Provider Focus - United Bank UK
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 United Bank UK, following a number of requests for information and the provider’s regular appearances in our best buy tables, particularly in the Fixed Rate ISA and Fixed Rate Bond categories.
United Bank UK (also known as UBL UK) was formed in 2001, as a result of a merger of the UK branches of two of the largest banks in Pakistan, United Bank Limited and National Bank of Pakistan. The government owned National Bank of Pakistan is the largest bank in Pakistan and United Bank Limited is the second largest private bank in Pakistan.
United Bank UK runs operations from its head office in London and it has a selection of branches throughout the UK in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Bradford, Glasgow and Ilford.
United Bank UK is a trading name of United National Bank Limited, which is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA). United Bank UK is a member of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), so deposits held with the provider are protected up to a total of £85,000 (dropping to £75,000 from 1st January 2016) per person. 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
At the time of writing, United Bank UK features in our fixed rate bond best buy tables for three year, five year and seven year term, with the five year bond marketing leading in first position in the table from Friday (30th). The seven year is also compelling, at the top of the best buy tables from Friday (30th) as one of only three providers offering a seven year term. The provider also offers best buy three year and five year fixed rate ISAs, with both ISAs paying market leading rates. The provider is less prominent at the moment in other categories, but is evidently looking to grow the business by attracting more savers in for a longer period.
The provider also caters for business customers, with competitively priced fixed rate bonds available on the market, again particularly for the longer terms. Many of the challenger banks do not compete in this area of the savings market, so it is good to see a provider looking to attract other types of savers.
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
Many of the top paying accounts on the market at the moment allow online applications only, whereas United Bank UK also allows savers to apply through the post and its branches. This is good news for those unable or unwilling to use the internet to open accounts. In addition, the provider often uses electronic checks for identification, which can save time and hassle when applying for accounts.
We have had a few queries from users of our website with regard to whether interest can be added to the account or if it has to be paid into a separate account, as it was not seen as clear on the provider’s website. These queries were resolved efficiently by the provider’s customer services.
Our Concierge department has used the provider on a number of occasions 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 any negative experiences 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 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.