A new challenger bank specialising in savings products is to launch early this year.
Charter Savings Bank will shortly open for business with a range of "attractive and competitive rates across easy access, notice and fixed-rate savings accounts supported by excellent customer service," according to an announcement on its parent company's website.
The new "UK bank for UK savers" – which will operate similarly to First Direct in that it will offer online and phone services only – comes from Charter Court Financial Services, the company behind specialist mortgage lender Precise Mortgages.
Having been granted its banking licence by the Prudential Regulation Authority, the UK's latest challenger bank will be covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), protecting customer deposits up to a maximum of £85,000 per person, per institution.
Its management said in a statement: "Charter Savings Bank will represent a real alternative to traditional banks, bringing a straightforward, transparent savings solution for a discerning customer base which is currently struggling to achieve its financial goals."
Paul Whitlock, director of savings at the new bank, said: "It's high time, in what has become a listless market, that straightforwardness and robust rates are re-introduced to the market. Charter Savings Bank aims to do just that."
Kevin Mountford, head of banking at comparison website MoneySuperMarket, added: "While we don't know the specific product details yet, the launch will undoubtedly help create much needed competition in the savings market.
"Savers have really suffered throughout the financial crisis, and in particular since the introduction of Funding for Lending which led to a massive reduction in savings rates. I am hopeful that the introduction of a challenger brand such as this will help spark more competition within the industry and make way for more choice for consumers."
Charter Savings Bank will be the newest challenger to enter the market, joining the likes of Aldermore, Shawbrook, Ffrees Family Finance and Metro Bank – the latter being Britain's first new high street bank in more than 100 years.