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July 29, 2010    

Banks hide rate cuts from savers

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by David Masters
Banks hide rate cuts from savers

Banks are keeping their customers in the dark about interest rate changes on their accounts, new research has found.

The study by Which? Money found most banks rely on newspaper adverts or customers popping into their local branch to keep savers informed of rate cuts

Only four of the twelve banks investigated guaranteed to keep customers informed of all changes to interest rates by email or letter. These were Co-op, First Direct, Cheltenham & Gloucester, and ING Direct.

Which? criticised bank’s treatment of savers as out-of-date and inconvenient at a time when the Bank of England’s base rate is being held at a record low of 0.5%.

“Our research shows that outdated and inconvenient methods of notice on interest rate changes are keeping savers in the dark for longer, at a time when they need greater disclosure than ever before,” said Peter Vicary Smith, Which? chief executive.

“This is just another example of banks treating their customers badly.

“As our latest savings satisfaction survey shows, once again it’s the smaller players that offer better service and have happier customers.”

The British Bankers Association refuted Which?’s claim as “groundless”, contending that banking customers can check their interest rates online at any time.

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