Saver misbehaviour

You may have noticed a savings account war being waged, in recent weeks, in the streets of Bankland. Fights have broken out over the highest “special” rates, the most user-friendly conditions, and even – to a lesser extent – over the base rates. It’s good news for savers — but is it good news for small business?Savings

Unfortunately, while personal accounts are falling over themselves to up their interest rates, business savings have been somewhat neglected, their rates lagging behind their personal stablemates.

Taking out the prize for best business saver is ING Direct, with a rate of 5.5%. And ING offers a modest 35 points more for your personal saver – at 5.85% – making it one of the more even-handed banks. The only lender we unearthed with equal rates for business and personal savers is Suncorp, however, their equitable approach isn’t going to compensate for their miserly 4.25%.

The current top personal rate belongs to Bankwest, at 6%, yet their business saver slumps to 5.25%. And the biggest difference belongs to St George, who offer a sizable 5.75% for individuals, and an astonishing 3.1% for businesses.

On average, of the lenders we surveyed, there’s around a 1% difference between the rates — which is huge for such small numbers. And more to the point, it’s entirely unjustified. Are the banks earning any less on business savings? Time to have a chat with your branch manager (and don’t forget to bring up those bank fees I blogged about late last year, as we’re still waiting for small business savings there, too).

And stay tuned for Saver Misbehaviour Part II – shonky tricks to trip up small business.

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