Money Insider: Co-op Bank fights back with a golden hello
Friday 07 February 2014
The battle for new current account business gathered pace this week as Co-operative Bank and Nationwide Building Society launched new incentives to try to tempt would- be switchers.
It's been a very troubled few months for the Co-op Bank but it's good to see it back and fighting for new current account customers with a £125 golden hello, £25 of which will go to charity.
Despite the high-profile issues with the behaviour of former directors and the fallout regarding the £1.5bn rescue package, at a branch level it's been business as usual, with the excellent customer service for which it has been renowned for over the years still much in evidence.
There's a long way to go if Co-op Bank is to regain trust and repair its reputation but this could be the first small step in the rebuilding process. What it will do is deliver some welcome competition, in very short supply when it comes to decent customer service.
Nationwide Building Society is taking a slightly different recruitment tack by rewarding existing customers with £50 a time for referring new business.
As it has some of the better current accounts on the market, I'm sure existing customers will have few qualms in recommending the UK's biggest mutual to friends and family fed up with poor deals and/or sub-standard service.
Under the Refer a Friend initiative when an existing customer recommends a Nationwide current account, and that person switches their main account using the Current Account Switch Service, both parties will receive £50.
Customers can recommend up to ten friends a year, giving them the opportunity to earn up to £500 per annum.Both incentives are worth a closer look, but it's more about finding an account that mirrors the way you run your finances than short-term incentives alone.
Home in on an investment without risking your capital
Last Monday Castle Trust launched a new five-year savings tracker which returns 100 per cent of any rise in the Halifax House Price Index.
The new "Protected Housa" guarantees to return 100% of your capital after 5 years whatever happens to house prices, but is it a good deal?
With experts predicting property prices to rise by up to 25 per cent by the end of 2018 there's potential (but no guarantee) of a reasonable return compared with rock bottom rates paid on standard fixed rate savings bonds.
The current best buy five-year fixed rate bond from Aldermore at 3.2 per cent would deliver £170.57 in interest on a £1,000 balance over the full term – to get the same return from the Protected Housa there would need to be a 17 per cent rise in the house price index in the next five years.
If house prices rose by 25 per cent this would be the equivalent of a five-year fixed rate bond paying 4.57 per cent.
If you invest the minimum £1,000 and the index rises by 20 per cent in five years your return (including original deposit) would be £1,200 gross. But if property prices fell by 10 per cent in five years, you'd still get your £1,000 back. There are no upfront or annual management fees, though only the first £50,000 is protected by the financial compensation scheme.
The Protected Housa looks like a decent product – not one to put all your eggs into, but maybe as part of a broader savings portfolio.
Andrew Hagger is an independent personal finance analyst from www.moneycomms.co.uk
- 1 Kylie Jenner challenge: Bizarre lip suction device inspired by Kardashian sister goes viral
- 2 Rarest Beanie Baby bought for just £10 at car boot sale could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 5 Giorgio Armani criticises the way some gay men dress saying 'a man has to be a man'
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
iJobs Money & Business
£30 - 35k (DOE): Guru Careers: We are seeking a Pricing Analyst with experienc...
£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...
£21000 - £24000 per annum: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group has been engaged b...
£45000 - £50000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, int...
Day In a Page
This four-bedroom detached home comes with a double carport, useful workshop, garden and two walkways that offer views of the adjacent countryside.
With space for an equestrian business, a greenhouse for growing your own veg, a wine store and a gym; this five-bedroom home has all the ingredients for a country retreat.
This four-bedroom home has exposed brick chimneys and a vaulted ceiling in a breakfast room that's ideal for summer entertaining - the doors open to the patio and garden.
The decked roof terrace of this two-bedroom flat is perfect for summer drinks while large windows and ample storage space make for a light and spacious interior.
Surrounded by approximately 15 acres of grounds, this six-bedroom grade II-listed home has been extensively refurbished yet retains many period features.
This four-bedroom home comes with a two-bedroom cottage and commercial office, with planning to extend, in a stunning courtyard setting.
In a pretty Norfolk village, this four-bedroom family home is surrounded by landscaped gardens, with even a self-contained annex for guests.
A few miles from the seaside at Perranporth, this four-bedroom farmhouse sits amongst nine acres of idyllic grounds - including a lake and two barns used as holiday lets.
