New bank challenges UK’s largest lenders
The bank was launched in January this year by mortgage provider Charter Court Financial Services (CCFS).
Among the raft of products is an ‘easy-access’ savings account offering a 1.25 per cent interest rate, a 95-day ‘advance notice’ account offering 1.75 per cent to savers, and a one-year savings account with a 1.8 per cent rate. From then on, depending on how long savers lock in funds, the rates of interest get higher. For instance, customers with five-year savings accounts can access interest of up to 3.03 per cent.
Each of these accounts can be opened with an initial deposit of £1,000, and interest payments can be made monthly or annually. Furthermore, all customer funds are covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (meaning up to £85,000 is protected).
The Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) approved the new bank’s licence in January this year, making it the third new bank to be created by the PRA since the Authority’s creation two years ago (the first two being Paragon and Hampden & Co.).
While the bank is an exclusively online proposition – a model the bank adopted to reduce costs associated with a high street presence – it operates a UK-based, 24/7 telephone helpdesk.
“When we launched Charter Savings Bank our vision was simple – to create straightforward savings accounts with competitive rates, backed by reliable service, to help savers meet their financial goals,” said Ian Lonergan, chief executive officer of Charter Savings Bank,
“We know a significant number of savers are struggling to achieve good returns on their savings in today’s economic climate, but we are confident that our accounts will provide a better deal for customers.”