Further to our article in December last year, when we announced that RCI Bank was looking to achieve a UK banking licence, the bank has this week announced that this has now been obtained.
RCI Bank is now fully authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the PRA. Previously it was subject to limited regulation by the FCA and the PRA but was also fully authorised and regulated by the Autorité de Contrôle Prudentiel et de Résolution.
This week’s announcement is great news for both new and existing customers because as a result, whilst previously protected by the French Deposit Protection Scheme, savers with the bank are now protected by the UK Financial Services Compensation Scheme – on savings of up to £85,000 per person.
RCI launched in the UK in June 2015 – the first car finance company to launch a bank in the UK and its easy access Freedom Savings Account has featured regularly in our best buy table over the years. Whilst not currently in our top five, it misses out by the smallest of margins – still paying a very competitive 1.42% gross/AER*.
The impressive feature about the Freedom Savings Account is that it pays the same rate to both new and existing account holders, unlike many providers which launch different issues of the same named account, which can lead to confusion about what rate applies.
Jean-Louis Labauge, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director, RCI Bank, said: "We have been in the UK savings market for almost four years and are committed to our future here. We had the opportunity to strengthen our roots in Britain and are absolutely thrilled that we’ve now secured our UK banking licence. Nothing changes for our customers, except the protection of their deposits simply moves to the FSCS and our footprint in the UK market is further strengthened.
This is an important milestone for us as a French bank with a British home. We’ve been on an exciting journey since launching in the UK savings market in 2015 and have always been committed to offering a breadth of simple products, underpinned by great service and a commitment to transparency. In a recent survey of customers, 85% said they know they can rely on us to deliver on our promises, and that they trust us and we look forward to continue offering competitive rates and outstanding customer service for many years to come."
All accounts from RCI Bank must be applied for online and there is no branch presence, although it does have offices located in Hertfordshire and Newcastle – which incorporates its UK call centre.
For more information or to discuss whether any RCI Bank savings accounts could be appropriate for you, contact our savings experts on 0800 011 9705.
*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 (*).
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