Provider Focus – Shawbrook 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 one of the more established challenger banks - Shawbrook Bank, following a number of requests for more information and regular appearances from the provider in our Best Buy Tables.
Shawbrook Bank was founded in 2011 and specialises in UK lending and savings. The provider offers a range of lending and savings products, focusing particularly on both individuals and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). According to its website, in June 2015, the provider had raised more than £2.6 billion in deposits since its launch.
Shawbrook Bank is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA). In addition, Shawbrook 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 (falling to £75,000 from January 2016) 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
In terms of Challenger Banks, Shawbrook Bank is one of the more established names and has consistently appeared over the last few years in both the notice account and fixed rate bond best buy tables.
Recently, the provider has been particularly strong amongst shorter term fixed rate bonds as its 1 year, 18 month and 2 year fixed rate bonds were at the very top end of the market. In addition, at the time of writing, the provider has two of the top five notice accounts featured in our best buy table.
Whilst it is not unusual to see a challenger bank competing in these categories, Shawbrook Bank distinguishes itself from its peers by offering a range of cash ISAs. Shawbrook Bank has offered cash ISAs since February 2015 and remains one of the few challenger banks to have dipped its toes into this area of the savings market. Since launching its cash ISAs, Shawbrook has made regular appearances in our best buy tables.
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
With the exception of its Cash ISAs, which are only available online, all accounts from Shawbrook Bank can be applied for online or by post. Our Concierge department has used the provider on a regular basis and have commented that the application process is easy to understand and have found the provider’s customer services to be good.
We certainly have not been made aware of many negative experiences so far from any of our clients or our Concierge Department. 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. Challenger Banks, like Shawbrook 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 in future.
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.