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Renault Group launches UK savings bank

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The financing arm of car manufacturer Renault Group has launched a UK savings bank.

RCI Bank opened today with an easy access account offering 1.5% AER variable gross for the next two weeks. It is available exclusively through MoneySuperMarket and requires a minimum opening balance of £100.

The launch follows a series of similar roll-outs in France, Germany and Austria in the last four years. It comes at a time when as much as £160bn could be sitting in UK savings accounts paying 0.5% interest or lower.

RCI Bank is not covered by the UK Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) but is underwritten by the European equivalent, which provides protection of up to €100,000 (£73,100) if a provider fails, slightly lower than the £85,000 limit provided by the UK scheme.

Steve Gowler, chief executive of RCI Bank: “We’re really excited about entering into the UK savings market, and importantly entering the market with an innovative and competitive product.

“We believe we have a product that people will love. Over the next 12 months we plan to follow this up with further product launches. We are committed to using our strength to deliver the very best savings accounts and security for our customers in the UK.”

Kevin Mountford, head of banking at MoneySuperMarket, said the launch was “exciting news for consumers and the industry.”

“The Freedom Savings Account matches the best rates available, and as the savings market has been flat for far too long now we hope a new player will help create much needed competition to push interest up higher,” he said.

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