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Why not broaden your financial horizons?

Why not broaden your financial horizons?

Category: Savings

Updated: 12/10/2010
First Published: 11/10/2010

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

Given that the financial services sector has shouldered most of the blame for the troubles that the economy currently finds itself in, its incumbents are unlikely to find themselves at the top of most people's Christmas list.

However, the fact remains that all of us are likely to turn to a financial services provider at some point in our lives; for most of us, we will need them through all of our lives.

Our wages are paid into a current account, our houses are bought using a mortgage, and our savings need to be kept somewhere.

The Government's Financial Secretary, Mark Hoban, recently told the banking industry that rebuilding consumer trust is a must.

But this is almost certainly easier said than done.

This year's Baber Smith/YouGov results revealed that the most trusted financial services company in Britain is Nationwide with 15% of consumers rating it as one of their top three most trustworthy financial services companies. Co-operative Bank (12%) and Barclays (10%) came a close second and third of the most trusted companies.

The YouGov Insight Survey was carried out during June 2010 and is based on online surveys of 2,117 consumers (aged 18+).

When consumers were asked to pick the three financial service brands they deemed most trustworthy from a list of 20 well-known names, almost one person in every seven said none of them had their trust.

Luckily, there are some perhaps lesser-known names attempting to capitalise on the crisis of confidence in the traditional banking big guns.

For instance, Barnsley Building Society is currently riding high in our internet savings account best buy table, while Market Harborough Building Society currently sits atop the notice account market.

Birmingham Midshires' Cash ISA Extra stacks up well against its peers in the cash ISA market, while Tesco Bank is making its mark amongst savings accounts with introductory bonuses.

West Bromwich Building Society fares favourably amongst monthly income savings accounts, and SAGA currently tops the charts for over 50s savings accounts.

Some of these providers might be familiar to a few of you, but they are unlikely to be the first people you would think of when asked for a famous name in financial services.

Be prepared to approach your finances with a broadened mind, and you might just see your money stretch a bit further too.

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Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.