This five-bedroom home is arranged over three floors of a converted Victorian hospital, offering spectacular views of the Pentland Hills - only three miles from the city centre.
This four-bedroom detached home comes with grounds that span to approximately 2.5 acres, as well as two large patio areas and a double garage.
This four-bedroom cottage is a Grade II-listed town house, well-located for the thriving market town of Nailsworth.
A four-bedroom apartment on the ground floor of a stunning period property in North Yorkshire, with two kitchens and a large south-west facing garden.
This high-spec two-bedroom home is part of a smart collection of new flats at Beaufort Park and has a large decked balcony that's perfect for summer drinks.
Capitalise on the fabulous views of Trevone Bay by taking two homes and creating one spacious boutique B&B. Just a cliff-top walk from Padstow.
Overlooking a golf course, this six-bedroom Edwardian detached home spans four storeys and retains many period features including the original, operational servants' bells...
On the edge of the city, this six-bedroom home comes with an outdoor swimming pool and a large garage block that has annexe potential.
In a Grade II-listed manor just outside of Bath, this three-bedroom home is arranged on two floors with a skylight in a vaulted roof line.
Open the living room's bi-fold wooden doors to reveal a retro-style kitchen, and a conservatory leading to a paved garden at this three-bedroom home.
A Grade II-listed, four-bedroom home, in a charming Somerset village, with a two-storey studio that could be converted into a holiday cottage
A modern four-bedroom Victorian home, within walking distance to the high street
A luxury apartment in the Gothic mansion of Wyfold Court in Kingwood, offers six bedrooms spread over three floors and a turret
This school conversion, near Stockwell Tube, oozes New York loft style. The one-bedroom flat features double height ceilings and exposed brick work
This six-bedroom Georgian home is on three floors with open fireplaces, a two-oven Aga, an annexe, and cottage gardens with outbuildings and a car barn
High Crest House covers an impressive 9384sq ft, with almost three acres of grounds including a tennis court and summer house enclosed by electric gates
A six-bedroom farmhouse with separate accommodation in converted stables. Situated in the village of Church Aston, within walking distance to the market town
A two-bedroom flat with under-heated walnut floors and bespoke built-in storage. The Tube and Clapham Common are a short stroll away
A refurbished seven-bedroom townhouse with staff quarters, cinema room, superb gym, steam room and plunge pool
A minimnalist four-bedroom home designed to the highest spec, featuring glass walls and a kitchen space lit by a glass roof
Hibernate during winter and make your living during the summer at this busy guesthouse with panoramic sea views, in the village of Lynton
A four-bedroom penthouse next to the Tate with direct views of St Paul's from two floors of luxurious living space
A four-bedroom detached home surrounded by spacious gardens and woodland, close to New Pudsey
An 18th-century, three-bedroom home near Langstone Harbour built from ships beams with vaulted ceilings and wood burning stoves
A five-bedroom semi-detached home with a mix of period and modern features in a popular and convenient location
This five-bedroom red-brick beauty overlooks the village green and sits in just under two acres of land
A three-bedroom villa with self-contained flat, minutes from Lake Windermere
A five-bedroom Victorian home with four receptions, superb gardens and paddock in Pembury
An eight-bedroom house on the south side of the The Green with cinema, wine cellars and summer house
This 17th century beauty is full of rustic cosiness, while the detached home office means you can also run a business
Four exclusive apartments in a Grade II-listed former medical school with 2,275 sq ft of living space and 18ft ceilings
A five-bedroom terraced house on the popular Peterborough Estate, ideally located for both Eel Brook Common and South Park
A state-of-the-art farm-building conversion on the former Cliveden Estate, with 11,420sq ft of internal space, cinema and wine cellar
Windsor Castle overlooks this three-bedroom Victorian cottage located on one of Windsor's smartest roads
A boutique mews house, set around a central courtyard, with three bedrooms and a private roof terrace
A four-bedroom farm-conversion with three bathrooms and two reception rooms
A two-bedroom detached house with ensuite bathrooms and a sun-drenched decked terrace, £750,000
A modern and spacious two-bedroom, penthouse flat with two bathrooms in a prestigious development
A beautifully renovated five-bedroom terrace with three reception rooms and a courtyard garden, £700,000
A four-bedroom period house which has been extended to provide almost 2,500sq ft of living space, £675,000