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
  • Get to the point
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

    Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

    £16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A position has arisen within th...

    Ashdown Group: Development Manager - Rickmansworth - £55k +15% bonus

    £50000 - £63000 per annum + excellent benefits : Ashdown Group: IT Manager / D...

    Recruitment Genius: Security Officer

    £16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Applicants must hold a valid SIA Door Su...

    Ashdown Group: Business Analyst - City, London

    £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Business Analyst - Financial Services - The C...

    Day In a Page

    The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

    The saffron censorship that governs India

    Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
    Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

    Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

    Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
    Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

    How did fandom get so dark?

    Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
    The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

    The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

    Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
    The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

    Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

    Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
    Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

    Disney's mega money-making formula

    'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
    Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

    Lobster has gone mainstream

    Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
    Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

    14 best Easter decorations

    Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
    Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

    Paul Scholes column

    Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
    Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

    The future of GM

    The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
    Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

    Britain's mild winters could be numbered

    Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
    Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

    Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

    Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
    Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

    The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

    The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
    Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

    Cowslips vs honeysuckle

    It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
    Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

    Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

    A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss