interest rate has been applied, especially when rates have changed, if it isn't shown on the statement.
  • Philippa65
    Lloyds doesn't appear to post the interest rate for an old account called Internet Saver, probably because they're ashamed of the very poor rate compared with the newer E-saver.
  • gssellars
    I couldn't agree more and Lloyds TSB are nearly as bad with a minefield of a list of different accounts. Try ringing them and after the customary "your call is important to us" for 10 minutes, if your lucky, or "we are very busy at this time" (short-staffed more like) you can't get a definitive answer because they have no record of if you've got a bonus!

    EGG - shame! When you visit the "interest rates" page, you are met with literally hundreds upon hundreds of accounts (if you opened between this date and this date, if it was this product or this product, if it was a Friday or a Monday). Why can't they just tell you what your interest rate is on a separate internet banking screen? Martin's right - because they're trying to be deceptive. In their defense, they do send you a letter, but usually only weeks after the rate change.

    TESCO - they send letters too but are usually more prompt. Plus they only have one interest rate across the board, you just have to remember whether or not you have a bonus rate as well.
    Originally posted by nzseries1
    • iansoady
    • By iansoady 18th Mar 09, 3:45 PM
    • 28 Posts
    • 16 Thanks
    Praise to Smile - all current interest rates as well as historic ones for a year, with dates of change and applicable base rate are 1 click away from the home page.
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