‘My savings rate dropped from 5% to 0.25% because of a standing order oversight’
Regular saver accounts offer some of the most headline-grabbing rates on the market at the moment, but many are linked products, meaning you’ll need a current account with the same provider to be eligible.
The rates also tend to be fixed for 12 months.
Most providers require customers to set up a standing order from their current account into their regular saver. But specifying what happens once the fixed term period ends is crucial.
I am a Santander 1|2|3 current account customer with a linked Regular eSaver account earning 5% on a maximum of £200 a month. My monthly saver account matured on 1 May 2018 but for some reason my standing order was set up to continue after that date.
After maturity, the money in the Regular eSaver reverted to an Everyday Saver account, paying just 0.25% – a big drop from the 5% I had been earning. To make matters worse, the interest rate on my current account was 1.5%, so the bank was moving my money into a lower paying account.
So I cancelled my standing order, closed the Everyday Saver and transferred the amount to my current account before setting up another Regular eSaver paying 5%.
A Santander spokesperson, says: “For new Regular eSavers opened since 4 April 2018, we’re planning to improve the process when reaching the end of their 12-month fixed rate period.
“The maturing balance and interest will be moved to the Santander current account from which the standing order is set up, and the Regular eSaver will remain in place, at the interest rate available at that time (for another 12 months), so customers can continue to save regularly without having to open another Regular eSaver. Details will be confirmed in customers’ maturity letter, sent 14 days before maturity.”
Scroll down to find out what happens to your regular saver account at maturity and what action you should take.
Bank of Scotland
- Monthly Saver pays 2.50% on deposits between £25 and £250.
- After 12 months, the account automatically changes to an Access Saver paying 0.20%, with the new account keeping the same sort code and account number.
- The standing order continues after maturity so customers should consider cancelling it, and opening a better paying product, such as the Monthly Saver again.
- Regular Saver Account pays 5% on monthly deposits between £25 and £300.
- Interest is paid on the 12-month anniversary and First Direct says the standing order is set up to automatically cancel after the final payment has been credited to the Regular Saver account.
- The funds will automatically be transferred to a savings account paying 0.05% or 0.25%.
- Regular Saver pays 3% on monthly deposits between £25 and £250 (5% for Premier and Advance current accounts).
- Sums can be carried over to subsequent months if you don’t make use of the full allowance.
- After 12 months, the standing order is cancelled and the funds are transferred to a savings account earning 0.05% or 0.10%.
- You can specify if you want the funds to go to your current account or a new Regular Saver.
- Monthly Saver pays 2.50% on monthly deposits between £25 and £250 for customers with a standard current account.
- After 12 months, the account automatically changes to an Easy Saver, paying 0.20%. This new account retains the same sort code and account number and unless Lloyds receives instruction from you, the standing order continues until it’s cancelled.
- Club Lloyds current account customers receive in-credit interest of 2% on savings up to £5,000 (1.50% from 1 July). They can also earn 3% in the Club Lloyds Monthly Saver on deposits between £25 and £400.
- As above, on maturity, it reverts to an Easy Saver paying 0.20%, keeping the same sort code and account number, with the standing order remaining in place unless actively cancelled.
Marks & Spencer
- The M&S current account doesn’t offer in-credit interest, but you can open its Monthly Saver account which pays 5% on £25-£250.
- After 12 months, if you have an M&S Everyday Savings account, the balance will go into that account (pays 0.50%). If you don’t have this account, the balance will be moved into your M&S Current Account.
- M&S confirms the standing order is only set up for the 12-month period so once the funds are moved, you have the option to open another M&S Monthly Saver account.
Nationwide Building Society
- FlexDirect customers can earn 5% on current account balances of up to £2,500 and the Flex Regular Online Saver also offers 5% on deposits up to £250 a month.
- After 12 months, the account reverts to a Flexclusive Saver – an instant access account paying 0.75%. Any standing order set up on the account will continue into the new account unless you cancel it.
‘Squeeze a little more from your savings’
Anna Bowes, director at independent savings advice site, Savings Champion, says: “If you can combine a high interest current account with an exclusive regular saver account, this is a great way to squeeze a little extra from some of your savings – as they will often pay some of the best rates currently on offer in the market.
“But the very best regular saver accounts are usually fixed for a maximum of 12 months, after which the proceeds saved to date will be transferred to another account paying a far lower rate. You can often open a new issue at the end of the term, however, if you fail to do so and you don’t review your standing order, the money could be reallocated to a poor paying account.
“So if you open one of these regular saver accounts it’s important to not just switch the matured proceeds to a best buy account at the end of the term, but also to either open a new regular saver account – and/or cancel the original standing order.”
Here’s a handy table, compiled by Savings Champion, showing all the current accounts and regular saver account details (click link to open):
Related: see YourMoney.com’s ‘I opened a 5% regular saver account but the interest earned is much less – why?’ for more information.