Halifax has launched a new Premium-Bond style prize draw which it hopes will ‘reignite a savings culture’ in the UK.
The monthly draws offer a range of cash prizes from £100 to £100,000 any Halifax savers with a balance of £5,000 or more in any of the bank’s savings accounts. The first monthly draw will take place in December. Savers will have to register for the draw by filling out a form on the bank’s website or by contacting a dedicated phone line (0844 571 5076). Savers are limited to one entry per customer.
Unlike Premium Bonds, Halifax will continue to pay interest on savings accounts and the bank has said that it will run the scheme for a minimum of 12 monthly draws.
Shaking up the system
The bank believes that the draw will give customers an extra impetus to save. Simon Kenyon, Halifax savings director said: ‘The draw is designed to shake up the savings market and reignite the savings culture. This is a great way of rewarding [savers’] commitment to their savings goals.
‘Savers can be sure that they can continue to earn interest on their funds as well as having the opportunity to win a cash prize.’
Innovation or gimmick?
Currently Halifax has one savings account, its Online Saver, on Which?’s Best Rate instant access savers table; one account in our four-year fixed rate table and several accounts in our fixed-rate Isa tables. However, Halifax, which is part of the Lloyds Banking Group, performs poorly in our savings satisfaction survey – this year, it got a score of only 43% – a long way off the winner First Direct, which got 74%.
Nick Cheek, deputy money editor at Which?, feels it’s a good idea in principle but savers need to watch out. He says: ‘It’s an interesting and innovative idea. We all love prize draws – that’s why Premium Bonds and the lottery are so popular – and the idea of winning £100,000 while getting paid interest is very enticing.
‘However, savers need to make sure they are getting the best returns on their money first, and, if they want top quality customer service as well, Halifax may not be the bank for them.’
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