Want to open a savings account? Here’s why a high street branch will offer you LOWER rates than online – and treat you as a second class citizen

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  • Depositors lose thousands of pounds of interest
  • Some banks offer over 10 times the interest on the best online savings accounts.
  • Customers who do not use online banking services are deprived of the highest paying transactions

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As analysis by The Mail on Sunday shows, savers are forfeiting thousands of pounds of interest because banks and building societies are denying their best rates to clients who prefer to manage their accounts at branches.

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Some banks and building societies offer more than ten times the interest on their best online savings accounts than on equivalent in-person accounts.

In some cases, customers who do not use online banking services are deprived of the highest paying fixed rate savings deals altogether.

Why am I furious about visiting Santander…

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Never again will I visit Santander Bank in London’s Kensington at a quarter to three in the afternoon.

I am currently earning a pitiful rate on my savings account in Santander so I headed to the nearest branch to find a better deal.

Everything seemed to be geared towards getting me online. First, I joined a 15-minute line of customers rushing to the branch before it closed at 3:00 pm.

Appointment: Santander closed 111 branches last year and cut the remaining hours to 9:30-15:00.

Last year, Santander closed 111 branches and cut the remaining hours to 9:30-15:00, except for those with an appointment.

Once I was finally at the front of the line, I was told that I could actually switch my account to a better rate – either on my own online or by making an appointment with someone in the branch. Possible next meeting? 10th of November.

That is almost a month later. I would be guaranteed to miss out on the easy access desktop account (eSaver Limited Edition) that Santander launched last week. It is only available for a short period and should be withdrawn by the beginning of next month.

Luckily, I have access to the internet. But I’m outraged that Santander will treat customers who can’t or don’t want to save online in such a second-rate way.

Among the worst culprits are high street stalwarts, including Santander, the National Building Society and the post office.

Providers that offer lower rates to loyal customers at branches do so to maximize their profits, experts say. Others suggest it’s another cynical ploy to push people away from branches to justify further closures.

Andrew Hugger, personal finance expert at Moneycomms.co.uk says: “Providers who do this care about their bottom line as online accounts are cheaper to run. But that doesn’t make it right.

He adds: “Online rates have been better for some time, but lately the gap has really started to widen. Many providers are passing the rate increase on to online customers, but not to those who prefer offline banking.”

Derek French, founder of the Public Banking Campaign, believes that the mismatch between online and offline savings rates is part of banks’ strategy to justify branch closures.

He says: “Banks say they are closing branches because their customers want to go digital. However, many are reluctant but forced or miss out on the best savings deals. It is unacceptable for people who prefer banking services in person to be at a disadvantage.”

Anna Bowes, co-founder of bidding firm Savings Champion, is concerned that the mistreatment of customers in branches couldn’t have happened at a worse time.

She says: “With the rising cost of living, most people are struggling. Those who do not use online banking are likely to be senior savers who rely on interest on their savings and more vulnerable customers for whom higher interest rates can make all the difference.”

The Worst Perpetrators of Industry Discrimination

One of the most notorious offenders is Santander, who pays out £27.50 in interest on £1,000 in his instant access online account, but only £2 in his branch-manageable equivalent account.

Santander introduced a record savings rate of 2.75% for instant access last week. The limited edition eSaver is available until early next month – although it can be withdrawn earlier if demand is huge – and can be opened with a £1 minimum with balances up to £250,000.

But the account is only available to those who want to bank via computer or smartphone, as it needs to be managed either online or via mobile banking.

Santander customers who prefer branch or phone banking are offered the Everyday Saver account. At the same time, only 0.2% per annum is paid – 13 times less.

The situation is just as bad with easy access to Isa accounts. eIsa Santander pays two interest for 12 months on balances of £500 but must be managed through online banking and mobile banking.

In contrast, those who prefer offline banking receive as little as 0.2% per annum from Easy Isa – on balances as low as £1.

A Santander spokesperson says: “There will be times when products may differ due to different market conditions in the digital space, but our multi-channel products, including our 1 year, 18 months and 2 year flat rate cash, provide customers with some of the most competitive revenue among both large and digital providers.”

Mutual relationships are not as pleasant as they seem

The nationwide building society is proud of its affiliates. Unlike other providers who are closing branches en masse, he promised that no town or city currently served by the community will remain without a branch until at least 2024 (although some branches have been closed). But when it comes to the savings rate, the picture is different.

Nationwide’s one-year fixed-rate online bond pays four percent per annum, but 3.25 percent for offline customers. Similarly, its two-year fix is ​​4.5% online…

Credit: www.thisismoney.co.uk /

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