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Silver savers miss out on top rates

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05/02/2019

Savers without online access may not be able to take advantage of the top savings rates, with a third of easy access accounts offering no branch access.

This situation is likely to get worse as banks continue to close high street branches, particularly in remote areas. The move is likely to affect older savers disproportionately.

The latest research from Moneyfacts.co.uk showed the number of accounts with internet access is growing, increasing by 9% in the last five years. These accounts also tend to offer better returns. It showed 62% of the easy access market now offers online access, with 34% of the easy access market providing no branch access.

Rachel Springall, Finance Expert at Moneyfacts.co.uk, said: “As savers may have already noticed, some of the biggest bank brands are in the process of closing hundreds of branches, including Lloyds Banking Group, RBS Group and even Santander. With thousands of branches set to close, and the percentage of deals offering branch access decreasing, this may pose a problem for those who rely on them to manage their money. These growing signals of a changing landscape on the high street are steering more consumers to bank online, regardless of their age or circumstances.”

She said that silver savers often have large cash holdings and may assume that they can command a better rate. However, this isn’t necessarily the case: “The best easy access account rate is currently offered by ICICI Bank UK at 1.54%, which requires customers to apply online and does not offer any branch access. On the other hand, the best account with branch access comes from Yorkshire Building Society and pays 1.41%. In comparison, SAGA’s telephone access saver, designed for the over 50s, is available nationally but pays just 0.70%.

The Moneyfacts research shows only six providers currently offer a dedicated over-50s account. Earl Shilton BS has an account paying 1.30%, but it restricts withdrawals to just four per year and is only available to savers living in a specific postcode area.

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