Treasury Committee probes further on savings rates

The Treasury Committee has further progressed its campaign for banks to increase savings rates by issuing letters to FCA and the UK’s biggest high street lenders: Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds and Natwest.

In anticipation of FCA introducing the new Consumer Duty on 31 July, the correspondence asks if the banks believe all their savings rates provide ‘fair value’ to customers, and whether customer inertia is being exploited. The letters also ask how the new rules will change the banks’ interactions with their customers, and what steps they are taking to notify customers of higher rates available.

In parallel, the letter to FCA asks if banks have changed their savings rates as a result of the regulator challenging them, how ‘fair value’ for customers will be assessed, what enforcement action can be taken 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.

The new correspondence follows responses to earlier enquiries by the big four banks and the ‘scale challenger’ banks, which were published in March and June respectively.

Laura Wiles