Building society offers ‘minimum interest’ promise

One of Britain’s largest building societies has promised to pay a minimum 0.5pc interest to all of its savers.

But this return – while more than the interest paid by many rival lenders – would still pale beside inflation, currently 2.9pc, highlighting the plight of savers.

Leeds Building Society is behind the promise which it says will apply from October 24. 

It will not improve returns for all of Leeds customers. Those with fixed-rate accounts and regular savers, which pay higher interest rates, will not see an increase.

But savers with some of the oldest easy access accounts, which are now closed to new business, will see a slight boost to returns.

The decision underscores the dilemma faced by building societies, which are supposed to be run solely in the interest of their customers.

Savers tend to outweigh borrowers but with today’s ultra-low interest rates are in a far worse position. Leeds Building Society has 554,000 saving members and just 152,000 mortgage borrowers, for instance.

Leeds refused to say how many customers currently hold accounts paying less than 0.5pc but these are detailed below.

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