News

I want to be a saver but I'm losing interest

21 October 2015

• Nearly a third (32%) of UK adults with savings do not know the current interest rate on their main savings account

• More than a fifth (21%) of UK adults who have savings are earning 0.50% interest or less on their main savings account

• Research released as Charter Savings Bank reaches £1billion in deposits from customers

As Charter Savings Bank celebrates passing £1billion in deposits and welcoming over 25,000 new customers since launching in March this year, research from the challenger bank in conjunction with YouGov has found that nearly a third (32%) of UK adults with savings do not know the current interest rate on their main savings account. Furthermore, almost a fifth (17%) admit to never having checked the rate on their primary savings account. In reality, for many savers who opened their accounts over six months ago, any introductory bonus rates will have ended.

In fact, more than a fifth (21%) of UK adults who have savings are earning 0.50% interest or less on their primary savings account - less than the 0.50% base rate set by the Bank of England. With the average UK savings pot totalling £8,500, this equates to an average annual interest of just £43 a year before tax.

It is clear that for the UK, savings has become a habit, but many are simply not engaging with their hard-earned money and earning the returns they should.

How the UK saves

When it comes to how the UK saves, the majority of people put money away for the long term and try to not touch their savings (28%). However, almost a quarter (24%) admit to setting out with this plan in mind but often find themselves regularly dipping into their pot to fund expenses. As we age, the relationship with our money changes. Those aged 18-24 are most likely (36%) to save for the long term without touching their money, followed by those aged 35 – 44 years old (29%). Savers aged 25 – 34 are more likely to save for something specific, use the money and start again, perhaps an indication of the money pressures this age group face (25%).

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Paul Whitlock, Director of Savings at Charter Savings Bank, said: “High street banks are offering little more to UK savers than a secure location for their savings. With returns from high street banks so low, it’s no surprise UK savers have themselves literally lost interest in their savings. People are simply not aware of how much harder their money could be working for them."

"Despite this, it is encouraging that saving has become a habit for so many of us. But we urge savers to be more engaged with their returns and become savvier with savings. It is not just about saving more, it is about saving smarter. With challenger banks dominating the best buy tables and paying interest rates that can top 2%, some savers could be earning more than four times as much interest as they currently do. Savers should take a look at the best rates on the market and think carefully about how their money can work hardest for them."

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

01 July 2015

Paul Whitlock

What the election means for savers

Now that we’ve all had a little time to digest the outcome of arguably the most unpredictable General Election campaign in living memory, it’s time to turn our attention to what this might mean for savers.

Ahead of the election, pensioners were treated to bonds paying unusually high rates of interest, and we will soon see tax-free saving for 95% of all UK savers.

But, although we have the same chancellor, it remains to be seen if he’ll have the same attitude to savings in the new administration. So far there haven’t been any announcements from the Treasury, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t busy dreaming up new ideas to help beleaguered savers, especially with the summer budget announcement due next month.

Perhaps they’re considering the suggestion of a ‘Lifetime ISA’ mooted by a Think Tank last year, or a ‘Lifetime Bonus Savings Account’ proposed some years earlier? Maybe they’re wondering how to help people with smaller savings pots? Or perhaps they’re looking to those with larger savings balances, on whom the country relies so heavily?

Let’s not forget, without the savers who provide the money to banks and building societies for them to lend, many people wouldn’t be able to get mortgages.

But whatever the outcome, it’s clear that one factor should win out over all others:

Simplicity.

As a nation, we should want to encourage people to start saving, and for those already saving to put away a little bit more each month. But to drive real and sustained change we need to offer savers what they want, accounts that do exactly what it says on the tin.

It’s a shame that all too often, accounts offer great rates of interest but then make savers jump through hoops to achieve them. We’ve all got more important things to do than work out if we’ve already used our third penalty-free withdrawal this year or remembered to check if the bonus rate has expired.

There’s a good chance that base rate and, in turn, savings rates will start to increase next year and when they do, it’s to be hoped that providers do more than just pay higher rates to savers. They should make sure that the account is straightforward too.

As someone more musical than me once said, “it’s not what you do, it’s the way that you do it”.

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Charter Savings Bank deposits hit half a billion

25 June 2015

Charter Savings Bank, one of the challenger banks to launch this year, is celebrating a landmark milestone as the bank surpasses half a billion pounds in deposits from customers. The dedicated savings bank, which launched in March of this year, has over 10,000 customers who have deposited their savings across Charter Savings Bank’s range of easy access, notice accounts and 1 – 5 year fixed rate bonds.

Paul Whitlock, Director of Savings at Charter Savings Bank said: "2015 has, so far, been an incredible year for us. When we launched in March, we knew that a combination of great rates, straightforward products and reliable service would be attractive to those looking for a new home for their savings. In just over 3 months it’s encouraging to see that this formula is working. We now have more than 10,000 customers and between them they've deposited over £500,000,000 of savings across our product range, with the 1 year bond being the most popular account to date. We're delighted to be helping so many savers achieve their savings goals and look forward to welcoming many more."

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Charter Savings Bank Newsletter - Issue 1 June 2015

01 June 2015

Welcome to our first newsletter, this issue takes a look at the savings landscape for the rest of 2015.

