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 Charter Savings Bank, following a number of requests and the fact that the provider has appeared on a consistent basis in our best buy tables, since its launch earlier in the year.
Charter Savings Bank was launched in March 2015 and is based in Wolverhampton. The bank is part of Charter Court Financial Services (CCFS), a specialist financial services business that was founded in 2008.
CCFS is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA). Deposits held with Charter Savings Bank 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
Since its launch earlier this year, Charter Savings Bank has regularly appeared in our best buy tables, particularly in the Fixed Rate Bond and Notice Account categories, which are so well served by Challenger Banks. Charter Savings Bank is the latest provider to be added to the Challenger Bank group and has not only been challenging the traditional high street banks, but also many of its peers by offering market leading rates.
Charter Savings Bank announced its presence in the savings market by launching a market leading notice account and best buy 1 year fixed rate bond and has not looked back since. The provider currently has a bond in each of the main fixed rate bond terms (1 to 5 years) featured in our Fixed Rate Bond Best Buy Tables, as well as accounting for 3 out of 5 positions in our Notice Account Best Buy Table. At the time of writing, Charter Savings Bank offers the market leading 1 year, 18 month, 3 year and 4 year fixed rate bonds.
All of this shows not only that Charter Savings Bank offers consistently high rates, but also a range of term and notice period options to suit different savings needs. Hopefully, we will next see the provider branch out into other categories, such as cash ISAs to stimulate more competition and push the rates up further.
If you would like further details on these accounts, please contact us on 0800 321 3581 to talk to one of our savings experts.
Application Process and Customer Service
All accounts from Charter Savings Bank must all be applied for online, so this will not suit those who prefer not to use the internet. However, the application process appears to be straightforward. We have been made aware of a few savers having to provide identification, where electronic checks were not sufficient, but this should not be enough to discourage you from applying.
Whilst it is still early days, with the provider only launching this year, we certainly have not been made aware of many negative experiences so far. As you would expect with a newly launched provider and the large volume of enquiries, due to its position in the market, there have been a couple of minor administrative issues raised but hopefully these will be ironed out in the near future and of course we’ll be keeping a close eye on these. 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 rarely offer rates that allow them to feature in our best buy tables, certainly 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 and Charter Savings Bank is no exception.
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.