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Savings scandal – get your MP to take action

Sign saying 'make a difference'

Hopefully, you’ve heard of our savings scandal campaign by now and changed to a better deal. Now we’re taking it further and pushing MPs to support the campaign, and we need you to help us make some noise.

Did you read about our Great British Savings Scandal campaign? If so, you’ll know that you could be getting a pitiful interest rate of 0.1% (or even less) on your savings, and losing out on up to £322 of interest each year.

We’re hoping you’ve used our savings booster tool to find a better savings deals and encouraged your friends and family to do the same. But now there’s another step we want you to take – asking your MP to end the scandal around savings rates make a noise about it in parliament.

Why? Well, by emailing your MP to encourage them to sign the EDM, we can identify the MPs who are supportive to our cause and target them in the future to take action in parliament.

Why we need your help

We know from experience that this approach works. In the past, your emails to MPs about confusing energy bills and tariffs resulted in several MPs writing to former Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Ed Miliband. This helped to make sure that Ofgem’s proposals were tough enough.

Now, Lorely Burt MP has tabled an Early Day Motion (EDM), which is essentially a petition that MPs can sign-up to show their support. It has already received cross-party support, but we need as many MPs to sign up to it as possible. Then we can continue to put pressure on the banks and building societies to change their ways.

So what do we want to get out of the EDM? We’re asking all banks and building societies to:

  • Publish current interest rates on all statements
  • Provide each customer with an annual notice of savings interest rates
  • Provide a prompt for savers to check their account rate against other accounts

It’s not fair that savers are kept in the dark about the interest on their accounts and are losing out on a staggering £12b-worth. These simple measures would provide clarity and empower all of us to make the right choices about our savings accounts.

How to get involved

We’ve set up an online process that makes it quick and easy to email your MP. It only takes a few minutes, but if you want to take a little longer and add a personal message about your experience of poor savings rates it will help to create more of an impact.

So why not take action now – create some political heat and help people to take control of their hard-earned savings.

Tony Houghton says:
17 November 2010

Your super saver does not show LTSB current account options, eg Classic Plus offers 2.5% on the first £2,500 and up to 4% if you switch to Vantage and have between £5,000 and £7,000 in your current account, if I recall the figures correctly.

Hi Tony – thanks for your comment. You’re right that you can get up to 4% on the Lloyds TSB current account with Vantage. It doesn’t appear in our Savings Booster tool though, as we only include savings accounts and cash Isas – to get the top rate with the Lloyds TSB account you’d have to actively use the current account, paying in at least £1,000 a month. If you don’t pay in £1,000 the rate reverts to 0.1%, or, from 2 December, zero.

That said, if you’re happy to actively use the current account, it is a very good option for your savings if you’ve got over £5,000 to deposit.

Our Savings Scandal campaign has had cross party support, with 60 MPs signing an Early Day Motion for interest rates to be put on statements and banks to provide regular checks against other account rates for savers.

It is not possible to transfer part of an established cash isa to a newly opened one. The whole of the existing cash isa has to be transferred to the new provider. Therefore if an existing cash isa is over the current £50k it is not fully covered by the FSA. Part transfers need to be implemented in the future in order that savings are fully protected.

John says:
28 January 2011

In their third reply to my repeated complaint, RBS wrote that “by the end of 2011, each customer will have the interest rate that is applicable to their account on their account statement”.

Yes, it was my fault not realising that the Bonus rate had expired, but a Cash ISA is your rainy day account. When I tried to find the rate, it was nowhere near my account details. There is a web page with so many options, it seemed designed to make it difficult to ascertain what rate you were getting. Bonus rates are a scam; a canny form of inertia selling, designed especially to catch the unwary such a pensioners like myself.

It was only repeatedly complaining and calling their deliberate concealment of interest rates immoral (copied to Stephen Hester, RBS Group Chief Executive) that produced the statement that they would rectify this for all customers by the end of the year.

A small victory would you not agree?

Mariella says:
5 July 2011

I have a ISA in Lloyds TSB at an annual rate of interest of 2.35%, however the bank only paid less than 1% in the recent anual interest payment (end of march 2011). I have approached my branch and have been told that the complain was gooing to be processed, so far and after three months no solution have been given.

Dele says:
2 August 2011

If the MPs will not take action there is a new website I found online where people can rate their MPs. Let us rate them by their performance.

Atul Khetarpal says:
8 November 2011

Halifax have one of the best rates available for children’s savings. Their children’s regular saver pays 6%. However, it looks like they are trying to grab the headlines without intending to offer the account as you can judge from my experience:

1. The account used to renew automatically – not any more
2. The account could be opened on phone – not any more, you have to first make an appointment in the branch and only then can you do it
3. I followed these steps today and took all the documents I was advised to take including my existing Halifax account details and my daughter’s birth certificate; only to be told that they can’t discuss the account with me. They told me that I would have to bring my 7 year old daughter with me and they would discuss the account only with her. Apparently, as per their new rules, they won’t have parents as trustees. The child will operate the account directly. They won’t be able to discuss anything with the parents as that would breach the data protection act. How do they expect a 7 year old to be able to operate an account? Or is it just a way to say that we do not want any accounts opened, but we want to feature in the best buy tables?