Passbook account popular with building society customers
Listening to what its customers want has paid off for the Yorkshire Building Society.
In a survey, three out of five customers said they preferred to manage their account in branch, more than half said they wanted a passbook, and 70 per cent said they wanted a branch-based account with a competitive variable rate.
As a result of the findings, the building society launched its Triple Access Saver account which has become the most opened account on its books.
Mike Helliwell, Yorkshire Building Society’s savings product manager, said: “This time last year there was some scepticism in the media about whether – in the age of internet banking – savers really wanted a simple, traditional passbook account.
“The fact that the Triple Access Saver has been our most popular savings account since its launch speaks for itself – customers appreciate the straightforward terms, ease of use and an attractive, competitive rate without any introductory bonus.”
Customers gave customer service and convenience as reasons for preferring a branch based account to an internet account.
The Triple Access Saver account can be opened at branches of Yorkshire, Chelsea or Barnsley building societies, with a minimum opening balance of £100.
It pays a variable rate of 2.25 per cent and customers can make three withdrawals a year without penalty.
Meanwhile, new research from HSBC suggests that 4.9 million savers could be in for a shock when their fixed-rate accounts mature this year.
HSBC warns that savers who reinvest their cash in similar products could face a 31 per cent fall in their returns because the rates currently offered are substantially lower than they were in 2008.
Savers are advised to act quickly when their fixed-rate account matures, as if they fail to move their money into a new account, the bank may automatically transfer the funds into accounts paying as little as 0.1 per cent interest.