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.
The provider chosen this time is one of the UK’s newer banks – OakNorth Bank, following a number of requests for more information and our recent inclusion of the provider in our Best Buy Tables.
OakNorth Bank is a UK-based bank which specialises in lending to small and mid-sized businesses and entrepreneurs and also provides property finance and savings accounts. By saving with the provider, OakNorth Bank states that you are supporting UK growth businesses in addition to the returns you receive.
OakNorth Bank was founded by entrepreneurs Rishi Khosla and Joel Perlman, securing a full banking licence in March 2015 and then commencing operations in September 2015. The bank has offices in London and Manchester.
OakNorth Bank is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA). In addition, OakNorth Bank 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
OakNorth Bank currently offers a range of Fixed Term Deposit savings accounts, having yet to branch out into other areas of the savings market.
Interestingly, unlike many new banks, OakNorth Bank has not featured in the top five fixed rate bonds on a consistent basis since it launched last September. However, the interest rates on offer have been improving in 2016. At the time of writing, both the 12 month and 24 month Term Deposits appear in our Fixed Rate Bond Best Buy Tables.
The provider currently appears to be focused on the shorter term fixed rate bond market, with 30 months the longest term available, however in addition to this account, there is also a 15 month account for those looking for different terms than the usual 1 to 5 years.
Below is a summary of the rates currently on offer, please click on the links for more information.
- 12 Month Fixed Term Deposit – 1.61% gross/AER
- 15 Month Fixed Term Deposit – 1.65% gross/AER
- 24 Month Fixed Term Deposit – 1.86% gross/AER
- 30 Month Fixed Term Deposit – 1.90% gross/AER
For more alternatives and to compare the accounts to the rest of the market, please take a look at our Fixed Rate Bond Best Buy Tables.
Application Process and Customer Service
You can apply for the Fixed Term Deposits offered by OakNorth Bank online only, with a minimum deposit of £1,000, up to a maximum of £100,000. You can hold as many Fixed Term Deposits with the provider as you want, provided the maximum deposited does not exceed £250,000 across all accounts. It is worth noting that accounts cannot be opened as joint accounts, they must be in sole names only. As with many fixed rate bonds, you cannot access funds within the term and the provider will write to account holders up to 30 days prior to maturity with the options available, including information about alternative bonds that may be available at the time.
The application process is clear and straightforward and the feedback so far from our Concierge department has been positive.
We certainly have not been made aware of any 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 OakNorth Bank and other less well-known providers 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.