Security savvy – how to make sure you’re protected online

07 September 2016

Nearly six million cases of fraud and cybercrime are committed every year in the UK, which means that one in ten of us have fallen foul of fraudsters in the past year alone.

Whilst that may be an alarming thought, the reality is that fraud can happen to anyone, anywhere, at any time. According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the most common types of fraud in the last year were “bank and credit account” frauds, with 2.5 million incidents reported. And it’s on the rise.

As part of the on-going battle against fraud, Charter Savings Bank has a number of safeguards to protect your identity and your savings. From keeping personal details safe and secure, to monitoring your account for any unusual activity, we have a range of controls and policies in place as you’d expect from a bank.

For obvious reasons, we can’t publicise these controls (fraudsters read newsletters too) but it’s worth pointing out that one of the strongest safeguards for Charter Savings Bank customers is also one of the simplest, and that is to ensure that everyone has a ‘nominated account’.

When you open a new savings account with us, we ask you for a nominated account (usually people choose their main current account) from which to fund your new savings account. Just as your nominated account is the only place from which you can transfer money to Charter Savings Bank, it is also the only place that your savings can be sent back to (for example, when a bond matures or after you’ve given notice on a Notice Account).

This means that even if a fraudster did somehow manage to access your savings (for example, if you didn’t keep your password safe), the only place they could transfer your savings to is back to your own nominated account.

In addition to the safeguards we have in place, there are also a number of steps that you can take, as an account holder, to avoid falling prey to fraudsters. Be ‘Password Picky’

When you pick your password, rather than thinking of a single word, consider choosing a memorable phrase and then take the first letter of each word to form your password. For example: My Savings Are Safe With Charter Savings Bank would become MSASWCSB.

Then, change letters to similar looking numbers (‘A’ looks like a ‘4’ and ‘S’ looks like a ‘5’) to make your password M545WC5B

What looks like a random mix of letters and symbols is a lot harder for a fraudster to crack than your old school or the name of your cat. To strengthen your password you should think about adding symbols and more numbers, but don’t make it your date of birth, you might be surprised how easy that is for fraudsters to find online.

Personal Information is Personal

Don’t ever give out personal information, through email or over the phone, unless you initiated the conversation and know exactly who you are speaking to. If someone calls you, ask for a number to ring them back on and check with your provider to make sure the number is legitimate.

Fraudsters can also use emails (sometimes called ‘Phishing’) to try and get your personal banking details. This should always raise a red flag: banks are extremely unlikely to ask you to update any information by email. Also avoid clicking any links on emails that are suspicious.

Only visit your bank’s website by entering the address into your browser or using a bookmark which has the correct address.

Secure your Security

When out and about, always make sure you are using a secure internet connection when logging onto your internet banking, applying for a new account, or doing anything that requires you to hand over personal details. Never use free public Wi-Fi for banking. Whilst it may seem convenient, it is unlikely to be secure and there may be people monitoring the information being transferred.

The address bar should always have an ‘https’ at the beginning of the address and the padlock symbol to show it is secure.

Build Your Defences

A personal firewall protects your computer and private network from malicious software or malware. Malware can infect your computer and affect it a number of ways. Perhaps the most risky to your banking security is the spying software that can infect your computer or network.

Antivirus software should help protect you from this, as will being vigilant about any unusual emails you may receive.

To some people, all this might seem a bit difficult or intimidating but it’s mainly common sense. After all, you wouldn’t dream of giving sensitive information to a stranger in the street just because they asked nicely and seemed to be trustworthy. If you’re in any doubt or think your security has been compromised in any way, just give us a call and let us know so that we can help you.

There are plenty of online resources with helpful tips on security, for example provides information on all aspects of online safety, not just banking.

And in the meantime, please remember: set a nominated account, choose a strong password, keep it secret and be alert.

Read more

Smart Money 1996 - Latest blog from Paul Whitlock, Director of Savings

07 September 2016

1996. That was quite a year.

It was the year that Dolly the Sheep was born; my favourite Dr Who, Jon Pertwee left us (I prefer to think he regenerated); and the Spice Girls arrived like a force of nature.

Where did those 20 years go?

1996 was also the year that I began a new career in Financial Services and so, for me, 2016 is a reasonably large milestone in my life in the world of savings.

