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Branch-based savings shouldnt mean smaller returns

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08/05/2006

People seeking the convenience of a branch-based savings account shouldnt accept smaller returns as a trade-off for the services, Sainsburys Bank claims.

A study by Sainsburys Bank found that of the £78 billion invested in branch-based savings accounts, much of that was receiving derisory returns, as it said nearly one in three savings accounts that provide branch access pays less than 3% in interest, while one in five offers less than 2%.

Peter Wood, director of savings at Sainsburys Bank said: “There is strong competition in the savings industry, which means that what ever type of savings account you want, you can find one that pays a consistently attractive rate of interest. You dont have to suffer in the form of poor returns for benefiting from the functionality and service a branch equivalent account provides.”

Sainsburys Banks research amongst branch savings account holders said service was a key factor in choosing a savings account. Nearly three quarters (74%) said they chose one because of the physical presence and contact it provides. While 71% said they liked the ability to deposit money at a branch rather than by phone or online.

However, the bank said people could get good service and high interest rates from some accounts on offer. As an example, it said its Instant Access Saver, pays up to 4% interest and allowed customers to pay money in at any Sainsburys store.

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