We are often asked for more information on various savings providers that are of interest. In this regular series of articles, we aim to turn the spotlight on a relatively new innovation in the saving market – Savings Platforms.
These platforms effectively offer savers a one-stop shop to open a range of savings accounts in one click, with one application. Now they may not always be the best, but they can offer some competitive rates and will almost certainly beat the big banks, which sadly is where majority of savers are still keeping their cash. So, although not for everyone, if you’re looking to improve returns with as little faff as possible, they could be a great option.
To better explain the Savings Platforms available, this will be the first in a series of Provider Focuses covering these new ‘platforms’ – explaining what they are, how they work and why they might be right for you.
With each provider, we will be giving you more information about their background and history and why they are of particular interest in today’s savings market.
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 Raisin UK – it currently offers some competitive fixed term accounts via its platform, which you might want access to. But just what is Raisin UK and what value can it add to you?
Raisin UK is the UK operation of Raisin.com, a Berlin-based fintech innovator that has quickly grown to become one of the largest financial technology companies in Europe. Raisin.com launched its first marketplace for savings products in 2013 in Germany.
Raisin is funded by household name investors such as PayPal and has raised over €70 million in capital. According to Raisin, more than 120,000 customers have invested over €6 billion with 50 partner banks.
Based in Manchester, the UK business was established in 2013 as PBF Solutions and became part of Raisin in September 2017. The UK platform currently has five partner banks and 150,000 savers in the UK have opened savings accounts via this route.
Raisin UK is a savings platform. Think of it like a supermarket which offers a variety of savings accounts, which you can pick and choose from.
The key benefit is that you can open a number of different accounts with different providers, but you only have to fill in your personal details once during registration and complete a single online compliance check.
It is worth noting that your money will be held with the individual banks and building societies that you open accounts with - NOT Raisin UK – so will be protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) or equivalent European scheme that is applicable to that individual provider.
This does mean however that you need to be wary of placing too much money with a provider that you already have funds with – although you are in control of where your money is placed.
At the moment, Raisin has partnerships with a small number of banks, offering several fixed term deposit accounts. But they will continue to increase the products available and we’ll keep you up to date with this.
Of course, just because it’s on the shelf, doesn’t mean that it is a best buy, but sometimes simplicity is the best option, which is why these platforms are being developed. You can always check what the very best rates are on the market by looking at our best buy tables.
As mentioned above, Raisin UK is not whole of market.
At the moment it has partnerships with five banks: Gatehouse Bank, ICICI Bank, Shawbrook Bank, Bank & Clients and AgriBank, offering several fixed term deposit accounts, some of which are very competitive.
The rates customers receive through Raisin UK will always be the same or better than the rates available on those banks’ own websites, although that doesn’t automatically mean it’s market leading – so it makes sense to check the competition on our best buy tables or call one of our savings experts on 0800 011 9705.
Additionally, savers will be rewarded for saving with Raisin, for example at the moment they will receive a welcome bonus of £50 per customer, for funding their first savings account. This can be with as little as £1,000 to try it out. That £50 can boost a competitive rate into a market leading rate, depending on how much you deposit.
For example, ICICI Bank UK is paying 1.95% gross/AER. On a balance on £1,000 that would mean earning £19.50 over 12 months. But if you add the £50 bonus, that means you would take home £69.50 gross which equates to 6.95% gross/AER.
Even with the maximum balance of £85,000, once you add the £50 bonus, the overall return equates to 2.00% - so just below the market leader – Atom Bank – which is paying 2.05%.
Of course this bonus only applies to the first deposit you make, but definitely makes a difference to the overall return on that bond.
For more information on the rates available via Raisin, take a look below;
ICICI Bank UK
Gatehouse Bank (what is a Sharia compliant deposit account?)
AgriBank (part of the Maltese Deposit Protection Scheme)
If you are looking for a streamlined online application process, where the following restrictions imposed by this simplification are not a barrier to you, then Raisin could be an option to consider further;
1) The whole process is done online, although there is a helpline number for those who need assistance.
2) The accounts can only be opened in sole names – no joint accounts I’m afraid.
3) The maximum deposit is £85,000 per account – some accounts may have a lower maximum but none will accept more via the Raisin platform. This means that your funds will be protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme or European equivalent – whichever applies – although if you open multiple accounts with the same provider, remember that only £85,000 of the total deposited with them will be protected, as it is the amount held per provider, not per account, which is important.
4) Your identity will be checked electronically – so if you fail, you will not be able to open an account through Raisin. However, you can try again as often as you like – sometimes you will have failed the ID check because of a small error – most commonly getting your date of birth wrong or not entering your official name on the application.
Once accepted, you can view, purchase and manage a range of savings products online – all in one place, without filling in an application form or going through ID checks each time. Ordinarily and without the use of such a platform, if you open multiple savings accounts, you have to apply to each bank and therefore fill in multiple application forms and pass each bank’s own ‘Know Your Client’ identification checks.
And once you’ve set up your single online login, you will be able to view and manage all the products you have opened through Raisin, via your customer portal.
If you apply and are accepted for your savings account choice, you need to fund the account.
Deposits are made to your Raisin account and then processed by Meteor Asset Management (MAM).
MAM acts as a trustee and can therefore transfer your funds to your chosen provider on your behalf. However, the funds are always in your name and will remain free from any third party right to sell or transfer the funds.
As this is an online process, you also need to send your funds electronically. It’s worth noting that your current account provider may restrict the amount you can transfer per day, so you need to check with the individual banks you are sending your deposits to, to check how many days you have to fund the account.
When your bond is due to mature, Raisin UK will contact you to check whether you want to open another bond via the platform or have your money sent back.
As it is still early days, your feedback about the customer service you receive from Raisin will be invaluable in helping your fellow savers going forward, so please make sure you get in touch to let us know about your experiences.
Currently Raisin UK has access to some competitive fixed rate bonds on offer, especially if you take into account the £50 welcome bonus, so it is definitely worth a look if you’re happy to tie your money up for the term.
These offers will change so you’ll need to keep an eye on how they compare with the wider market.
Obviously the best option is to open up the highest-paying accounts available from the whole market, but we understand that some people just don’t want the hassle or have the time.
So, if you’re looking for simplicity when opening multiple accounts and you’ve money sitting in a dreadful account such as the likes of HSBC’s Flexible Saver account paying a paltry 0.05% - then right now you’ll get a better return with Raisin, so don’t sit back and do nothing, make the switch to a better account.
*We are occasionally paid by some providers if you click through from our Best Buy Tables and open a savings or current account with them. We will never accept a payment that compromises in any way our independent, whole of market approach to providing information on savings products. For clarity we will indicate those companies who remunerate us with an asterisk (*).
All rates correct at the date of publication.
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