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£13bn lost by savers in dead-end accounts

Friday 16th March 2012

A Which? investigation has revealed that UK savers could be losing out on almost £13billion in interest each year by failing to switch savings accounts, an increase of £500million since October 2010.

Which? is urging savers to switch to get a better deal. It is also calling on the Government to ensure that the new financial regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority, is a watchdog not a lapdog.

Which? wants a strong regulator that stands up to the banks, making sure that they offer consumers competitive savings products.

Its experts found that 41% of the 1800 savings accounts and cash ISAs available to UK savers are paying a pathetic 0.5% a year or less. One in five savings accounts are paying 0.1% or less. This can add up to just £1 a year for every £1000 in your account. Current rates of inflation also mean that these accounts may be worth less each day.

Which? chief executive, Peter Vicary-Smith, said: "Banks and building societies have got away with paying miserable interest on people's hard-earned savings for too long. Our research has exposed just how widespread this practice is.

"The message to savers is simple: if your money is in one of these low-interest accounts, you should switch now."

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Mike Jones

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