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Marcus cuts best buy easy access account - will Shawbrook follow?

Marcus by Goldman Sachs, the UK savings provider, has cut the bonus rate paid on its market leading easy access savings account, losing its place at the top of our best buy tables.

Their Online Savings Account has paid 1.50% AER, comprising an underlying rate of 1.35% with a bonus of 0.15% for one year, until 3rd September.  While the underlying rate remains the same, the bonus rate has been cut to 0.15% giving an overall rate of 1.45%, which drops it behind our new market leader, Shawbrook, paying 1.48%.

On 27th September 2018, Marcus launched in to the UK market with some style. At the time, Kent Reliance topped the easy access tables with a rate of 1.37%.  Nottingham Building Society briefly knocked Marcus off top spot with their 1.55% eSaver account which launched on 30th October, this lasted all of 48 hours before it was withdrawn at the start of November.  Since then, while providers have closed the gap behind them and, in the case of Virgin Money, sat alongside them, nobody has toppled them.

In May 2019, Marcus announced that over 250,000 customers had signed up and that balances were over £8bn.  I'd estimate that figure is now north of £10bn.  To put that in context, Aldermore, the oldest of the wave of new entrant banks that have entered the market in the past decade, hit £8bn of balances at the end of 2018.

In my September column (, I hinted that Virgin Money's price cut might see Shawbrook drop back however I expected that Marcus would hold firm.  I did suggest that Marcus savers should consider renewing their 12 month bonus with Marcus and highlighted how this could be done.  My inbox this morning has some grateful savers who took that advice just in time!

The obvious question is whether Shawbrook will now follow Virgin Money and Marcus by cutting its rate.  I expected a change before the Marcus cut, now I'd be amazed if they were still paying 1.48% and leading the tables at the end of the month.  Unless a new competitor joins the market with a higher rate, expect a Shawbrook rate cut sooner than later.  Shawbrook have consistently been in our best buy tables since they launched their easy access account in August 2017.  While, I don't expect that to change, a cut of between 0.05% - 0.10% to fall back in alongside the pack seems inevitable.  Savers keen on what is an excellent no strings account should move quickly to secure the 1.48% rate.

While I don't predict the kind of falls in easy access rates that the market has seen in long term fixed rate bonds in recent months, we are in a very fast moving market and savers should certainly move quickly if they see an attractive rate.


CROWDSTACKER has appointed James Blower

CROWDSTACKER has appointed James Blower, founder of The Savings Guru, as an advisor to its board to assist with product development.

Blower will help the peer-to-peer business lender develop and launch a suite of new services, including what he called a “potentially game changing savings-related product”.

“What Crowdstacker has planned over the next few months and years is hugely exciting. After speaking to Karteek and hearing his vision to help savers it wasn’t a difficult decision to agree to get involved.” Blower said.

Blower previously ran National Australia Bank’s offshore savings bank Clydesdale Bank International in Guernsey and was the first savings director of challenger bank Shawbrook before launching consultancy and consumer savings information and comparison site, The Savings Guru.

He has since worked with a range of firms building savings business or applying for deposit taking banking licences, including Harrods Bank, Cambridge Building Society, specialist mortgage lender Pepper Money, Zopa and Arbuthnot Direct.

Karteek Patel, chief executive of Crowdstacker, said the platform will reveal details of its new product later this year and is delighted to have Blower on board. “James has the specific experience and knowledge of the market plus the specialist skills in product development and marketing to help us get this right to create a savings revolution.”


June Savings Round Up

It’s been a very quiet month at the top of the best buy tables with no changes to the headline rates, with the exception of notice accounts where Secure Trust Bank have leapfrogged Hampshire Trust Bank with their 90 day notice account paying 1.92%.

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April Savings Round Up

It’s been a busy few weeks in the savings market and at Savings Guru HQ with a host of rate changes, two new banks entering the market and an awards evening! 

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September Savings Round Up

I wrote in last month’s column about falling interest rates and August was another month where we witnessed a number of providers cutting their interest rates on savings.

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May Savings Round Up

If you keep an eye on best buys, you’d be forgiven for thinking that last month was a quiet month in the market, as headline rates have barely changed in the past few weeks.

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Chetwood Financial Launch

Having been starved of new savings bank launches since the high water mark of 2017, aside from Marcus in September 2018, we have now seen two in a matter of weeks.

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August savings round up

Each month, James writes a column for Around Town and BeauLieu Magazines, which go out to around 60,000 homes and businesses in Essex.  This is his August column.

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July Savings Round Up

Smart Save Bank return with best 1 Year Fixed Rate, Best business savings rate for a year, HSBC offers £175 cash bonus to switchers, Billericay Summerfest and the World’s Fastest Tuk Tuk

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Video: Savings Guru TV Episode 3 – Peer to Peer Special

In the third episode of Savings Guru TV, James talks to Brian Bartaby of Proplend about the P2P investment market, Innovative Finance ISAs, and the potential impact of Brexit.

The Savings Guru help start up/challenger banks apply for a licence, build their savings business and attract savers and they provide consumers insight to the savings market.

They set up and launched Shawbrook and Clydesdale Bank International in to the savings market, and their recent clients include Arbuthnot Latham, Zopa, Cambridge Building Society, Harrods Bank Ltd and Cambridge & Counties Bank.

About The Savings Guru

We help savers get the best deal for their money by providing unique insight in to the savings market.  We help prospective banks apply for a banking licence and we help build customer services, products and marketing for them.  We also work with existing banks and building societies to improve their savings propositions.  This  insider view of savings means we are uniquely placed to help savers.

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