West Bromwich savings account

What’s the deal?

The West Bromwich Building Society is enticing new customers through its doors with an offer of 3.35 per cent interest on its Branch Bonus Account. Savers only need £100 to open the account and the balance needs to stay at £100.

Is this good?

Some banks have been cutting the interest rates on their savings accounts in recent months with the Bank of England’s decision to keep base rates at 0.5 per cent, so it is good that the West Bromwich Building Society doing the reverse. According to Moneyfacts.co.uk, this is one of the highest-paying easy-access accounts.

What’s the catch?

The rate of 3.35 per cent is variable and has already been cut from its recent high of 3.7 per cent. The rate, as the name suggests, is also only available on its branch-
based account so will only benefit savers opening an account at one of the 46 branches in the West Midlands and Welsh Borders. It includes an introductory bonus of 0.60 per cent until October 2010 so savers will need to note this date and switch their funds out of the account before the bonus period ends if they want to continue to get a good deal.

The account also has
strict withdrawal limits – if savers take money out more than twice in one year, the rate of interest will fall to just 1.50 per cent (including the 0.60 per cent bonus rate).

What’s the alternative?

The next best rate after the West Bromwich account is from Citibank on its flexible saver account which pays 3.30 per cent including a 2.25 per cent bonus for 12 months. Birmingham Midshires’ telephone savings account pays 3.15 per cent including a 2.64 per cent bonus rate. The ING Direct saving account pays 3.16 per cent. Individuals who are happy to tie up their money for a set period can get more than 5 per cent in a fixed-rate account.

How do I find out more?

For a branch locator from the West Bromwich Building Society visit www.westbrom.co.uk

To compare easy-access savings accounts, visit www.moneyfacts.co.uk or

www.moneysupermarket.com

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