September 21, 2011 1:06 pm

Halifax launches prize draw

Halifax is attempting to boost its share of customer deposits by offering monthly cash prizes to new and existing savers.

From December, Halifax will pay out £6m over the course of a year in monthly prizes worth £100,000, £1,000 and £100.

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This promotion is part of the relaunch of Halifax promised by Lloyds’ chief executive António Horta-Osório earlier in the year. A strategic review of the banking group unveiled in June included a refocus on the “entrepreneurial” Halifax brand, which suffered in the wake of the near-collapse of HBOS.

Banking analysts said that although Halifax’s offer would do little to combat the twin effects of low interest rates and high inflation on cash held, the innovation was welcome.

“The monthly prize draws could be dismissed by some as a marketing gimmick,” said Kevin Mountford, head of banking at Moneysupermarket.com. “But any initiatives to help savers earn extra money should be applauded.”

The cash offer is the first of its kind in the UK and follows similar offers from financial providers in the US and Australia, which hold regular prize draws to attract new banking customers.

Not all customers will be eligible. Savers must hold at least £5,000 in their accounts and those with children’s accounts, such as the Young Saver, or any account held by groups, such as businesses or charities, will not be entered.

Savers were dealt a blow recently when NS&I chose to withdraw its popular Treasury-backed index linked certificates, which pay out a sum to savers above inflation as measured by the retail prices index. There remain few options available for savers hoping to escape the eroding effects of high prices in the UK.

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