Image of Rhiannon Philps

Rhiannon Philps

Content Writer
Published: 02/02/2024
Putting savings into a jar

More than a third (40%) of easy access savings accounts don’t offer branch access.

With the growing popularity of online and mobile banking, it’s perhaps not surprising the proportion of easy access savings accounts without branch access has increased.

A decade ago, the proportion of easy access accounts with no branch access was just 29%. This figure grew to 37% in January 2023 and rose again to 40% in January 2024.

While this isn’t necessarily a problem for tech-savvy savers, there’s still a significant number of people who prefer to bank in branch and could be missing out on the top savings rates as a result.

Missing out on leading rates

Savers who opt for branch-operated accounts and save their money with a high street bank may not be getting as high an interest rate as those who choose an online-only or digital account.

“Indeed, savers could be earning as little as 1%, or on average 3%, but in fact they could earn around 5% on the top easy access accounts,” commented Rachel Springall, Finance Expert at

A recent survey from Yorkshire Building Society found that, while 57% of adults prefer to manage their finances online, more than one fifth (22%) prefer to manage their day-to-day banking in a branch. When you look at the over-55s, this figure rises to 31%.

Furthermore, over a quarter (26%) of all those surveyed said the availability of a local branch was the most important factor when it comes to choosing a savings provider.

Springall highlights that while “older savers might prefer to manage their finances in branch for accessibility reasons”, they may “miss out on a better return if they are not able to manage an account online”.

“A saver earning just 1% for a year on a £20,000 pot would take home £200 in interest, whereas earning 5% would result in £1,000,” Springall concludes.

Rise in online savings

More than two thirds (69%) of easy access savings accounts now offer online access, up from 60% one year ago.

And many of the top savings rates are currently offered by accounts that you can only access online or via an app.

While some savings accounts with branch access do offer competitive rates, the choice is more limited if you’re unwilling or unable to consider online-only accounts too. And, if you narrow your search even further to only look at providers with a branch near your home, the selection of competitive rates available becomes even smaller, particularly with so many banks and building societies closing local branches.

So, whether you prefer to bank in-person, automatically save your money with your current account provider or simply haven’t checked your savings recently, you may be overlooking accounts that offer a better return. Taking a few minutes to compare accounts can help make sure you’re making the most of your savings.

Compare the best savings rates

For more information on the best savings rates available, visit our charts. You can choose from easy access, fixed or notice accounts and, if you prefer banking in-person, you can filter the results to see the accounts with branch access. 


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