Nationwide slams rivals over “smoke and mirror” offers

Nationwide’s executive director Stuart Bernau has lambasted rivals for their “smoke and mirror” savings accounts as the building society launches what he claims is a “genuine” account.

Nationwide’s executive director Stuart Bernau has lambasted rivals for their “smoke and mirror” savings accounts as the building society launches what he claims is a “genuine” account.

He says that unlike rival regular savings accounts, Nationwide’s account will not penalise savers for missed payments, making withdrawals or closing the account. It will also not rely on customers maintaining a balance in a current account or limit savers to a single or fixed payment each month.

Bernau adds that unlike some products from their competitors the account “isn’t simply a one-year wonder”. He says: “Unlike many of our competitors, we recognise that it isn’t always easy to save a regular sum each and every month.”

He claims that the building society will encourage customers to save regularly by increasing the interest paid on the whole account if a customer is able increase how much they save.

The launch of the account is indicative of the focus that high street banks are putting on savings. Next month Lloyds TSB is hoping to tempt its current account customers to open a savings account with a “Save the Change” initiative. The scheme, which is open to customers with both Lloyds current and savings accounts, rounds up debit card purchases to the nearest pound, depositing the extra as savings.

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