Meet a 'different kind of banking', where loyalty will tear your interest rate apart – again

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The Independent Online

TSB got in touch this week with details of a great new offer: a current account paying 5 per cent interest. Oddly, it didn't bother to tell me about another new initiative – one that means long-suffering customers will soon be getting 0.75 per cent interest on an account that paid 3 per cent just a year ago.

I had to hear about that less pleasing change from one of this column's regular contributors, Robert Johnson of Airdrie in Scotland. He wrote: "In September last year I told you about TSB having dropped the interest on credit balances in its Enhance account by 50 per cent. Well, it seems this may turn out to be anniversarial."

Robert kept one of his TSB accounts open for convenience, but has just been told that on 2 November the rate will fall by half again, from 1.5 per cent to 0.75 per cent. And fed-up customers must still pay in £1.000 each month and remain in credit to qualify for that comparatively paltry return.

"That's a 75 per cent fall in 12 months at a time when everyone expects rates to rise," Robert points out.

In its promotional puff for its new current account, launched this week, TSB included a quote from one of its senior staff. Jatin Patel, products director at the bank, said: "We know that customers love the interest they earn."

If that was true, TSB, why are you so busy slashing the amount you hand out to loyal customers? Or are you not at all concerned about them and only bothered about trying to trick new people to join you with your attractive new deals?

The bank claims: "Since launching on high streets across Britain just two years ago, TSB has been bringing a different kind of banking to the UK."

The fact that it's busy cutting rates for long-suffering loyal customers suggests it's really offering the same kind of banking that has enraged millions for decades, but is just producing a different kind of marketing tosh.

Its new high-interest paying account is bizarrely called 555. Judging by the bank's behaviour towards customers like Robert Johnson, a more appropriate name might be 666 – which, as most of will know, is the number of the beast.

twitter: @simonnread

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