NatWest makes it easier to get 1.5% rate for regular savings

Savers have been given a boost as a major bank is making it easier for people to get a 1.5% rate on balances up to £5,000.

NatWest said from April 3, customers with its savings builder account will only have to increase their savings balance by £50 per month to receive 1.5% on balances up to £5,000. Previously they had to put £100 per month away.

Interest is tiered from 1.5% for balances up to £5,000, 1% on balances between £5,001 and £10,000 and 0.2% on balances over £10,000.

Customers can withdraw money at any time and there is no maximum deposit amount.

NatWest said research from the Money Advice Service has shown two in five people have no savings.

NatWest's announcement came as Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures showed the proportion of total income saved by households dropped to 4.9% in 2017, its lowest level since records began in 1963.

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Allan Hardie, head of savings at NatWest, said the bank is re-launching its savings builder account "to help even more customers develop a long-term savings habit".

Hopes have been raised recently that 2018 may be a better year for savers, amid speculation over a possible further Bank of England base rate rise around the corner.

Research from website earlier this month has also found interest rates across the savings market have risen for 14 months in a row, with the number of rises continuing to outweigh cuts.