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Rhiannon Philps

Content Writer
Published: 14/06/2024
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Rates on easy access savings and ISAs from the big high street banks are falling short of the market average.


Some of the UK’s biggest banks, including Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, NatWest and Santander, all pay less than 2.00% on their no notice savings accounts that are available to new customers, according to data from

By contrast, over 80% of the market currently pay 2.00% or higher on a £10,000 balance, with the leading providers paying close to 5.00% or more.

The big banks pay an average interest rate of 1.69%, which was 1.43 percentage points lower than the market’s average easy access savings rate of 3.12% at the start of June.

Similarly, Barclays, Lloyds Bank, NatWest and Santander pay an average rate of 1.62% on their easy access ISAs, compared to the market average of 3.31%. HSBC doesn’t offer an easy access cash ISA to new customers.

“Currently, a saver who put £10,000 in an easy access ISA offered by a big bank would lose out on £169 in interest each year (compared to the market average rate paid), or £344 (on a market-leading account),” explained James Hyde, Spokesperson at

Bear in mind that the banks may offer accounts with better rates, but these may come with certain conditions or only be available to existing customers, for example.


Big banks’ easy access selection*
Provider Account Gross rate at £10,000
Barclays Bank Everyday Saver 1.65%
HSBC Flexible Saver 1.98%
Lloyds Bank Easy Saver 1.40%
NatWest Flexible Saver 1.74%
Santander Easy Access Saver 1.70%

*Deals available to new customers and includes accounts that allow multiple withdrawals without penalty. Data correct as of 3 June 2024. 


Are customers getting fair value?

With the major banks paying relatively low rates, it raises the question of whether they are complying with the Consumer Duty regulations introduced by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) last year.

These regulations are designed to ensure that firms work to deliver good outcomes for consumers.

For example, firms should present customers with clear information, offer helpful and effective customer support and offer products and services that are suitable for the customer’s situation and provide them with fair value.

This latter point is particularly relevant when looking at the savings rates paid by the major banks.

“Consumer Duty regulations regarding existing products have been in effect since 31 July 2023, meaning companies have had almost a year now to review any previously uncompetitive products, and bring them into compliance with the rules laid out by the Financial Conduct Authority,” Hyde commented.

“Unfortunately, the big five banks are still paying significantly sub-par variable savings rates. Their most accessible no-notice accounts all offer less than 2% interest per annum – putting them all in the bottom fifth of the market,” he continued.

There are many factors that determine the savings rates different providers offer, including the Bank of England base rate and how much money the provider needs to raise.

For example, smaller providers may offer higher rates to attract customers and bring in more money so they can fund their other activities (such as lending). By contrast, well-established high street banks may not need to attract customers in the same way, so have less need to compete to offer the best rates.

The big banks respond

The FCA has been monitoring the savings market to ensure providers are passing on interest rate rises and, in 2023, the Treasury Select Committee campaigned for banks to raise rates on their savings accounts.

In response, the banks in question have had to demonstrate how they are offering fair value to consumers.

After appearing in front of the Treasury Committee in March 2024, CEOs of the major banking groups justified their savings rates.

For example, Charlie Nunn, CEO of Lloyds Banking Group, explained that they “continually assess all our accounts to ensure they offer fair value, and in doing so we consider the wide range of features and benefits customers look for before choosing a particular type of account”.

Similarly, Vim Maru, CEO at Barclays UK, highlighted that their “pricing is regularly reviewed based on a range of factors” and that they were focused on “supporting our customers’ full range of savings needs through a variety of competitive products”.

Meanwhile, Paul Thwaite, CEO of NatWest Group, said that they “continue to put energy and resources into encouraging people to start saving and to build the crucial savings habit that is so important for long-term financial wellbeing and resilience”.

Finally, Mike Regnier, CEO at Santander UK, said “we continually monitor the Bank rate, our products and services to ensure we provide a competitive and appropriate offer to our customers, in line with regulatory expectations”.

Several of the banks also highlighted their range of higher-paying savings products, including regular savings accounts and fixed bonds.

Review your rates

Whether your savings are with a big bank or another provider, it’s always worth checking whether you could be getting a better return on your money.

More than £366 billion is in current accounts or low-paying savings accounts with rates of 1% or less, according to analysis from Yorkshire Building Society and CACI .

Furthermore, their research found that 55% of respondents hadn’t moved their savings in the last year.

The average no notice savings rate on 1 June 2023 was 2.20%, so anyone who hasn’t reviewed their savings over the past year or more could be missing out on a significant amount of interest.

“As always, customers are encouraged to proactively monitor savings rates, particularly if they’re on a variable rate which providers can adjust on a very reactive basis. People should be prepared to switch if they feel their loyalty is not being adequately rewarded,” Hyde concluded.

Compare savings accounts

See our charts for the latest rates on easy access accounts, fixed bonds and notice accounts.

You can also view our ISA charts to view the latest easy access ISAs and fixed ISAs.


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