Ford Money launches drive to attract savers

Ford is motoring into the UK consumer savings market with the launch of a new range of "fair and consistent" products.

Savers will get "excellent" customer service with fair rates and straightforward products, Ford Motor Company's financial services business has promised.

The services on offer from Ford Money are available online and by telephone.

The provider has also said it will not be offering short-term bonus rates to attract new customers at the expense of existing customers.

A "best rate guarantee" offered by Ford Money across variable rate products means existing customers will not be worse off than new customers on like-for-like products.

On fixed rate products, customers will receive the interest rate shown at the time they apply, or if the product rate increases before the initial deposit is made, they will receive the higher interest rate.

Concerns have been raised in recent years over some savings providers leaving long-term customers in "zombie" accounts paying paltry rates when an initial bonus period comes to an end.

The deals available from Ford Money include a flexible cash Isa with a variable rate of 0.8%, a one-year fixed cash Isa with a rate of 0.95% and a two-year fixed cash Isa which pays 1.1% annually.

The savings products also include a flexible savings account paying a rate of 0.85%.

Figures from financial information website Moneyfacts.co.uk suggest the rates on offer from Ford Money sit higher than the average deals on the market generally.

According to Moneyfacts, the average one-year fixed rate Isa currently on offer pays 0.92%, although rates as high as 1.13% are available.

Moneyfacts' figures show the average two-year fixed rate Isa pays 0.91%. A two-year fix at 1.25% is available from Yorkshire Building Society.

Ford Money is part of Ford Credit Europe. In 1997, Ford Credit obtained a UK banking licence and became known as FCE Bank.

Customers' deposits with Ford Money are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), the UK's savings safety net, in the same way as they are with high street banks and building societies.

Julian Hynd, chief deposits officer at Ford Credit Europe, told the Press Association that consumers are fed up with savings rates that change dramatically when they turn their back.

He said: "Our philosophy is that our competitive rates are fair and consistent over time."

Mr Hynd continued: "We have a large target population from day one. It's really about wanting to be in control and have peace of mind."

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The cheapest cars to insure

Price new: £5,995

Dacia has made a big impact in the UK with its line of affordable motors.
The Sandero is the foundation of the brand's offering and is famed for being the UK's cheapest car.

With a group two insurance classification it's also one of the cheapest cars to insure right now.
The entry level Access model is sparsely equipped, but it has a practical interior, big boot and low running costs.

Price new: £8,060

The Seat Mii is a small city car which Auto Express praises for its spacious interior, good build quality and supple ride.

All models are in insurance group one, bar the group two Sport version.
The Mii is available in three-door or five-door styles, but both measure just 3.5 metres, making it perfect for getting around town.

Price new: £8,090

The Skoda Citigo was crowned Auto Express Best City Car 2013.

The magazine praised its low running costs and practicality as well as its grown up driving experience.
Like its Mii stable mate the Citigo has group one insurance in all apart from its top specification model, making it one of the cheapest cars to insure.

Price new: £8,265

The third of the Volkswagen's group of three city cars to make the list is the Up!

Auto Express says the Up! was 'born to rule' city streets with its small dimensions and lightweight body.
There's three versions of this fun city car; Take Up! has a group one rating as does Move Up! while the higher spec High Up! gets a group two classification.

Price new: £8,345

The Hyundai i10 is another car which can get you a cheap insurance quote thanks to a group one insurance rating across all the 1.0-litre petrol models.

Auto Express says the new 2014 i10 offers big car features in a small package. And for £8,345 you also get Hyundai's five-year warranty and roadside assistance package.

Price new: £8,995

Vauxhall has managed to squeeze one of its full sized Corsas into insurance group two.
Auto Express says the 1.0-litre ecoFlex model has the lowest insurance costs of any mainstream supermini.

The eye-catching design, solid interior and big-car features make it an appealing buy for drivers.

Price new: £9,575

The Smart car caused a bit of a stir when it first appeared thanks to its dinky dimensions and bold two-seat layout, making it very useful for driving about town and absurdly easy to park.

The Smart ForTwo is the latest incarnation, which keeps to the same formula; it still has only two seats and is one of the smallest cars on the road measuring just 2.5 metres long,
The entry level 0.8- and 1.0-litre models qualify for group two insurance.

Price new: £11,810

The Peugeot Partner Tepee 1.6 VTi is the passenger version of the Partner van and according to Auto Express easily the most spacious new car that currently qualifies for a group two insurance rating.

It's got a boxy shape that provides plenty of room and has sliding doors which make it a very practical and flexible family car.

If you're after something smaller the Peugeot Bipper Tepee, which is the smallest of Peugeot's family of Tepee MPVs, also gets a group two insurance rating.

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