Investment bank Goldman Sachs is launching a new bank for British savers with a market-leading interest rate.
The new online bank - called Marcus - is offering an easy-access savings account with an interest rate of 1.5% - well above the average of 0.6%.
The bank is named after one of the original founders of Goldman Sachs, Marcus Goldman, who founded the bank in 1869.
The account can be opened with a deposit from £1 to £250,000 and savers can withdraw their money as many times as they like, with no fees or charges.
It is managed online, but telephone support is available from a UK-based customer care team.
Marcus was first launched in the US in 2016, offering personal loans and savings online. It has since racked up $20 billion (£16 billion) in deposits and lent out $3 billion to customers.
Sarah Coles, personal finance analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, says: “The newcomer challenger banks have offered a ray of hope for savers - competing for business with some of the best rates on the market.
“A new entrant to the market, with the clout of Goldman Sachs, should keep the rest of the challengers on their toes, which is excellent news for savers."
Find out more: Top savings and Cash Isa rates
"Malaise" in the savings market
The news will come as welcome relief to savers who have been hit by rock bottom interest rates in recent years.
Anna Bowes, co-founder savings advice site Savings Champion, says savers who fail to move their money from low-paying easy access accounts on the high street are allowing themselves to be “robbed”.
She says: "A general malaise has spread across the savings market because of the continually low rates of interest available.
"But savers need to realise that the high street banks are using this to offer them much lower rates than they can get elsewhere because of the feeling that there is not much to be gained by switching.”
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Ms Bowes says that by taking out a top-paying account such as Marcus, you can get up to 10 times more interest in a year.
On a deposit of £85,000, that is the difference between earning either £127.50 a year or £1,275 a year.
She adds: "Hopefully this will be the start of a new boost to competition among best buy accounts – which is great news for savers."
The big caveat to Marcus
The rate of 1.5% offered on the account easily blows the opposition away. However, there is a caveat. The Marcus account rate of 1.5% comes with a 0.15% bonus for the first 12 months. This means that after a year your rate of saving will drop to 1.35%.
Its nearest rival is Yorkshire Building Society’s Single Access Saver, which has a rate of 1.41%, but you are limited to just one withdrawal a year. This account also has a 12-month bonus and drops to just 0.85% after the initial period.
The current best buy on the market without any initial bonus period is the Kent Reliance Branch & Online Easy Access - Issue 30 at a rate of 1.37%. You can open this account online or in-branch with a low initial deposit of £1,000.
Ms Coles adds: “At the moment some of the most competitive easy access savings accounts come with strings attached – such as a limited number of withdrawals or a bonus for the first year. Another competitive easy access account without these caveats would be very welcome among savers.”