French car maker Renault launches into the UK retail banking market

8th June 2015


French automobile maker Renault has launched into the UK retail banking market via its finance arm RCI Banque offering a “best-buy” easy access savings account.

The UK launch of RCI Bank on Monday follows a series of similar launches in France, Germany and Austria over recent years.

The bank has entered the UK savings market with its Freedom Savings Account, which is available exclusively through switching site, MoneySuperMarket with a Best Buy rate of 1.5% AER variable gross for the next two weeks.

The account has a starting balance of £100, with a maximum balance of £1m, and carries no penalties, notice periods or tiered rates. RCI Bank plans to launch a suite of additional products later in the year.

Steve Gowler, CEO of RCI Bank, said: “We’re really excited about entering into the UK savings market, and importantly entering the market with an innovative and competitive product.  Saving money should not be difficult, which is why we have developed our simple Freedom Savings Account with a rate of 1.5%. We believe we have a product that people will love. Over the next 12 months we plan to follow this up with further product launches.”

Commenting on the launch, Kevin Mountford, head of banking at MoneySuperMarket, said: “The Freedom Savings Account matches the best rates available, and as the savings market has been flat for far too long now we hope a new player will help create the much needed competition to push interest up higher. As the easy access account comes with a best buy rate of 1.50% exclusively through MoneySuperMarket, and has a starting balance of just £100, even savers with a limited pot should be able to benefit. In a low interest rate environment it is important consumers have choice, and some of the overseas challengers are helping drive this.”

RCI Bank is however not covered by the UK Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) but instead savers are protected under the French guarantee scheme, FGDR, up to the value of €100,000 (£73,035) slightly lower than the £85,000 limit provided by the UK.

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