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.
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 a more well-established bank and one that has been competitive in the UK savings market over the last few years – Bank of Cyprus UK.
Bank of Cyprus UK has been operating in the UK since 1955, when the Bank of Cyprus opened its first branch abroad, serving the Cypriot community in London. In 2004, the Bank of Cyprus merged its UK branch with its subsidiary, Bank of Cyprus (London) Ltd, with the combined business then known as Bank of Cyprus UK. Bank of Cyprus UK then became a subsidiary of the group in 2012, regulated in its own right by the Financial Services Authority, which was the regulator at the time.
Bank of Cyprus UK has a branch in North London and business banking centres in Central London, Birmingham and South London. According to the Bank of Cyprus UK, its approach to banking is straightforward, attracting savers’ deposits with competitive interest rates and then lending these funds to UK-based small and owner-managed businesses.
Bank of Cyprus UK is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA). In addition, Bank of Cyprus UK 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, 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 321 3581 to speak to one of our expert savings advisers.
Today’s Savings Market
Bank of Cyprus UK has been particularly competitive in the last few years with its range of Fixed Rate Cash ISAs and Fixed Rate Bonds, featuring regularly in our Best Buy Tables.
In addition, the provider has a range of competitive fixed rate bonds for businesses, again regularly featuring in our Business Best Buy Tables.
At the time of writing, Bank of Cyprus currently features in our 1 and 2 year Fixed Rate Cash ISA Best Buy Tables, as well as our 3 Year Fixed Rate Bond Table.
For more information on these accounts, click on the links below.
1 Year Fixed Rate Cash ISA – 1.20% tax free/AER
2 Year Fixed Rate Cash ISA – 1.35% tax free/AER
3 Year Fixed Rate Bond – 2.00% gross/AER
In addition, if you have been a Bank of Cyprus UK customer for at least six months, you will be eligible to receive an enhanced rate when you apply for a new account.
For alternatives and to compare the accounts to the rest of the market, please take a look at our Best Buy Tables.
Application Process and Customer Service
You can apply for Bank of Cyprus UK Fixed Rate Bonds online with a minimum of £10,000 but you cannot make any withdrawals before the end of the term. Fixed Rate Cash ISAs can also be applied for online and there is a lower minimum balance requirement of £500. The Fixed Rate Cash ISAs accept transfers of previous ISAs and if you need to access your funds before the end of the term, there is a fee payable which is equivalent to 180 days’ gross interest.
Fixed Rate Bonds for businesses can be opened by post or in branch with a minimum of £10,000 but again you cannot access your funds within the term.
Our Concierge department interacts with Bank of Cyprus UK on a regular basis and their dealings with the provider have been positive overall. The application process is clear and straightforward and we have not encountered any problems so far.
We certainly have not 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, 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 Bank of Cyprus UK continue to drive competition in the savings market and 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.