We are often asked for more information on various savings providers that are of interest to savers.
In this regular series of articles, we aim to turn the spotlight on these providers to give you more information about their background and history and why they are of particular interest in today’s savings market.
We hope that you find this information useful and as always, if you have any feedback or suggestions as to who should appear in a future article, please let us know.
The provider chosen this time is Bank and Clients (B&C), which re-entered the UK savings market earlier in the year. With the provider returning to the market, this is an ideal time to give you some background information and a good opportunity to get your feedback from any dealings you have had with them.
Bank and Clients (B&C) is not a familiar name in the UK savings market to many, but has actually been around since 2014. B&C was formed when two long-standing UK organisations, Church House Trust and Ocean Capital were combined.
Whilst B&C was formed relatively recently, the two organisations it was formed from have a longer history. Church House Trust was a retail bank that was founded in 1978 and Ocean Capital, a corporate lender, was founded more recently, in 2002.
B&C has offices in London and in Yeovil, Somerset and applications can be made through the post. As well as offering mortgages and business loans, B&C offers savings accounts for both personal customers and businesses and charities.
B&C is a trading name of Bank and Clients plc, which is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA). Bank and Clients plc is a member of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), so funds placed with the provider would be covered up to £85,000 per person (or organisation), should the provider go out of business.
For more information on the FSCS, please take a look at our handy guide or call us on 0800 011 9705 to speak to one of our expert savings advisers.
Today’s Savings Market
B&C briefly withdrew from the savings market, so there was a period of time where no accounts were available to open. This ended in June this year and B&C has since added a number of other accounts to its range, most recently a 90 day business notice account that went straight into our Best Buy Table.
Whilst not market leaders, some of the other rates on offer are fairly competitive, sitting not far away from our top five best buy tables. Below is a summary of the rates currently on offer.
For the full range of alternatives and to see how B&C compare to the rest of the market, don’t forget to check out our best buy tables or call us on 0800 011 9705.
> 90 Day Notice Account – 1.20% gross/AER
> 6 Month Notice Account – 1.40% gross/AER
> 12 Month Notice Account – 1.60% gross/AER
> 18 Month Fixed Term Account (variable) – 1.80% gross/AER
> 2 Year Fixed Rate Account – 1.95% gross/AER
> 3 Year Fixed Rate Account – 2.05% gross/AER
> 90 Day Business Notice Account – 1.20% gross/AER
Accounts can be opened with £1,000 through a postal application form. Access is allowed to funds held in the notice accounts by giving the required notice, whereas, fairly typically, you cannot access money placed in one of the fixed rate accounts during the term.
Application Process and Customer Service
You can apply for the accounts by post only, which is fairly unusual in today’s savings market. Online only applications are common amongst many of the top savings rates at the moment, so the option to open accounts by post may be attractive to those who do not have access to the internet or prefer not to use it for financial transactions.
The application process appears to be straightforward and we haven’t been made aware of many negative experiences so far from any of our clients or from our own dealings with the provider.
Of course, as mentioned earlier, your thoughts and experiences about providers’ customer service are invaluable for us, particularly about providers that are new to us or to the savings market, so please get in touch to share any feedback you have.
A final word…
It is tempting to stick to the well-known brands when it comes to savings accounts, but in doing so, you may be missing out on some of the best rates on the market. Whilst there are some exceptions, for example High Interest Current Accounts, you can no longer rely on the larger brands and high street names to offer the best interest rates. Providers like B&C are aiming to drive competition in the savings market and as a group offer some of the best rates available at the moment. The best strategy is to look at all options and take each provider on its own merits, considering alternative providers to get the best returns for your money. As long as you do your research (or ask us for more information!) and are comfortable with the provider, there is no reason not to consider them.
As mentioned earlier, if there is a provider that you would like to see featured in a future article, please let us know. We are also keen to hear from you if you have any feedback about any provider’s customer service, good or bad! Please contact us at [email protected] to share your experiences.