Money: Take notice of your account
By Isabel Berwick personal finance editor
Sunday 17 May 1998
It's baffling. You are required to tell the bank or building society of your intention to remove the money in three months' time. If you have to remove it suddenly without giving any notice you'll lose the interest you would have earned during that period. A saver who had pounds 5,000 in an account paying 5.5 per cent, and had to withdraw it without giving the 90 days' notice, would lose almost pounds 55-worth of interest.
That's a significant amount to lose but the argument used to be that it was worth it. Savers exchanged ease of access for better interest rates. That's no longer true. A look through the latest Moneyfacts savings rate tables shows that some building societies still offer accounts with ludicrous notice periods. Lambeth building society has a 180-day notice account paying a pathetic 2 per cent gross on pounds 1,000 invested. And the society pays half that interest rate during the notice period.
When challenged, Lambeth admitted that this account is designed as a deterrent to carpetbaggers. "The rate of interest is in a way saying you can open an account, but is it for the right reasons?" says Alan Baynes, Lambeth's general manager for investments.
But is Lambeth penalising its savers for the right reasons? Societies admit that their branches are no longer mobbed by would-be carpetbaggers swooping in the hope of a quick windfall payout. They don't need to close their doors anymore. So why are they still sticking two fingers up at would-be customers ?
Maybe all these societies should take note of the fact that the only people mobbing building societies in recent weeks have been angry ex-Northern Rock savers, quite rightly taking their business away from that arrogant institution.
(For those who have been abroad or in bed for the last three weeks, the story so far is that the building society-turned-bank took the extraordinary decision to shut some accounts. It moved its savers' money into different accounts, without consulting anyone. Many people ended up earning less interest on their savings. Now the Office of Fair Trading has waded in to sort out the mess).
Societies don't need to offer notice accounts at all. A good phone-based or postal account will pay you at least 6.5 per cent on pounds 1 upwards. And you can have your money right away (or as soon as the cash gets transferred to your bank account).
Don't wait for the next Northern Rock-style outrage. Get moving.
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
iJobs Money & Business
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000 + Car + Pension: SThree: SThree are a ...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35K: SThree: We consistently strive to be the...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35000: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 b...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35K - £45K: SThree: SThree Group have been we...