Nationwide launches new savings account

Nationwide branch

Nationwide has launched a new savings account with the rate based on the top five deals offered by its main competitors. 

Its new Champion Saver account, is a 60-day notice branch-based account offering savers an interest rate of 2.8% AER. The rate is based on the average of the top five branch-based instant access, limited access and notice accounts from eight high street lenders.

They include Abbey, Barclays, Halifax, HSBC, Lloyds TSB, Northern Rock, NatWest and Royal Bank of Scotland.

The rate will be updated on a monthly basis using independent comparison website to compare the eight competitors’ top paying rates.

Andy Hutchinson, head of savings at Nationwide, is confident that the Champion Saver account will appeal to savers who want a competitive rate without having to constantly check the best-buy tables.

He says: "As the interest rate is determined by the average of the top five from our basket of eight high street providers, customers can rest assured that they will receive great long term value without the need for checking interest rates themselves."

However, finance experts have voiced concern over the fact that only eight providers are included in the comparison, meaning a lot of other smaller competitors and building societies, which are at the top of the tables, are not taken into account when setting the rate. 

Andrew Hagger, spokesman for Moneynet, warns: "So even though the Champion Saver will ensure you get a better deal than many of the mundane savings offerings on the high street, it’s not a champion in the true sense of the word as there are better and in some cases more flexible options available."

However, he adds: "If you’re a saver that doesn’t have the time to keep an eye on rates this account will no doubt appeal, but for those who are happy to put a little effort in they will be rewarded with even better returns."

To qualify for the account, savers require a minimum deposit of £1,000 and give 60 days' notice for withdrawals. The rate also includes a 1.10% bonus until January 2011.

If you’re happy to shop around for a savings account there are still better deals to be found.

For example, Alliance & Leicester’s instant access account and Nottingham Building Society’s 50 days' notice account both pay 3.15% interest.

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