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. Smart Save Bank, part of Chetwood Financial, has followed Arbuthnot Direct in to the savings market. Like Arbuthnot, Smart Save has slipped in largely unnoticed with little fanfare and largely uncovered in media outlets and comparison sites.
This is a great shame as it is offering the best one year fixed rate deposit rate of any non-Islamic Bank with the 2% available. The account can only be applied for and managed online but allows a reasonable 14 days to pay in as many deposits as savers wish (within the maximum deposit balance of £85,000). It also has a very quick application process, which took just 5 minutes and 20 seconds for us to complete.
The application process was relatively simple, although the need to provide a national insurance number should be superfluous for non-ISA accounts. The request for the exact day, month and year the applicant moved in to their current address adds unnecessary friction too. However, these aside, the process was easy and finishes with details of the account number and reference to send your initial deposits to.
Chetwood received its banking licence in February 2018 and appears to have exited the mobilisation period that most new banks go through earlier in 2019. It uses savers deposits to fund its LiveLend business which offers consumer loans with dynamic pricing. The rate borrowers paid is reviewed every three months and can reduce if their credit rating has improved.
The Bank is run by Andy Mielczarek, formerly deputy head of HSBC’s UK Retail Bank, is based on Wrexham’s Technology Park and is part of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, which protects deposits.
There’s no news yet on whether further savings products will be offered but the current 1 Year is well worth savers considering. We expect it to be popular and unlikely to be available for long so would suggest savers move quickly if it is of interest.