Simon Read: Teaser rates should just be banned


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The Independent Online

The City watchdog has missed a chance to give the savings market the shake-up it needs. It has simply told us what we knew already: that banks and building societies have been ripping us off for years by tricking us into ultra-low-paying savings accounts. But the biggest con is introductory rates that attract savers with market-leading offers and then leave them languishing on pathetic interest.

The FCA declined to act, saying. That’s true. People who watch their rates and make sure they change accounts every year to chase the next market-leading deal have done very well out of the so-called teaser rates. But while a few have profited, the majority have suffered, and that’s just not fair. People deserve savings accounts that pay a decent rate.

Most aren’t too fussed about market-leading deals, but just want a fair return. Scrapping introductory rates would force banks to be competitive all the time.

NatWest and Nationwide have led the way in scrapping unfair introductory or bonus rates, and the rest of the savings industry should follow. It’s disappointing that the FCA has so far failed to clean up the industry.