Comparing savings accounts is set to become easier under new regulations unveiled by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
The watchdog will force savings account providers to publish clear information about an account’s interest rate on all relevant customer communications from December 2016.
Customers will also be sent reminders about changes to their account’s interest rate from this date.
Which? has campaigned for these measures to be introduced as part of its Scrap the Savings Trap campaign, which launched in May 2014. The petition attracted more than 69,000 signatures.
Which? executive director Richard Lloyd said: ‘This is a step forward for savers and the people who supported our Scrap the Savings Trap campaign.
‘These reforms, when they’re eventually in place, should inject some much needed competition into the market and help consumers move away from savings accounts with dismal rates.’
Which? Money Compare table: Savings accounts and Isas – hundreds of accounts compared
Avoiding zombie savings accounts
Previous Which? research suggested that consumers were missing out on £4.3bn in interest by leaving their savings in ‘zombie’ accounts paying 0.5% AER or less.
The FCA plans to help people avoid leaving their savings in these types of accounts by publishing the lowest interest rates offered by 32 savings account and Isa providers. The first data set was published today and further data will be published on a trial basis for 18 months at six-monthly intervals.
A quicker savings account switching process is also set to be introduced so that customers can easily switch to a better account offered by the same firm.
How to find the best savings rates
You can find the best savings account for your needs by taking the following steps:
1. Choose the best type of savings account
To choose the best type of savings account for your needs, work out how quickly you might need to access your funds. Also, consider whether you’ll use your annual tax-free Isa allowance and how often you will be able to top up your account.
Our guide to finding the best savings account makes it easy to see which type of account is best for you.
2. Compare savings rates
The Which? Money Compare savings and Isa tables let you search hundreds of savings accounts and Isas from providers large and small to find a great savings rate based on quality of service as well as cost and benefits.
Find out what rate your savings account is paying, then visit the Which? Money Compare savings tables to see if there’s an account that offers better returns.
3. Make the switch
There’s no reason to let your savings languish in an account that isn’t paying the best available interest rate.
Moving your money to a better account is simple. Our guide to switching your savings account walks you through the process.
- The pros and cons of saving in offshore savings accounts
- Find out if you can get a better rate using our savings booster tool
- Get a personalised answer to your savings query by calling the Which? Money Helpline
Which? Limited is an Introducer Appointed Representative of Which? Financial Services Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN 527029). Which? Mortgage Advisers and Which? Money Compare are trading names of Which? Financial Services Limited.