Having a few years under my belt, I was asked recently ‘what’s the best piece of advice you could give your younger self?’ It’s a great question and it really got me thinking, not least of all because I have a 14 year old son and I find myself imparting more and more dad-wisdom nowadays, everything from: ‘Always ask nicely’ to ‘Brush your teeth before you put on your tie’

When it comes to money though, there’s one piece of advice that I try to drum into him at every opportunity: That’s certainly something I’ve lived by, and it’s led me to think about other money-related things I’d like to have known 20 or 30 years ago:

  • When it comes to work, do something you love. Don’t worry about the money…that will follow. And if it doesn’t, at least you’re doing something you love.
  • No matter how little, start saving and investing early, do it every month and don’t stop doing it. Ever.
  • Don’t try to keep up with the Joneses...they’re trying to keep up with someone too (it may even be you!).
  • Don’t miss out on the trip of a lifetime.
  • It may seem expensive today but the memories will last forever.
  • Impulse-buying can be an expensive habit. Break the habit. If you think you need something, wait 48 hours before buying it. You’ll be surprised how many times you don’t go back to make the purchase.
  • If you do nothing else, have an emergency fund. Squirrel it away and don’t even think about it. One day you might be very glad you did. Hopefully though, you never will.

If you’re lucky enough to be in your 20s and think some of these can be useful to you, then great…why learn the hard way! Why not benefit from the mistakes of those who have a chronological head start on you. If you’re a little older and, like me, you’re able to look back 20 or 30 years, then don’t forget that you can’t change the past but you can take your combined experiences and learnings and apply them today, tomorrow and next week so that hopefully they can bring you a brighter future.

Read more

Charter Savings Bank Newsletter - Issue 3 August 2016

02 August 2016

Issue three of our newsletter takes a look at online security and the ways you can protect yourself online. We also have our handy savings tips as well as Smart Money, Paul Whitlock's latest blog.

Click here to view
Read more

Top saving tip - could YouTube be the key to saving you Money?

01 August 2016

It’s that time of year when we start to think about getting round to all those DIY jobs we conveniently put off until it was warmer and dryer.

On the plus side, doing things yourself has the added benefit of giving your finances a rest. I know it’s easy to dismiss and maybe, like me, you’re one of those people who don’t like or simply can’t do certain things for themselves, but wherever possible it can be advantageous to do the smaller tasks ourselves.

Handing over £20 here and £30 there in return for someone mowing the lawn, ironing your clothes, cleaning your windows, or washing your car may not seem much on an individual basis but it soon adds up.

If there’s a ‘big’ task that you think might be beyond your capability then consider that the best instructor is free and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week…even Christmas Day.


YouTube could save you lots of money on expensive call-outs thanks to plumbers, carpenters and all manner of tradespeople uploading videos showing how to stop taps from dripping or doors from creaking. And you can do this at a time that’s convenient for you, and you definitely won’t charge yourself a call-out fee for what turns out to be a simple fix. Finally, you’ll have a tremendous sense of achievement and a certain satisfaction that money can’t buy.

Read more

Happy 1st Birthday Charter Savings Bank

02 March 2016

Today marks the first birthday for Charter Savings Bank, a big thank you to all our customers who have supported us in our first year.

Read more

Wolverhampton Firm Tops Sunday Times List

01 March 2016

Charter Court Financial Services (CCFS) which is based in Wolverhampton has been ranked tenth in The Sunday Times Best 100 Companies to Work For 2016.

The firm employs over 350 people at its headquarters in Wolverhampton Business Park and owns Charter Savings Bank, one of the UK’s leading challenger banks with over 40,000 savings accounts and balances in excess of £1.7billion since its launch in March 2015.

Over the past eight years CCFS has experienced unprecedented growth, and is a significant employer in the area. Since 2008 the workforce has grown from just 20 employees to 362.

Ian Lonergan, CEO of CCFS commented: “With the launch of Charter Savings Bank and developments in our mortgage business, the business has trebled in size in under two years. But we don’t want this growth to change how we do business or alter our friendly work environment. We have a fantastic team and we always look for ways to make work a more positive and rewarding experience for them so it’s great to have our efforts recognised by our employees and The Sunday Times. We are always on the lookout for more talented people to join our team and this award will undoubtedly help us achieve that in the future.”

The Sunday Times Best Companies to Work is a highly prestigious award which champions the importance of maintaining a happy and motivated workforce in successful high growth businesses.

Read more
Financial Services Compensation Scheme

Financial Services Compensation Scheme

Your eligible deposits with Charter Savings Bank are protected up to a total of £85,000 by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, the UK's deposit protection scheme. Any deposits you hold above the limit are unlikely to be covered. Please click here for further information or visit