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Restrictive rules on savings accounts

Four in 10 popular savings accounts come with restrictions that prevent customers accessing their savings, research by Which? has found.

The consumer rights group analysed 285 instant-access savings accounts and cash NISAs and found that 39% had hidden rules and limitations.

The research found:

  • 11.2% of instant-access accounts restrict the number of withdrawals you can make during the year
  • 9 of the 18 of the highest-paying instant-access accounts reduce or stop interest after making a certain number of withdrawals
  • 3 of the 16 highest-paying instant-access accounts are only open to people of a certain age
  • 10 of the 14 highest-paying accounts that have no other limitations are online-only accounts
  • 29% of instant-access cash NISAs prohibit customers from transferring ISA savings from previous years.

Which? also surveyed 937 of their members who save. They found that 68% expected to be able to withdraw their money from an instant-access account whenever they liked.

Richard Lloyd, executive director at Which?, said:

“People often assume ‘instant-access’ means there are no strings attached, but too often that’s not the case and you can’t always access your savings without being penalised. Savings providers should be more upfront about the terms and conditions of all their accounts and allow transfers in to new ISAs.”


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