Posted September 26, 2010 by Simon in News

Offline banking customers fair worst in choice of accounts

UK bank customers who still haven’t moved into the online banking arena, have recently been highlighted that they are missing out on the best deals and rates when it comes to financial products.

Over the past year, the research by consumer group Which? has revealed that better rates are being offered on saving and investment accounts that operate and can be managed only online.

The average in-branch rate for an instant savings account sits at 0.56{a7f143556510d926cb072b695f3ed49f89b7d13a9d4c359f2399f0d9de0c1da1}, whereas online accounts are being offered 1.14{a7f143556510d926cb072b695f3ed49f89b7d13a9d4c359f2399f0d9de0c1da1}, which is almost double the rate!  ISAs and fixed rate term accounts are the best of the online products on offer against branch accounts, so as well as convenience, it also pays well to get online.

Putting this in perspective, the Department for Work and Pensions estimates that there still around 4 million people in the UK who are unable, for some reason or other, to manage their finances through the Internet.  The Which? investigation suggests that banks and financial institutions are treating these digitally excluded customers unfairly, though banks would argue that better rates can be offered as online banking requires less resources their side.

DWP Chief executive, Peter Vicary-Smith, commented:


“Not everyone is comfortable or able to manage their finances online and these people are missing out on the best deals as a result.”

“Banks should be more inclusive by offering terminals in branches where customers could access online deals, with some help from staff.”