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28 May 2014

Britons Missing Out On £4.3bn In Potential Savings In Poor-Value Accounts

About three in four Britons think banks fail to do their best to ensure savers get a good deal and more than a third say they have never moved their accounts because there would be no point, according to a new survey from consumer group Which?. This failure to find the best deal results in UK customers missing out on potential savings of £4.3 billion, the survey found.

In response to its findings, Which? has called for more transparent interest rates from banks and building societies. It has also urged for consumers to be moved out of what it refers to as “zombie accounts” – accounts that are closed to new customers and usually provide no real benefits to savers. Banks and building societies should stop keeping people in a “savings trap,” the consumer group stated.

Which? looked at 1,999 easy access savings accounts in March and discovered that more than four in five of them were no longer available to new customers. Of these, more than one-third paid no more than 0.5% in interest, while 16% paid up to 0.1%.

Richard Lloyd, executive director of Which?, commented that many people lacked the confidence that their savings would fare better elsewhere and so never bothered to switch accounts. There is a great need for providers to assist their customers on finding the best deal for them and keeping them better informed. For example, savers should be aware of the exact interest rates, what bonus rates expire and how they could switch ISAs, he added.

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