Click here to view
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New Wolverhampton based savings bank celebrates launch with guests of honor

11 March 2015
openday
  • Emma Reynolds, Shadow Housing Minster officially launched Charter Savings Bank (CSB) in Wolverhampton
  • CCFS’ workforce has already increased to nearly 300 and further recruitment is planned in the months ahead.
  • Charter Savings Bank (CSB), the new savings proposition from Charter Court Financial Services Ltd (CCFS), celebrated its official launch with an Open Day held on Friday afternoon. The Open Day marked a celebration for the firm following what has been an already busy year in which CCFS received their banking licence in January.

    The celebrations kicked off with an opening speech from Ian Lonergan, Chief Executive Officer of CCFS followed by the inaugural cutting of the ribbon by Emma Reynolds, Shadow Housing Minister, which marked the official opening of CSB.

    Alongside Emma Reynolds, many other guests attended the Open Day including representatives from Wolverhampton Rugby Club and CCFS’ chosen charity for 2015 “Believe to Achieve”.

    The arrival of CSB is just part of a continuing regional success story for Wolverhampton, which has seen unprecedented development recently. CCFS has been based in the city since 2008 and employs 273 staff; the introduction of CSB will undoubtedly bring new opportunities for recruitment and demonstrates the firm’s commitment to the local area. Jaguar Motors has recently set up offices in the nearby area which received a £6m investment pledge from the Government in 2014.

    CCFS has been an avid supporter of the local community and CSB will endeavor to work with local charities throughout 2015. The firm will also continue as proud sponsors of Wolverhampton Rugby Club.

    Ian Lonergan, Chief Executive Officer of CCFS, commented, “The Charter Savings Bank open day on Friday was a real celebration for us all at CCFS. The past 12 months has been an exciting time for us all, with a lot of work going into the rigorous Prudential Regulation Authority authorisation process.

    “However, the real work begins now and we are all really eager to get going and start serving customers of Charter Savings Bank. We promise to provide competitive rates and excellent, reliable service to our customers. It’s a very exciting prospect and we hope to see further growth and bring even more employment opportunities to the local area.”

    Emma Reynolds, Shadow Housing Minister and local MP said: “In the last six months Wolverhampton has enjoyed a real boost to its economy. Many large businesses have moved offices to the surrounding area and it’s becoming a real business hub, rivaling many of the larger midlands cities. Big names such as Jaguar Land Rover have set up in Wolverhampton over the past year, and the launch of Charter Savings Bank signals further signs of economic growth.

    “This marks a hugely exciting time for Charter Court Financial Services and all of its employees. I’m excited to see how Charter Savings Bank progresses and look forward to the boost in employment in the local area. The launch is a fantastic achievement for Ian and the team at CCFS and is yet another positive step forward for the region. I wish them the best with all the hard work they have ahead of them.”

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    New Bank launches with competitive savings accounts

    02 March 2015

    The UK’s newest bank, Charter Savings Bank has unveiled a portfolio of savings accounts designed to meet the needs of UK savers. The accounts, available from today (2nd March 2015) will focus on meeting the needs of those saving for both the short and long term, and those seeking a regular income from their savings.

    Charter Savings Bank offers three core savings account types: Easy Access, Notice and Fixed Rate Bonds, for deposits from £1,000 to £250,000. Each account boasts attractive rates and straightforward features:

  • Easy Access variable rate of 1.25% AER*
  • - Ability to pay in and withdraw funds at any time with no notice and no penalties

  • 95 Day Notice variable rate of 1.75% AER*
  • - Access to funds after providing 95 days’ notice, with no early withdrawals and no interest penalties

  • A full range of Fixed Rate Bonds (1,2,3,4 and 5 years) ranging from 1.80% AER*up to 2.50% AER*, allowing customers to lock away their funds whilst knowing what interest they will receive.
  • All accounts are available with monthly or annual interest payments, giving savers the option to draw a regular income from their savings.

    The bank announced approval of its banking licence by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) in January 2015 and represents an alternative to traditional banks, providing accounts that offer a straightforward and transparent savings solution for a customer base which is currently struggling to achieve its financial goals. The online bank, which removes the cost associated with a physical presence on the high street, is a UK bank for UK savers with a dedicated UK telephone customer support team that operates seven days a week.

    Charter Savings Bank is covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), the UK's deposit protection scheme, which protects customers’ eligible deposits up to a total of £85,000.

    Ian Lonergan Chief Executive Officer of Charter Savings Bank commented: “When we launched Charter Savings Bank our vision was simple: to create straightforward savings accounts with competitive rates, backed by reliable service, to help savers meet their financial goals. We know a significant number of savers are struggling to achieve good returns on their savings in today’s economic climate, but we are confident that our accounts will provide a better deal for customers.”

    Paul Whitlock Director of Savings Charter Savings Bank: “We’re proud of our core products which aim to provide a portfolio of saving accounts with something for everyone, whether they need access to their funds straightaway or if they want to put them away for a longer term. Increased choice from banks will benefit consumers, not just in price, but also in the service they receive.”

    Customers can also stay up to date with product information by following the bank on Twitter @Charter_SB and on Google+.

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    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 www.fscs.org.uk.