Have you been caught out by the savings rate bonus scam? I have. I was tempted when my bank told me about its new Best-ever Super-special Precious Metal savings account, which paid possibly half a per cent more interest than I was getting with my existing account.
I slung my meagre rainy-day savings into it and sat back expecting to reap the rewards when I needed the cash. It would no doubt have grown to a pleasing sum, I expected.
Of course it didn't. After a year, the interest rate had shrunk to a pathetic 0.1 per cent. I had been so excited about the headline rate, I had ignored the fact that it was a dodgy teaser rate – designed to sucker me into getting almost nothing on my savings.
I know I'm far from alone in falling for this unpleasant trick, but new research suggests that almost 4 million of us have become victims of the banks' cheap marketing tactics. The Fairbanking Foundation, a campaigning charity, reckons 3.78 million savers over the past five years had money in accounts paying attractive short-term bonuses – but failed to move their cash once the deal ended.
A fifth admitted they didn't know the bonus had ended, while almost half simply forgot to move their cash. Interestingly, another fifth failed to move because they just got tired of chasing short-term bonuses.
It is exhausting trying to keep on top of your finances to ensure you're always getting the best deal. I know plenty of people who actually enjoy doing so and use the latest apps to ensure they're informed of new deals and when old deals expire. They can tell you which bank or building society currently has the best savings rate and how much you should deposit with them to get that deal.
But I know there are millions more who simply want a safe home for their savings that offers a decent, steady return; it doesn't have to be the best rate on offer, but should be reasonably competitive so the customers are not left feeling ripped off. Come on banks, start being fair to savers.Reuse content