There is a common trend in the banks at the moment which has to do with savings accounts and savings interest rates. If you keep your savings with the same bank in the same account for a number of years, you would expect your bank to look after you. But they do not and actually take advantage of this.
The banks release a savings account. They advertise it, use it to attract new customers or convince existing customers to transfer their savings to them. The customers, being quite happy with the rates and the terms, forget about their savings interest rates knowing that they have the return that they expected.
Then after 6 months to a year the bank get bored of that savings account and decide on the next big marketing push and release another type of savings account. The terms maybe a little different. The savings interest rates is usually different. And the same thing happens again, attracting new customers etc.
Initially the interest rates will remain pretty much the same. Gradually over the next year or so the rates will begin to fall. Over a bit of time the interest rates may decrease considerably. Sometimes down to near zero. If the customer is not monitoring their statements they will never know they are not making any interest on the money in their savings account. You can be sure the bank will not send you a letter telling you that fact.
As a banker I let my customers know when their interest savings accounts are faltering. I let them know if they can do better. I refuse to let a customer watch their interest rate dip to zero. Many times I will upgrade them to a better savings account, with better interest rates.
I can tell you though, that not all of my collegues do the same, nor are they encouraged to do so by their superiors. Upon the release of a recent new Cash ISA savings account, we were actually instructed not to upgrade customers from the old Cash ISA accounts, to the new one unless the customer actually asked us.
Why would your bank treat you like this? Banks are in the business of making a profit. The less they have to pay you the more profit they make. The bank leverages your money to make money, then they short the money made from your money to keep more for their interests. You make less return for loyalty and the bank makes more.
The answer is clear, review your savings interest rate and the terms of your savings account annually. Get the latest information on the newest savings account releases. Look at what their competition is offering. Then go to your banker and negotiate a better deal for yourself, or go to the competition. Your goal is to get the best returns on your money.
Martin likes to talk to customers about the best interest rates on savings during his day at work at a high street bank. At http://savings-interest-rates.org he points out the ways to make sure you are getting the best you can from your bank.