Passbook account a hit with savers

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Yorkshire Building SocietyA back-to-basics account which cannot be accessed online and requires customers to use a passbook in branch has become a major building society's most popular savings product.

Almost three times as many customers are opening a Triple Access Saver than any other type of easy access savings account with the Yorkshire Building Society.

Despite the era of internet banking, the Bradford-based mutual said it has found that most of its customers prefer to use a passbook to keep on top of their transactions. It launched the account, which has a minimum opening balance of £100, a year ago this week in response to the appetite shown for a more traditional offering.

The Yorkshire is the UK's second largest building society group with 226 branches, including the Chelsea Building Society and Barnsley Building Society.

Yorkshire said customers have been attracted by the no-nonsense terms of the account, which has no introductory bonus and pays a 2.25% variable return, allowing three withdrawals a year without penalty.

"This time last year there was some scepticism in the media about whether - in the age of internet banking - savers really wanted a simple, traditional passbook account," said Yorkshire's savings product manager Mike Helliwell.

"The fact that Triple Access Saver has been our most popular savings account since its launch speaks for itself - customers appreciate the straightforward terms, ease of use and an attractive, competitive rate without any introductory bonus for a limited period."

The building society, which has more than 3.3 million members, said its research found that more than three in five customers prefer the traditional branch network as their main method of managing their savings, mainly due to customer service and convenience.

Researchers also said that more than half of the society's customers prefer to use a passbook to track their transactions and almost 70% of those surveyed favour a branch-based account with a competitive variable rate.

Louise Holmes, spokeswoman for comparison website Moneyfacts, said: "The launch of this account from Yorkshire Building Society demonstrates that they are listening to their customers' needs."

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