Goliaths take a beating

the types of Tessa available and see which have performed best

AVOID high street banks and most mainstream savings institutions when you are looking for a top-performing Tessa. For the best deals you will have to check out the lesser known smaller building societies.

Vicky Burn, deputy editor of MoneyFacts, a financial data magazine, says the big bank Goliaths were beaten hands down by the tiny building society Davids in its annual round-up of Tessa payout values.

The lucky saver who put pounds 9,000 into the top-performing Tessa from the Chorley & District building society in January 1993 would have reaped pounds 618 more than in the poorest one provided by Cater Allen Bank.

The magazine's performance chart shows that for Tessas taken out five years ago only one of the high street lenders comes in the top 20. This was with TSB. Halifax is the next big player but is well down the list at 25.

The rest of the nation's big hitters languish near the bottom end. Of the 92 Tessas monitored, NatWest came in at 73, Lloyds at 74, Midland and First Direct at 75 and 76, while Barclays' offerings were at 59 and 86.

Eight of the top 10 providers to January 1998 are building societies that have retained their mutual status. National Counties, at number 10, has just one branch.

Of the other top performers, Buckinghamshire, Tipton & Coseley and Holmesdale building societies, at five, six and eight respectively, are so tiny that they refuse to accept savers from outside their localities.

The largest mutuals, however, have failed to keep up with their smaller brethren. Bradford & Bingley's "High Return" product came 47th, Britannia BS was 57th and Nationwide came 62nd. The Consumers' Association says building societies were ahead of the banks in general because the banks need to make bigger margins to satisfy shareholders. Mick McAteer, senior policy researcher at the association, says 40 per cent of the banks' post- tax profits were paid in dividends. Stephen Bullock, the chief executive of Chorley & District building society, says: "The absence of shareholders has meant that building societies could improve rates by 0.4 per cent over their plc counterparts."

Mr McAteer says that the larger societies, which offer poorer value on the Tessa side, have keener rates on mortgages in general. Mr Bullock believes smaller societies can pay better rates because they are more specialist. Big societies such as Bradford & Bingley have diversified into a broader range of products.

Mark Hamilton, of the Nationwide, agrees with this. He says: "Tessas are the smaller societies' flagship products."

q Contacts: Cheshire BS, 0800 243278; Chorley & District BS, 01257 279373; Coventry BS, 0345 665522; Halifax, 0345 263646; Investec, 0171 283 9111; 'MoneyFacts', 01692 500765; National Counties BS, 01372 747771: Norwich & Peterborough BS, 01733 372222; Skipton BS, 0345 171777; Yorkshire BS, 0800 378836.

q Dido Sandler writes for 'Financial Adviser'.

Past winners

Top 20 performing variable rate Tessas (assuming investment of the pounds 9,000 maximum over five years)

Institution Payout value

Chorley & District BS pounds 11,602

Julian Hodge Bank pounds 11,600

Investec Bank (UK) pounds 11,593

Norwich & Peterborough BS pounds 11,576

Buckinghamshire BS pounds 11,565

Tipton & Coseley BS pounds 11,564

Cheshire BS pounds 11,564

Holmesdale BS pounds 11,559

Dunfermline BS pounds 11,547

National Counties BS pounds 11,534

Hinkley & Rugby BS pounds 11,531

Dudley BS pounds 11,525

TSB pounds 11,509

Loughborough BS pounds 11,505

Cambridge BS pounds 11,501

Melton Mowbray BS pounds 11,496

Monmouthshire BS pounds 11,493

Principality BS pounds 11,493

Earl Shilton BS pounds 11,477

Kent Reliance BS pounds 11,475

Source: MoneyFacts

Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

Mario Balotelli, Divock Origi, Loic Remy, Wilfried Bony and Karim Benzema
transfersBony, Benzema and the other transfer targets
There were mass celebrations across Argentina as the country's national team reached their first World Cup final for 24 years
transfersOne of the men to suffer cardiac arrest was 16 years old
Life and Style
lifeHere's one answer to an inquisitive Reddit user's question
peopleDave Legeno, the actor who played werewolf Fenrir Greyback in the Harry Potter films, has died
Detail of the dress made entirely of loom bands
Life and Style
Arts and Entertainment
Armando Iannucci, the creator of 'The Thick of It' says he has
tvArmando Iannucci to concentrate on US show Veep
German supporters (left) and Argentina fans
world cup 2014Final gives England fans a choice between to old enemies
Arts and Entertainment
A still from the worldwide Dawn of the Planet of the Apes trailer debut
peopleMario Balotelli poses with 'shotgun' in controversial Instagram pic
A mugshot of Ian Watkins released by South Wales Police following his guilty pleas
peopleBandmates open up about abuse
Basketball superstar LeBron James gets into his stride for the Cleveland Cavaliers
sportNBA superstar announces decision to return to Cleveland Cavaliers
Javier Mascherano of Argentina tackles Arjen Robben of the Netherlands as he attempts a shot
world cup 2014
Arts and Entertainment
The successful ITV drama Broadchurch starring David Tenant and Olivia Coleman came to an end tonight
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Four ski officials in Slovenia have been suspended following allegations of results rigging
sportFour Slovenian officials suspended after allegations they helped violinist get slalom place
14 March 2011: George Clooney testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during a hearing titled 'Sudan and South Sudan: Independence and Insecurity.' Clooney is co-founder of the Satellite Sentinel Project which uses private satellites to collect evidence of crimes against civilian populations in Sudan
Arts and Entertainment
Balaban is indirectly responsible for the existence of Downton Abbey, having first discovered Julian Fellowes' talents as a screenwriter
tvCast members told to lose weight after snacking on set
Life and Style
More than half of young adults have engaged in 'unwanted but consensual sexting with a committed partner,' according to research
Life and Style
A binge is classed as four or more alcoholic drinks for women and five or more for men, consumed over a roughly two-hour period
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Biztalk - outstanding opportunity

£75000 - £85000 per annum + ex bens: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: Biztalk Te...

Trade Desk Specialist (FIX, Linux, Windows, Network Security)

£60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Trade Desk Specialist (FIX, Linux, Windows...

Service Desk Analyst (Windows, Active Directory, ITIL, Reuter)

£35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Service Desk Analyst (Windows, Active Dire...

Network Engineer (CCNA, CCNP, Linux, OSPF, BGP, Multicast, WAN)

£40000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Network Engineer (CCNA, CCNP, Linux, OSPF,...

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice