Savers feel the pain as banks impose cuts

More savers are falling victim to miserly attitudes, with 13 banks and building societies cutting their interest rates on an astonishing 40 different accounts since December.

The cuts have continued despite the Bank of England base rate of interest remaining unchanged since August.

The latest cuts have also been some of the cruellest, with Halifax, Nationwide, First Direct and Leeds Building Society all cutting their rates with no warning.

Savers with the Halifax Web Saver account will now be 0.15 per cent less well off, and those with the First Direct Savings Account and Everyday Savings Account now 0.25 per cent less well off.

Leeds has pruned 0.15 per cent from its Online Saver Issue 2, while Nationwide’s cuts are wide ranging. The latter is particularly strange as it comes just days after it launched one of the best current account rates around, the FlexAccount.

Nationwide’s commercial director Stuart Bernau said that the cuts had become necessary to maintain the difference between the mortgage rates charged to borrowers and the interest rates paid to savers.

“Our margin has been eroded because of the number of people opening some of our high-paying accounts,” he told the Daily Mail.

“This margin was 1.09 per cent at the start of the year and was in danger of falling below one per cent. These cuts will keep it up to 1.04 per cent when our financial year ends on April 4th.”

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