Provider Focus - Aldermore Bank
We are often asked for more information on various savings providers that are less well-known or new to the savings market. 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.
Alongside these articles, you may also find our Guide to Challenger Banks useful for more information on some of the banks that are seeking to break the monopoly of the big high street names.
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 Aldermore, following a number of requests for information and various appearances in our best buy tables over the last few years. In addition, Aldermore is particularly competitive in the business savings market, offering innovative accounts and a unique rate checking feature on its website.
Aldermore was founded in 2009 and is mainly focused on providing services to Britain’s small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), in addition to homeowners and savers. In terms of the savings market, this means that Aldermore offers various savings accounts for both personal and business customers.
Aldermore’s head office is located in Peterborough and the bank has twelve regional UK offices. The bank does not have a branch network but can be contacted online or by telephone.
Aldermore describes itself as a leading alternative bank and certainly banks like Aldermore are providing much needed competition and diversification in the banking sector, challenging established high street names with competitive and innovative accounts.
Aldermore is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA). Deposits held with Aldermore are protected up to a total of £85,000 (dropping to £75,000 from 1st January 2016) per person by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). For more information on the scheme, please take a look at our handy guide or call us on 0800 321 3581 to speak to one of our expert savings advisers.
Today’s Savings Market
For personal savers, Aldermore offers a range of fixed rate bonds, notice accounts and easy access accounts, as well as cash ISA equivalents and have appeared in our best buy tables regularly over the last few years.
However, there is better news for those looking for a business savings account, Aldermore offers not only some competitive accounts, but are also an innovative bank, with a unique type of fixed savings account on offer and a useful rate checking feature on its website.
Aldermore offers a Customised Fixed Rate Account, which allows SMEs to choose a maturity date and receive an interest rate based on the date chosen. This flexibility means that an SME can choose a date that suits its needs, rather than choosing from a list of products.
In July 2015, Aldermore launched its SME Rate Checker, one of the first of its kind available from a bank or building society. The tool allows SMEs to check the interest rate that they are currently earning on their business savings account and compare it to what they could earn with Aldermore. What is particularly impressive is that the tool contains interest rates from all providers and therefore will tell SMEs not only when they could do better in terms of their interest rate, but also when they are earning a competitive rate already. This balanced approach is ensured by having interest rates independently supplied by Savings Champion.
Application Process and Customer Service
Based on feedback from those who use our services and from our Concierge Department, the application process with Aldermore is straightforward, with many applications passing electronic identification checks, therefore not having to provide extensive paperwork. In addition, our own experience of using the provider’s helpline has been positive.
Of course, as mentioned earlier, your thoughts and experiences about providers’ customer service are invaluable for us, so please get in touch to share any feedback you have.
A final word…
It is a simple fact that many of the best rates on the market today can be found amongst providers that are less well-known or that some savers may not have even heard of. Well-known providers simply no longer offer rates that allow them to feature in our best buy tables, as much as they have in the past, so in order to earn as much interest as possible, savers will most likely need to look at an alternative to the high street.
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.