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07 December 2006
Along with a raft of Premiership football clubs, the UK banking industry has seen a big influx of foreign owners entering the marketplace, many offering savers the best deals around according to a leading comparison website.

Analysis from shows that seven foreign banks in the UK market have savings offerings that pay out interest rates of over 5.2 per cent, with a further two that give equally acceptable rates in excess of 4.75 per cent.

Stuart Glendinning, the managing director of the comparison website, said: "This is a foreign invasion everyone with money to save can welcome.

"These new banks offer savers more choice, higher rates and also put pressure on the existing providers to raise their rates. The only losers are the UK banks and building societies," he added.

Current market leaders in easy access accounts are India's ICICI Bank and Landsbanki from Iceland which both offer 5.45 per cent interest.

In recent weeks the nearest UK competition to the foreign rivals has been Birmingham Midshires, Bank of Scotland and Alliance & Leicester.

Savers concerned over investing in banks that they have never heard of can rest assured if they follow some simple checks.

Ensure that the bank is regulated by the FSA and subscribes to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, guaranteeing a 100 per cent refund of the first £2,000 in the event of a financial collapse and 90 per cent of the next £33,000.

For more information about savings accounts, click here.

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