Slightly off-topic, but maybe someone could advise?
I'm considering changing my bank savings account, basically because I'm not convinced it's offering the best interest rate I could get.
I'm currently operating an internet savings account with Egg, paying 3.75% gross PA (ie base rate).
Requirements are basically that I want a set interest rate that isn't a bonus rate and isn't dependent on not making any withdrawals; want relatively instant access to my account (ie not a 30day notice account but I'll cope with a day or two transferring to my current account), and I'm happy to operate by phone, post or internet.
Nationwide e-savings account is quite competitive at the moment - 4% I think, but this could change following the recent base rate cut.
You have to open a current account (flex account)which gives you a cheque book and cash card and through which you channel your savings into the e-savings account. It's operated entirely via the internet, but it does mean you can keep all your spare cash there until needed to provide funds for a cheque you've written or a cash withdrawal.
For someone whose financial needs are not complicated, I think it provides a pretty good all round service. My son who's at university, chose it as his first (proper) bank account and has had no problems with it.
One of the problems I have discovered myself from chasing after the best interest rates is that 'instant' access only really applies within the same banking organisation e.g. Lloyds savings account to Lloyds current account is instant, but Egg savings to Lloyds current account can take up to 5 days.
You would think in this electronic age, money could be transfered almost immediatley. In fact it takes around 5 days to credit a different organisation, although the amount is debited straight away. There is also often a daily transfer limit of £5000. These factors make moving money around for fractions of a percent interest gain hardly worthwhile even though it can be done on the PC at the touch of a button.
I agree, the financial industry really does need a wakeup call - doing anything takes days if not weeks, and I think you'd be lucky to find someone who hasn't at some point had some sort of mistake made regarding their account!