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Image of Mike Brown

Michael Brown

Acting Editor
Published: 13/06/2023
Photo of Coventry BS Bank shop front

The account only allows four penalty-free withdrawals per year.

Coventry BS launched an easy access account offering 4.00% AER today. Named the Four Access Saver (Online), this offer requires a minimum deposit of £1 and is online-operated.

The launch means that it pays the joint-highest easy access rate on the market, with West Brom BS and HSBC also offering a rate of 4.00% AER. However, both accounts come with restrictions.

West Brom BS’s account doesn’t facilitate internet banking, and can only be opened in branch or via the post, while HSBC’s rate is only paid on balances up to £10,000. Added to this, HSBC’s online Bonus Saver only pays this rate if no withdrawals are made that calendar month.

Coventry BS’s new easy access account comes with its own restrictions too.

Mainly, it only allows four withdrawals per calendar year. On the fifth withdrawal, its users will receive a 50-day loss of interest penalty on the amount withdrawn.

Are savings rates going up?

Coventry BS’s latest product launch comes at a time when variable savings rates are on the rise.

At the beginning of May the average easy access rate stood at 2.06% gross and has since risen to 2.27% gross yesterday.

During this period the Bank of England increased the base rate to 4.5% and the Office for National Statistics released unexpected inflation data.

More on this can be found in a previously written article.

Is it time to switch my savings?

Last week the Treasury Select Committee, which forms part of the Government, encouraged UK savers to shop around for a better savings deal if they felt they weren’t getting full value from their provider.

“With the Bank of England confirming the pass through of base rate increases to easy access savings accounts has been unusually weak, it’s clearer than ever that the nation’s biggest banks need to up their game and encourage saving,” added Harriett Baldwin MP, Chair of the Treasury Committee.

This came after the Committee launched an investigation into how several “scale challenger” providers set their easy access rates. The probe included questions for the likes of Virgin Money and Santander, who claimed they took more than just the base rate into account when setting their rates.


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