Latest figures show building societies outperform banks yet again

12th January 2018

Comparing the two groups as a whole, building societies continue to outperform banks in key areas, latest figures produced by Savings Champion has shown.

The research found that a significant percentage more building society accounts (71%) pay a higher rate than the base rate, compared to banks (47%). This continues the trend that we have seen over the last six years and remained the case throughout 2017. 

While rates on the whole are lower than they were six years ago - as savers continue to struggle in a low-interest savings environment - the average variable rate paid by banks has dropped by nearly 10% more than the average rate paid by building societies in that time.

In fact, during 2017 the average variable interest rate paid by building societies was over 25% higher than the banks, showing a clear gap between the two groups.

Tom Adams, Head of Research at independent savings advice site, Savings Champion said: “It is clear when you look at these figures that, on the whole, building societies are showing greater support for savers than banks. Building societies overall pay higher interest rates and demonstrate a greater commitment than banks to treating savers fairly.


Of course these are overall figures and there are some exceptions within each group, with the challenger banks in particular continuing to drive competition in the savings market and dominating the best buy tables.


While challenger banks are pushing the group averages up, the big high street names are doing the opposite and they continue to pay some shockingly low interest rates. With a significant portion of savers' funds still languishing in uncompetitive accounts with high street names, now is the time to vote with your feet and look for an alternative.


It remains vital to keep an eye on the best rates on offer and grab them when you can. Savings Champion is here to support savers and make this task easier with independent best buy tables and the Rate Tracker service, where savers can check the interest rates on their accounts for free.


As always, our advice is to not accept low-paying accounts, but switch to a higher paying alternative. Providers that are not rewarding your loyalty with decent returns do not deserve to keep your business”.



All figures are based on £10,000 invested at each month end.


Building Societies

  Totals% Accounts higher than Base Rate  
  Open ClosedAll AccountsOpen ClosedAll Accounts  
 31/12/2011  1.39%  67.85%  
 % Drop29.73% 31.65%     
  Totals% Accounts higher than Base Rate  
  Open ClosedAll AccountsOpen ClosedAll Accounts  
 31/12/2011  1.18%  53.11%  
 % Drop43.09% 41.53%     
2017 Average Rates   
  Totals - Building SocietiesTotals - Banks  
  Open ClosedAll AccountsOpen ClosedAll Accounts  
   Av %0.87% Av %0.65%  



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