Foreign firms show the way on savings

"Buy British", the old shopping adage goes. But when the best deals are on offer from overseas rivals, it's hard to be patriotic - and the UK savings market is no different.

There are now nine foreign providers offering competitively priced accounts - many of which are giving our banks a real run for their money, according to the price-comparison service Moneysupermarket.com.

The revolution began three years ago when Dutch bank ING Direct launched an account on these shores - shaking up the cosy old status quo enjoyed by our banks and building societies. Since then, more and more foreign financial firms have come to the UK and found their way straight into the "best buy" tables.

At present, the "easy access" savings table is topped by the HiSave account from ICICI, an Indian bank, and the Icesave account from Landsbanki of Iceland.

"These two providers are paying a pretty good rate of 5.45 per cent," says Sue Hannums at independent financial adviser (IFA) AWD Chase de Vere. "This is especially true for Landsbanki, which has a three-year guarantee to pay at least a quarter point more than the Bank of England base rate [currently 5 per cent] until October 2009, and then at least base rate for the next two years. This knocks the socks off its competitors."

Earlier this year, there were "momentary periods" when the easy-access tables were topped by home-grown providers such as Birmingham Midshires (BM) and Alliance & Leicester, says Stuart Glendinning at Moneysupermarket.com. But their reign was short-lived: "ICICI has had the top rate for much of the year."

He adds: "This is a foreign invasion that everyone with money to save can welcome."

While some savers may feel uneasy about squirrelling away their money with a provider they've never heard of, there are steps they can take to protect themselves.

"The main thing is to check the bank is regulated by the Financial Services Authority and that it participates in the Financial Services Compensation Scheme," says Mr Glendinning. "That way, in the event of a financial collapse, you are guaranteed a 100 per cent refund of the first £2,000 and 90 per cent of the next £33,000."

Further, he points out that foreign providers have also been leading the way in notice accounts and fixed-term bonds. Turkish Bank currently has a market-leading rate of 5.57 per cent on its 60-day notice account, if you have an investment of at least £1,000.

Independent Partners; Do you need financial advice on your investments, pension or insurance? Book a free consultation with an independent Financial Adviser at VouchedFor.co.uk

PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Frank Turner performing at 93 Feet East
musicReview: 93 Feet East, London
News
Toronto tops the charts across a range of indexes
news

World cities ranked in terms of safety, food security and 'liveability'

Extras
indybest
Voices
A mother and her child
voices
Voices
The veterans Mark Hayward, Hugh Thompson and Sean Staines (back) with Grayson Perry (front left) and Evgeny Lebedev
charity appealMaverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Ashdown Group: Product Manager - (Product Marketing, Financial Services)

    £30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - Marke...

    Recruitment Genius: Compliance Assistant

    £13000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Pension Specialist was established ...

    Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive

    £23000 - £26000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive...

    Recruitment Genius: Technical Report Writer

    £25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Technical Report Writer is re...

    Day In a Page

    Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

    Isis hostage crisis

    The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
    Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

    The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

    Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
    Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

    Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

    Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
    Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

    Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

    This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
    Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

    Cabbage is king again

    Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
    11 best winter skin treats

    Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

    Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
    Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

    Paul Scholes column

    The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
    Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

    Frank Warren's Ringside

    No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
    Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

    Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

    The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
    Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

    Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

    Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
    Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
    Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

    Comedians share stories of depression

    The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
    Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

    Has The Archers lost the plot?

    A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
    English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

    14 office buildings added to protected lists

    Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
    Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

    Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

    Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee