Way to savers' hearts is through their bank accounts

Having just decided to paint British towns Santander red over the next 18 months by rebranding Bradford and Bingley, Abbey and Alliance & Leicester and no doubt keen for some accompanying good publicity, the Spanish banking group has gone for the easy route to consumer popularity - one so far undiscovered by many others in the personal banking sector.

It works like this: give the people whose money you use to bugger about taking chances on the world's stock markets a reasonable return on that cash, a kind of "thank you" if you like. Already riding high in best buy tables, the group's Alliance & Leicester and Abbey brands are now offering 6% interest on three of their current accounts, which knocks those offered by the likes of Barclays (0%) Nationwide (0%) and HSBC (0%) into a cocked hat. I'll just repeat that: 6% interest. On. Some. Current. Accounts. The ones to get the gold stars are A&L's Premier Direct Current Account, its Premier 50 Current Account and Abbey's Preferred In Credit Account.

The best part about this sort of deal for the pathologically cynical is the small print, though this latest one's actually not that bad. You only get the bait-rate for the first £2,500 of your money, after that, it's an industry-standard paltry 0.1%. And you have to pay in either £500 or £1,000 per month. And after a year the rate falls to 1.0% so keep your eye on it. And if you have a Premier 50 account they charge you £10 a month up-front.

Still, if you're the sort of person who doesn't mind faffing on with all things financial and happen to have a LloydsTSB current account too (with Vantage mind, not just any old rubbish,) you could get 4% interest on your money if you keep your balance between £5,000 and £7,000. This apparent outbreak of generosity might just signal the start of higher rates for people who don't spend their time and their cash on things like four Chumbys in different colours. But then again, don't hold your breath.


  • Jill
    I have a premier 21 account with Alliance and Leicester and I get 10% interest!
  • Francis R.
    I used to have one of those 2p chocolate things, I recon David 'Ronseal' Dickinson'd give us a couple of quid for it.
  • xargle
    Really? From their Premier 21 account page "Earn a great rate of 5% AER (fixed for one year) on balances up to £1,000. After one year, 1% AER (variable) applies. Balances over £1,000 earn 0.10% AER (variable)."
  • Jill
    I signed up back in October when the interest rate used to be 10% - it got reduced to 5% when the bank of england interest rate suddenly plummeted.
  • Jill
    I realise that wasn't particularly helpful for someone looking for a new account, but if they offered it in the past, I see no reason for them not to increase it again when the interest rates go back up (unless Santander don't approve - Alliance and Leicester made this account themselves before Santander took them over).
  • Chris
    I've got a premier 21 and i dont get 10%!
  • Mary s.
    Jilly you bullshitter :(
  • Jack
    I have a Premier 21 and I *got* 10% - it's now been lowered, though. IIRC the high interest goes to 0.1% in July anyway...
  • Jill
    As I said, it used to be 10%. Why has your rate been lowered, has it been put down to 5% or have you already had it a year? When I signed up it said 10% fixed for a year so if they have lowered it I will be making a complaint.
  • acecatcher3
    more importantly who the bumba squish is Alexa Powell???
  • Uncle T.
    @acecatcher3 Alexa Powell is the tranny name Paul Smith uses when he goes to the "club"
  • acecatcher3
    loool! must b another writer, she doesnt swear in her articles so fair play!
  • Ste
    Jill - You're quite right, my partner had one of these 10% accounts fixed for a year and they openend theirs in September. For those of us over 21 and with less than the Lloyds TSB Vantage premium of £5k - £7k, consider the Lloyds TSB current account with PLUS. Its a free account but its one you have to ask for as Vantage is currently in the limelight. It currently offers 2.5% on balances up to £2,500. You have to pay in at least £1,000 a month but simply paying it into another bank account (outside Lloyds TSB) on one day and straight back again fulfils this criteria. This time last year, I was earning 6% on this account with no preferential bonus period, just one long-standing, good rate.
  • Francis R.
    Working with the BW crew and reading some of the obscene comments, I'm sure she'll be swearing like a chav who's lost his Elizabeth Duke in no time at all.
  • mike h.

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