Current account customers getting a raw deal on interest rates

27 September 2007
Current account customers could be losing out on valuable amounts of interest by not finding a competitive deal, MoneyExpert.com has found.

According to their research, almost two in every five current accounts available provide just 0.1 per cent to their customers who have money in the bank, and another nine per cent pay 1% or less, with an average rate of just 2.06%.

The findings are highlighted by First Direct which, from November 1, will not pay any interest on their current account, but will offer competitive instant access and savings accounts instead.

MoneyExpert.com has found that First Direct’s recent actions are becoming the norm, with 35 other current accounts also doing away with offering interest rates over 0.1%.

Sean Gardner, Chief Executive of MoneyExpert.com, said: “First Direct’s decision to scrap interest on its current account might look like a bold move but millions of us currently earn next to nothing in interest so it’s not quite as revolutionary as it might seem.

“The choices in the current account market are becoming clearer with banks being forced to stake out definite positions and compete for business. On one side there are banks making a big deal of paying interest on current accounts while others are cutting overdraft rates and charges for going into the red.

“All the moves are to be welcomed up to a point but the responsibility is now being switched to customers who have to decide what they want from an account and then switch accordingly.”

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