Advantages Good interest, friendly staff
Disadvantages Make sure your identity documents are recent
I was looking for a building society with a local branch and a good rate of interest for a regular savings account. I also wanted a society that is not too small (the Yorkshire is the fourth largest building society) and in good financial health. The YBS fits the bill perfectly.My branch is very small and located between Ilford town centre and Gants Hill. It is five miles from where I live but easy to get to. The staff consists of three girls, one on the counter and two working in the office. What I liked right away was the fact that there were no queues - you are never likely to have more than one person before you. After having the experience of waiting for ages in the queue at Abbey National, you can only be impressed.
I chose YBS's Regular Saver because it gives a really good interest rate - currently 7% including bonus - without many of the conditions found with other building societies and banks. Unlike most high interest regular savers, it does not last for just one year, after which you are expected to transfer the money into a relatively low paying nominated account, but is open ended. The interest rate is variable, not fixed, and is influenced by the decisions of the Bank of England. As things stand, interest rates are more likely to rise than fall. The minimum you are expected to pay in every month is £10 and the maximum is £500 or any sum in between (it doesn't have to be on the same day in the month). To make the most of this sort of account, you should try to save as much as you can even if it means moving some money from a standard easy access account ( they only have a top interest rate of about 5.8%) but YBS won't allow you to save more than a total of £20,000. It would take 40 months to reach this amount if you paid in the maximum monthly amount of £500. The best plan is to cut down to £10 per month in the months before the £20,000 is reached ensuring the account is kept open and you always get high interest on your savings. You are allowed to make one partial withdrawal per year without affecting the bonus. Two further withdrawals are allowed but you will lose your bonus. If you think you might do this, it is better not to open the account because,without the bonus, the interest rate is pitiful. You also have the flexibility of paying in with the passport book or a standing order. All that is necessary is to ensure a deposit between £10 and £500 is paid into the account every month. I have started using a standing order but it is nice to know I can always go to the branch if I want. When setting up the standing order, the sort code is 60-92-04, the YBS account number is the first 8 digits of the account number in your passbook and the reference number is the full 10 digits.Filling in the application form was OK with no pressure from the staff. The only thing different from other places was the scheme where the odd few pence from your yearly interest goes to charity. You can opt out of it if you are really hard up or just plain mean.
|Efficiency of service|
|Competitiveness of charges/rates|
|Promptness of service||Excellent|
|Online - Content/organization of site||Good|
|Online - Reliability/speed of site||Not Applicable|
|Online - Ease of applying for products||Not Applicable|
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