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UK savers losing money in dead end accounts

15th March 2012 Print

A Which? investigation has revealed that UK savers could be losing out on almost £13 billion in interest each year by failing to switch savings accounts, an increase of half a billion pounds since October 2010.

Ahead of World Consumer Rights Day on 15 March Which? is urging savers to switch to get a better deal. We are also calling on the Government to ensure that the new financial regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority, is a watchdog not a lapdog. We want a strong regulator that stands up to the banks, making sure that they offer consumers competitive savings products.

Which? experts found that 41% of the 1,800 savings accounts and cash ISAs available to UK savers are paying a pathetic 0.5% a year or less. One in five savings accounts are paying 0.1% or less. This can add up to just £1 a year for every £1,000 in your account. Current rates of inflation also mean that these accounts may be worth less each day.

Which? chief executive, Peter Vicary-Smith, says: "Banks and building societies have got away with paying miserable interest on people's hard-earned savings for too long. Our research has exposed just how widespread this practice is.

"The message to savers is simple: if your money is in one of these low-interest accounts, you should switch now. It's easy to do, using our free online tool to work out where you'll get the best deal."

Which? is supporting Consumer International's worldwide call to action for consumers to demand more competition in financial services.