Higher interest move will cost Leeds pounds 4.5m

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Leeds Permanent is planning a campaign to encourage savers to switch pounds 500m of savings from low-interest-bearing obsolete accounts, writes Caroline Merrell.

The campaign will cost the building society about pounds 4.5m in extra interest payments in the first year.

The move by Leeds follows an announcement this week by National & Provincial Building Society to help 600,000 of its customers move pounds 380m worth of savings into higher interest accounts.

So far it has switched about 1 million of its customers from these accounts through an advertising campaign and a freephone advice line. If the initiative is totally successful, it will cost the society an extra pounds 5m in interest payments, on top of the pounds 15m it has already cost. Those who do not switch voluntarily will be transferred automatically into the most appropriate account by March next year. Stephen Geraghty, N&P director of customer engagement, said: 'Nobody will be worse off.'

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