31 March 2010


Anent the current fuss about ISAs, see here and here. Basically, the banks lure you into opening an ISA account with the promise of a decent interest rate; subsequently, they quietly - without telling you - reduce the interest rate to peanuts. Further they make it difficult to transfer the money into an alternative better-paying account. They do exactly the same with ordinary savings accounts.

For example, I have a savings account with the Bank of Scotland. I recently discovered that it was earning interest at the princely rate of 0.2% per annum. I have therefore opened a new savings account on much the same terms which pays a more acceptable rate of 2.8%: less than wonderful I admit, but a lot more than 0.2%. In order to open this new account, I had to present my passport and driving licence at the local branch. (I have had an account with the Bank of Scotland for about thirty years - so I would have thought that they knew who I was by now, but hey we all have our bureaucratic crosses to bear.)

The story on ISAs is not much better. My cash ISA with the same bank now earns a meagre 0.2%. If I switch to an alternative cash ISA with slightly diffferent terms I can apparently secure 2.6%. So here goes again. The problem is how long before they reduce interest rates and I have to go through the whole damn procedure again?

That nice Mr Darling should have properly nationalised the bastards.

(Incidentally, do you remember all those Halifax adverts promising a fiver a month if you opened a "reward" account? Well, if so, forget them. Those ads didn't tell you that, in order to get this £5 bonus, you need to pay out £12.50 per month in insurance premia. They're sharks, I tell you. Venal, twisted, greedy sharks.)

No comments: