The product: Britannia Children's FirstSaver Account.

The deal: Mindful of the old Jesuit saying: "Give me a child by the age of seven and he is mine for life," FirstSaver offers 7 per cent gross on a pounds 1 minimum balance, rising to 7.25 per cent gross at pounds 500, reaching 7.5 per cent gross at pounds 5,000-plus. The account can be in the child's name if he or she is aged between seven and 17. There is a cashcard option for savers aged 12 and over.

Between ages 12 and 14 the daily withdrawal limit is pounds 10, rising to pounds 50 between 14 and 15 and pounds 100 for those aged 16 to 17.

Britannia will pay extra amounts each year based on its loyalty bonus scheme.

Drawbacks and risks: The bonus payments are no great shakes. A saver with pounds 2,000 would have received an extra pounds 4.40 last year. Most savings accounts will contain less. If your kids are the sort who like free magazines, badges, special offers, record tokens and the like, look elsewhere.

Giving teenagers a card may be risky, particularly if they decide to clean out the account.

The rate, though good today, is variable and Britannia may change it. Some investment-based products, albeit riskier, may offer better returns over 10 or 15 years. Young savers will get some cash but no huge free share payouts if Britannia demutualises.

Plus points: The account is easy to understand and offers competitive rates to young savers.

The verdict: Straightforward no-frills product which offers good value for money.

Marks out of five: Three.

- Nic Cicutti

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