So-called ‘best buy’ deals still absolutely horrid

Business banking news review: week ending 14 Nov 2013

Banks and building societies love to tout their ‘best buy’ savings accounts and ‘affordable’ loans, but these great deals are truly anything but.

So one of the big news stories this week was how a new crop of branch-based easy access savings products have emerged with record-smashing interest rates. Of course, one man’s smashed record is another man’s complete inability to understand how a 1.65 per cent rate of return smashes anything besides your head into the wall in a frustrated rage, but maybe that’s just me.

It’s true: a spate of building societies have decided to come forward with these ‘lucrative’ accounts. To be fair you’d be lucky to get more than 0.05 per cent from most High Street banks, so when you look at it that way it’s bloody amazing – but the thing is the inflation rate is still so damned high that any savings product that’s not meeting or exceeding inflation is about as useful as teats on a bull.

Not to be outdone by this hilarity, a major High Street lender has decided to drop the interest on its personal loans by an oh-so surprising 1.1 per cent. Of course this still means you’re being charged 4.8 per cent for the privilege of borrowing funds higher than £7,000 and lower than £15,000. Is anyone surprised that HSBC is behind this new scheme? No, I didn’t think so.

Because when I think of quality customer service, my first inclination is to turn to HSBC, am I right? I swear, for what it’s worth these financial service providers think they’re doing us all these brilliant favours, but in actuality these interest rate adjustments mean absolutely nothing. For what it’s worth, I’d be much happier going to a credit union where at least there I know I’ll be treated like a human being and not just a foolish, gullible idiot that’s satisfied with a nominal effort at making saving and lending more affordable and accessible.

Has the world gone mad? No one besides me truly thinks that the revelations contained within these two news stories are actually the dog’s bollocks, do they? Maybe I’m just cynical, but I’d like to think that you would have to be absolutely mad to think either of these new announcements is helpful in the least. Or perhaps you were dropped on your head repeatedly as a child.

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