Banks not informing savers about interest rate changes?

28 July 2010

calcThe more you hear about banks, the more you want to round them all up and horsewhip them to within an inch of their lives in a public square. We should all draw our collective money out at once and watch them cry on the news.

Those bastards are at it again, by continually failing to tell us about changes to interest rates on our accounts. That's accord to an article in the Guardian which is reporting on a report from Which? Money. There were too many whiches and reports in that last sentence weren't there?

Apparently, only four banks/building societies inform savers of all saving rate changes. The rest of them only do it via adverts in newspapers or on boards in the branches.

The good-guys are Cheltenham & Gloucester, First Direct, the Co-operative Bank and ING Direct who promise to personally notify their customers by email or letter of all cuts in rates on their accounts.

The Nationwide building society seem to be the worst of the bunch as they seem to be saying that they just can't be arsed at all. They make no commitment whatsoever in its terms and conditions to personally notify customers of changes to interest rates, regardless of how big they are.

Of course, this hasn't been a problem as such as the Bank of England base rate has been frozen at 0.5%, but once that changes, customers may be missing information that could see them wanting to change who they bank with. Who would have thought that eh? Financial institutions being dicks.

Which? chief executive, Peter Vicary-Smith, said: "Our research shows that outdated and inconvenient methods of notice on interest rate changes are keeping savers in the dark for longer, at a time when they need greater disclosure than ever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. This is just another example of banks treating their customers badly."

A British Bankers' Association (BBA) spokeperson said: "If all customers were to be notified of all changes to their interest rates – as Which? has suggested – the costs to the environment, the economy, to banks and ultimately to customers would be considerable.

"Around 13.5m personal letters would have to be sent for each rate change; in 2008, when there were five negative base rate movements, this would have generated 67.5m letters."

Or you could just send an email out?

TOPICS:   Banking   Consumer Advice   Economy


  • Steve
    It's Which! dammit!
  • Nobby
    No, it's Which?
  • Bazinga
    E-mails from banks always get spammed. I make the effort to recover each and go to their site and confirm my login details. Never see any interest rates though.
  • Issac M.
    Or... they could just display the rates on your offline or online statements (which they are giving you anyway)
  • Steve
    Not on Bitterwallet it isn't Nobby. That's the kind of running gag I (avidly) read this e-rag for, if they start using the correct punctuation I might as well not bother
  • moncler
    [email protected]
  • Ray
    I am a business consultant and was recently working on a contract for a building society where I was told that it was law since November 2009 that banks and building societies MUST inform their customers of rate changes. I have been unable so far to verify the facts of this and whether or not board in branches and advertisements in papers would satisfy the regulation but clearly the baks are knowingly and deliberately fleecing customers by offrign them attractive rates only to drop them often very soon after the account opened without personally notifying that customer. Halifax are atrocious at it and as the writer mentions simply claim it would cost a fortune in letters to write to their milions of customers. What tosh when the account in question was a web saver and so without doubt virtually all customers would have email addresses linked to their accounts. The Halifax certainly don't count the cost of the oppressive email marketing campaigns. Until there's a way for consumers to think and act in unison to that large numbers teach banks a lesson my moving their money elsewhere these sharks will continue to lie, cheat, and deceive as much money as they can out of their customers. Shame on the lot of them!
  • lana22
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