Bank account: How first direct customers can access ‘best savings rate’ the bank has

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BANK accounts come in a whole host of forms, with some offering interest rates while others will not. Some first direct customers can access what the bank says is the “best savings rate we have”.

Saving money is a practice many people will do, with some setting aside lump sums every once in a while, while others may opt to pay money into savings accounts on a regular basis. Interest rates have been declining across the board recently, however there are still a variety of options in terms of savings accounts – be that variable or fixed.

It’s a topic which first direct has addressed recently.

Prior to the coronavirus crisis, during which the Bank of England Base Rate has seen two historic cuts to a historic low or 0.1 percent, first direct was offering its first direct 1st Account holders the opportunity to open a linked savings account.

This is the Regular Saver Account, which currently pays a fixed rate of 2.75 percent AER/gross p.a.

Those with this account can lock away between £25 to £300 each month, for a fixed 12-month term.

This works out at up to £3,600 per year.

While there are monthly limits, the bank explains that if regular payments are less than £300, then they can carry their allowance over and pay more in later months.

However, it’s important to be aware that interest is calculated daily, and paid 12 months after the saver opened the account.

This account is only available for existing first direct current account customers.

Under the terms of this fixed account, it’s not possible to make partial withdrawals.

So, if savers close their account before the end of the 12-month period, the bank will only pay interest at its standard Savings Account variable rate.

On its website, first direct says of the account: “Get into a good savings habit and we’ll reward you with the best rate we have.”

However, those who are not currently first direct customers are currently unable to open a current account with the bank.

This is due to a temporary closure during the coronavirus crisis.

A statement on the bank’s website reads: “The coronavirus is affecting everyone’s lives and we want to make sure we are doing all we can to support our customers and our people.

“This means we need to focus our attention on our existing customers and their immediate financial needs.

“To make sure our people are able to do this, we have taken the decision to withdraw first direct current accounts to new customers.

“We hope this will only be a temporary measure so please keep checking back here for updates.”

Elsewhere in savings news this week, Marcus by Goldman Sachs has temporarily closed its easy access savings account to new UK customers.

The temporary change has come following an influx of deposits from savers.

Managing Director of Marcus by Goldman Sachs, Des McDaid, said: “We are temporarily not accepting new applications for our Marcus online savings account in order to manage our rate of deposit growth.

“This step will allow us to continue providing great value to our existing customers. We remain committed to expanding our UK retail business in future.”

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