€300 savings found by new website that lays bare massive differences in bank deals
CONSUMERS can earn over €300 more in interest on typical savings by choosing carefully where to put their money.
The National Consumer Agency (NCA) yesterday launched a new online banking comparison tool to make it easier for people to survey banks to see where they'll get the best deal on savings accounts, credit cards, mortgages and current accounts.
It shows, for example, that a person with €10,000 to deposit -- but who also requires instant access to their money -- will make just €1 in yearly interest with a Bank of Ireland Demand Account, compared with €345 with an AIB Easy Access Reward Account.
Terms and conditions are also outlined showing that if customers want to earn the maximum amount of interest with AIB, they are restricted to just two withdrawals a year.
All banks are co-operating with the new comparison tool on www.itsyourmoney.ie
The comparison tool is a huge improvement on the NCA's previous offering.
On mortgages it allows customers to quickly compare interest and monthly repayment rates across providers -- for a €250,000 mortgage over 25 years, for example, these would vary from €1,238 with National Irish Bank to €1,417 with EBS.
For credit cards, it allows people to check how long it would take to pay off existing credit card debt and work out if they could do this more quickly by switching to another credit card company that offers lower interest on balance transfers.
Enterprise Minister Richard Bruton welcomed the site as giving consumers comprehensive financial information without any advertising or recommendations.
"Easily accessible and transparent information to help people manage their personal finances is critical," he said.
NCA figures show that information about lump-sum deposit accounts are the most sought-after by consumers, accounting for nearly half of the 133,000 enquiries on their website this year, followed by queries about regular savings, current accounts and credit cards.
The Irish Independent will publish a free and comprehensive savings supplement in next Thursday's paper.