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Marcus by Goldman Sachs – the UK's newest bank – has launched with a bang, with its market-leading easy access savings account boasting a rate that's the highest seen since March 2016. But just who is this new player, and is it worth moving your money to them? We take a look.
Marcus is the UK savings arm of US investment giant Goldman Sachs. Named after Marcus Goldman, who set up the firm in 1869, the bank has already caught the attention of hard-pressed savers with its chart-topping deal – the bank's first savings account was launched this morning and has already catapulted to the top of the Best Buys, offering an unbeatable deal in the easy access market.
Online Savings Account pays a market-leading rate of 1.50% AER (or 1.49% gross, with interest paid on a monthly basis), easily beating its competitors – the next-best deal, which comes from Yorkshire Building Society, pays 1.41% in comparison – and almost triple the current average easy access rate of 0.60%. It's worth pointing out that Marcus' rate comes with a 0.15% bonus for 12 months, but unusually, savers will be offered the chance to renew their bonus when it expires, and will be reminded when it's time to do so (the bonus rate offered at that time may vary, however).
Looking for an easy access deal without a bonus? Check out the Best Buys
The account offers unlimited access to funds and can be opened with a minimum investment of just £1, and the fact it pays interest monthly could be particularly pleasing for those looking to supplement their income. It's an online deal, which theoretically should make applications and management quick and simple, but there's a UK-based phoneline to help with any queries. All in all, it's shaping up to be a great deal, which will no doubt prove appealing to savers plagued by the low rates of recent years.
"Marcus by Goldman Sachs is entering the savings market with a bang and showing they mean business," said Charlotte Nelson, finance expert at Moneyfacts.co.uk. "Priced at 1.50%, this easy access account heads straight to the top of the bonus market and is likely to be an attractive option.
"With many Best Buy-worth easy access accounts limiting the number of withdrawals you can make, it is great to see a product that offers not only a great rate but unlimited access as well. This extra boost could mark a turning point for savers who have been plagued by low rates, inspiring other challenger brands to increase their rates to be in that top spot."
It's hoped that the launch of this new account will spur competitors into action, so there's a chance we could be seeing more activity – and better rates – going forwards. Indeed, many providers have already felt the pressure and have increased rates in recent weeks, so let's take a look at some of the alternatives on offer:
· Yorkshire Building Society's Single Access Saver pays a rate of 1.41%, the second-best in the easy access sector, though only one withdrawal day is permitted in any account year.
· Kent Reliance's Branch & Online Easy Access account pays a rate of 1.37%.
· Bank of Cyprus UK just trails Marcus in the bonus market, with its Online Easy Access Account paying a rate of 1.36%, including a 12-month bonus of 0.36%.
· aa offers the same rate of 1.36% with its Easy Saver, though it includes a heftier bonus of 1.16% for 12 months.
· Virgin Money's Double Take E-Saver pays a bonus-free 1.36%, however it only allows two withdrawals per calendar year.
· Sainsbury's Bank's Defined Access Saver pays a rate of 1.35% from £1,000, but it falls to 0.75% for anything less than that and only allows two penalty-free withdrawals per year.
· RCI Bank UK has a bonus-free account paying 1.30%, with the internet-operated Freedom Savings Account allowing unlimited additions and withdrawals.
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