The thrills and spills of online bank accounts

The spectre of hackers ghosting into internet accounts to steal money was reawakened last week. Cahoot, the online bank owned by Abbey, was forced to shut down for 10 hours on Thursday after discovering that users could bypass security and access details of customer accounts.

The spectre of hackers ghosting into internet accounts to steal money was reawakened last week. Cahoot, the online bank owned by Abbey, was forced to shut down for 10 hours on Thursday after discovering that users could bypass security and access details of customer accounts.

Although the bank stressed it had not been possible to break into accounts and steal cash, this latest lapse is likely to have an impact on customer confidence.

More than 11 million people now bank online and it is expected that, as mobile phone technology develops, people will access banking facilities from their handsets. However, its popularity is regularly hit by security scares - and not just fears of account hackers.

"Phishing", the fraudulent use of emails to persuade customers to part with bank details and passwords (often under the guise of a security test), continues to plague the industry. NatWest customers were targeted in February this year and Lloyds TSB clients in September 2003. Although people are now more aware of potential threats, some still get caught out, losing hundreds of pounds to fraudsters.

However, if you are happy to bank and save online, internet accounts are certainly worth a look. Although they won't always offer the best savings rate - despite being cheap to run - they will usually be competitive.

Our savings table highlights how many of the best no-notice rates come with online accounts. Last month, Bradford & Bingley launched an e-account - an internet-only savings product paying 5.25 per cent - with a bonus 0.25 per cent on top for the first six months.

Even at the big four high-street banks - LloydsTSB, HSBC, NatWest and Barclays - which don't generally pull out the stops for savers, there are attractive internet-only offers.

A £5,000 balance, for example, will earn you 4.25 per cent interest with NatWest's e-Savings account and a slightly higher 4.33 per cent with Barclays E-savings product.

That said, you can get 5.35 per cent with Alliance & Leicester's Online Saver account and 5.2 per cent with Yorkshire building society's e-Saver.

Remember to monitor how much your money earns: half the top internet accounts listed by information provider Moneyfacts include bonus rates of up to 0.71 per cent. Once these run out, ensure your bank continues to pay a competitive rate, or switch to another account.

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

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

    Guru Careers: Pricing Analyst

    £30 - 35k: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Pricing Analyst to join a leading e-...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K YR1: SThree: At SThree, we like to be dif...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: Did you know? SThree is a mul...

    Guru Careers: C# Project Team Lead

    £55 - 65k (DOE): Guru Careers: A unique opportunity for a permanent C# Develop...

    Day In a Page

    Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

    Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

    For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
    Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

    Fifa corruption arrests

    All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
    Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

    The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

    In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
    How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

    How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

    Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
    Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

    How Stephen Mangan got his range

    Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor
    The ZX Spectrum has been crowd-funded back into play - with some 21st-century tweaks

    The ZX Spectrum is back

    The ZX Spectrum was the original - and for some players, still the best. David Crookes meets the fans who've kept the games' flames lit
    Grace of Monaco film panned: even the screenwriter pours scorn on biopic starring Nicole Kidman

    Even the screenwriter pours scorn on Grace of Monaco biopic

    The critics had a field day after last year's premiere, but the savaging goes on
    Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people used to believe about periods

    Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people once had about periods

    If one was missed, vomiting blood was seen as a viable alternative
    The best work perks: From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)

    The quirks of work perks

    From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)
    Is bridge the latest twee pastime to get hip?

    Is bridge becoming hip?

    The number of young players has trebled in the past year. Gillian Orr discovers if this old game has new tricks
    Long author-lists on research papers are threatening the academic work system

    The rise of 'hyperauthorship'

    Now that academic papers are written by thousands (yes, thousands) of contributors, it's getting hard to tell workers from shirkers
    The rise of Lego Clubs: How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships

    The rise of Lego Clubs

    How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships
    5 best running glasses

    On your marks: 5 best running glasses

    Whether you’re pounding pavements, parks or hill passes, keep your eyes protected in all weathers
    Joe Root: 'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

    'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

    Joe Root says the England dressing room is a happy place again – and Stokes is the catalyst
    Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

    Please save my husband

    As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada