Interactive Investor

The dismal savings rates of high street banks – named and shamed

23rd July 2019 09:37

Edmund Greaves from interactive investor


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Britain’s biggest high street banks offering pitiful rates to their customers, with Barclays the worst offender

The average annual equivalent rate (AER) for all easy-access savings accounts on the market is currently 0.58%.

This figure is in itself embarrassingly low compared to the top rate on the market of 1.5% offered by Cynergy Bank, Marcus and Virgin Money.

Now, new analysis has named and shamed the big banks that provide the worst rates across the board.

Barclays offers an average rate 0.3% below the average. HSBC is little better offering 0.29% below, and Lloyds and RBS both offer 0.19% under the average.

The table below shows the major high street providers, from worst average rate offered to best.

Easy access analysis of 15 well-known brands versus market average rate
Group Product count Lowest AER Highest AER Overall average AER AER difference of overall average versus market average of 0.58%
Barclays Bank 1 0.25% 0.30% 0.28% -0.30%
HSBC 11 0.10% 0.65% 0.29% -0.29%
Lloyds Banking Group 13 0.20% 0.60% 0.39% -0.19%
Royal Bank of Scotland Group 9 0.20% 1.25% 0.39% -0.19%
CYBG 6 0.20% 1.00% 0.43% -0.15%
Santander 5 0.35% 0.50% 0.43% -0.15%
Nationwide Building Society 8 0.10% 1.10% 0.50% -0.08%
TSB 2 0.50% 0.55% 0.53% -0.05%
The Co-operative Bank 6 0.30% 1.40% 0.65% 0.07%
Yorkshire Building Society 13 0.00% 1.40% 0.72% 0.14%
Leeds Building Society 4 0.50% 1.10% 0.77% 0.19%
Coventry Building Society 18 0.50% 1.20% 0.81% 0.23%
Skipton Building Society 4 0.75% 1.15% 0.85% 0.27%
Post Office Money 5 0.75% 1.38% 1.25% 0.67%
Virgin Money 10 1.00% 1.50% 1.26% 0.68%
Range includes loyalty savers but not closed accounts, rates include all tiers. Source:

Rachel Springall, finance expert at, comments: “Some savers may feel comfortable to leave their cash in an easy access account linked to their current account – but this convenience can cost them dearly.

“Loyalty should be rewarded, but in some cases it is the existing customer who is getting a raw deal. Despite this, some brands are prepared to reward long-term loyalty, such as Nationwide Building Society, which pays its top rate of 1.10% to customers that have been a member for more than 15 years.

“The biggest banks pay less than the current base rate (0.75%) on average, despite some brands offering inflated rates to larger deposits (RBS Group). The ordinary saver however will likely get less than base rate.

“Today, there are over 351 easy access accounts and 1,287 closed options available. This many options to choose from, combined with widespread apathy, may well explain why a third of easy access accounts were opened over five years ago.”

To find out the current best savings and Cash Isa rates on the market, check the Moneywise guides:


This article was originally published in our sister magazine Moneywise, which ceased publication in August 2020.

These articles are provided for information purposes only. Occasionally, an opinion about whether to buy or sell a specific investment may be provided by third parties. The content is not intended to be a personal recommendation to buy or sell any financial instrument or product, or to adopt any investment strategy as it is not provided based on an assessment of your investing knowledge and experience, your financial situation or your investment objectives. The value of your investments, and the income derived from them, may go down as well as up. You may not get back all the money that you invest. The investments referred to in this article may not be suitable for all investors, and if in doubt, an investor should seek advice from a qualified investment adviser.

Full performance can be found on the company or index summary page on the interactive investor website. Simply click on the company's or index name highlighted in the article.

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