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The £12bn Great British Savings Scandal

Savers are missing out on £12 billion a year because banks are keeping us in the dark about miserly interest rates, according to new research by Which?26-10-2010

The consumer champion found that almost half of the 1,200 plus savings accounts available in the UK pay 0.5% interest or less and one in four pays 0.1% or less - just £1 a year for every £1,000 saved.

Which? even found two accounts – Ulster Bank’s Easy Access Savings Account and Newcastle Building Society's Nova Plus Issue 3 Account – that pay just 0.01%, an annual return of 10 pence for every £1,000 saved.

Banks aren’t being upfront about these poor returns, with few even showing interest rates anywhere on regular statements or telling customers about better accounts, but Which? is pressing for change and has already secured a commitment from Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds Banking Group and Santander to improve the information they provide to their customers.

People can take action now and could add hundreds of pounds a year to their savings in just a few minutes. Using Which?’s unique Savings Booster – www.which.co.uk/savingsbooster - savers can instantly see what interest their account is paying, if a better rate is available elsewhere and start moving their money.

Which? chief executive, Peter Vicary-Smith, says:

“Banks are depriving British savers of £12bn a year by keeping us in the dark about the pitiful interest paid on hundreds of savings accounts.

“Whilst we pressure the banks to be more upfront about their rates, people can take action and potentially add hundreds of pounds a year to their savings by moving their money to a better account.”

For details of Best Rate savings accounts, visit www.which.co.uk/savings
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