Yorkshire BS boosted by passbook-operated savings account
Last year Yorkshire Building Society surprised the market by going back-to-basics and launching a savings account that could only be operated in branch with a good old passbook.
The Triple Access Saver account has proved incredibly popular with the general public, becoming the most opened account the building society has on its books.
The account was launched after research showed that more than three in five customers preferred to manage their accounts in branch and more than half like to use a passbook to keep track of their transactions.
As a result, Yorkshire Building Society launched the Triple Access Saver account 12 months ago paying a variable rate of 2.25%. Since then, three times as many Triple Access Saver accounts have been opened than any of the building society's easy access savings accounts.
"This time last year there was some scepticism in the media about whether – in the age of internet banking – savers really wanted a simple, traditional passbook account," says Mike Helliwell, Yorkshire Building Society's savings product manager.
"The fact that the Triple Access Saver has been our most popular savings account since its launch speaks for itself – customers appreciate the straightforward terms, ease of use and an attractive, competitive rate without any introductory bonus."
This is a mutual organisation owned by its members and not by shareholders. These societies offer a range of financial services but have historically concentrated on taking deposits from savers and lending the money to borrowers as mortgages, hence the name. In the mid-1990s many societies “demutualised” and became banks. One academic study (Heffernan, 2003) found demutualised societies’ pricing on deposits and mortgages was more favourable to shareholders than to customers, with the remaining mutual building societies offering consistently better rates. In 1900, there were 2,286 building societies in the UK; in 2011, there are just 51.