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High street banks and FCA respond to Treasury Committee on savings rates

18 July 2023

The Treasury Committee today publishes responses from the ‘big four’ high street banks and the regulator on savings rates.

  • Letter from Barclays here
  • Letter from HSBC here
  • Letter from Lloyds Banking Group here
  • Letter from NatWest Group here
  • Letter from the FCA here

Earlier this month, the Committee asked the chief executives of the UK’s largest banks if all their savings products provide ‘fair value’ to customers, whether customer inertia is being exploited and what steps they’re taking to notify their customers of higher rates available.

In a letter to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the Committee asked about the incoming consumer duty - a requirement for firms to always act in good faith and deliver ‘fair value’ for their customers.

The regulator was asked how ‘fair value’ will be assessed, what action it can take if firms do not comply with the consumer duty, and how it will judge whether banks are making enough effort to encourage savers to switch to higher rates.

In response, the regulator confirms it expects firms to ensure customers are “informed of available rates across their product set and how they may benefit from switching.”

The responses – from Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group, NatWest Group and the FCA - can be read in full here.

Today, the big four banks offer easy access savings rates between 0.9 and 1.75 per cent. The Bank of England base rate is currently 5 per cent.

Chair's comments

Commenting on the responses, Harriett Baldwin MP, Chair of the Treasury Committee, said:

“If the high street banks continue to pay poor savings rates on their instant access accounts, they should make sure their customers know that better rates are available. Given that the Government, regulator and Governor of the Bank of England agree with the Committee that action is required, the time for weak excuses is over.

We thank the banks and the regulator for taking the time to respond to our letters. This is a topic of utmost interest to our Committee and one we will continue to monitor closely, especially when the banks report their half year results in the coming weeks.”

The Committee will be holding an accountability hearing with the Chair and Chief Executive of the FCA at 2.15pm on Wednesday 19 July.

Further information

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