Masthaven is a brand new bank, which has celebrated its launch with a new type of savings account. Savers will be able to pick the exact date when their fixed rate account will mature - so it fits around their life. The question is whether it's any good.
See also: Could this challenger be the next Lloyds Banking Group?
See also: Saving for children
There's a great deal riding on these new 'challenger banks'. They are meant to bring fresh blood to the industry, to shake up the old guard, and force everyone to up their game. Of course, the only way they will do that is if they have something better to offer. So how does this new savings product stack up?
The website lets you experiment with a slider - starting today and ending on your chosen date, to see the rate you can get for the term that suits you. The rates match those offered by a range of fixed rate savings accounts being marketed alongside the flexible saver. There's a one-year fixed rate at 1.35%, a two-year fix at 1.53%, three years at 1.61% and five years at 2.01%.
They are all within shouting distance of the most competitive on the market. A separate challenger bank - Atom Bank - can still boast the best one-year rate at 1.4%. The best over two years is 1.6% (again from Atom), the best for three years is 1.62% from Tesco, but the Masthaven five year fix is the most competitive on offer.
Challengers offer more
Jon Hall, Managing Director of Masthaven, said: "We hope it marks the start of a savings revolution that sees other providers think 'customer' rather than 'product' first." It seems like a big claim, but it is definitely part of a much slower revolution, as challenger banks have gradually come to dominate the best-buys within the savings market.
Charlotte Nelson, Finance Expert at Moneyfacts.co.uk, pointed out this trend earlier this year, when she said: "The slow desertion of some of the UK's most well-known brands from the best buy charts is shocking and has significantly impacted savers' returns as a result. It all boils down to the fact that these providers simply do not need savers' money to fund their borrowing. However, as challenger banks are still relative newcomers to the market they need to get savers' attention, and the best way to do that is by offering attractive savings rates."
What's holding us back?
Nelson hit the nail on the head when she said: "One of the biggest hurdles challenger banks face is getting savers to trust their brand."
This was something that MoneySuperMarket highlighted in its survey of banking trust. It asked people to rate how much they rusted banks, and the traditional banks dominated the rankings. Lloyds, for example, was given a trust rating of 5.2 out of ten, while Metro Bank managed only 3.8 and Atom just 2.3.
However, these new banks have the same guarantees as their larger counterparts, and any cash up to £75,000 in any bank is covered under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme if anything should go wrong.
These banks are offering more, and if the worst came to the worst, you would be protected.
But what do you think? Would you trust a new bank? Let us know in the comments?