Money Grouse: You must be kidding, father tells society

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The Independent Online
ANNUAL returns on pounds 250 in a Yorkshire Building Society Future Key account for children would barely be enough to buy a computer games magazine, complains the father of one young saver.

Clive Goodkind believes the society's 'miserly' rate of 0.4 per cent gross on all Future Key balances is too low to encourage the savings habit in his 12-year-old son James.

'My son's balance is nearly pounds 250. A year's interest will be pounds 1,' said Mr Goodkind, a chartered accountant.

'James does not fully understand interest but he does wonder why he gets such a small return on the money. He wonders whether it is worth the effort.'

Mr Goodkind says he chose the Yorkshire account partly because the society was one of only two with branches in his local high street. 'My son could get there on his bicycle.'

Linda Will, marketing manager at Yorkshire, said Future Key paid the same rate as the society's basic share account. 'We are in a low interest rate environment and we cannot pay substantial amounts of money on small balances,' said Miss Will. Yorkshire had traditionally specialised in accounts aimed at older savers with larger amounts to invest.

However, Miss Will said Yorkshire was keen to attract more young savers and was reviewing Future Key. The account may be revamped.

She also said that bonuses of pounds 2.50 were added when balances of pounds 50, pounds 100, pounds 250 and pounds 500 were reached.

Children who had larger amounts on deposit in Future Key would be recommended to switch into one of the society's mainstream, tiered interest rate accounts such as Golden Key. This pays 1.95 per cent gross on pounds 500.

Chelsea Building Society is the other building society with a branch in young James Goodkind's high street. He would be better off switching his money there, where the Chelsea Kids account pays 3.55 per cent gross on balances of pounds 1 and over.

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