March’s Financial Developments: Interest Rates, Digital Banks, and Account Updates

March’s Financial Developments: Interest Rates, Digital Banks, and Account Updates

As March came to a close, the financial world witnessed several noteworthy developments. Among the most significant events were the Bank of England’s interest rate hikes, changes in the banking industry, and updates to various account offerings. This article will delve into these events and their impact on consumers, digital banks, and legacy institutions alike.

With the Bank of England’s base rate increase, many banks and financial providers have adjusted their interest rates accordingly. Some institutions have been quick to respond, offering highly competitive rates to their customers. On the other hand, legacy banks have been slower to adapt, resulting in less attractive rates for their account holders.

Interest Rate Hikes and Banking Industry Changes

A. Bank of England’s base rate increase

The Bank of England made headlines in March by increasing its base rate to 4.25%, marking the 11th consecutive hike. This move has caused a ripple effect throughout the banking industry, prompting some providers to increase their interest rates in response.

B. Effects on providers and banks

First Direct, for example, has upped the ante by offering a whopping 7% interest rate on balances up to £3,600 for their regular saver account. This fixed rate will be available for 12 months, a significant increase compared to rates seen just a year ago.

In contrast, some legacy banks have lagged behind in adjusting their rates. Lloyds Bank Easy Saver now offers a meager 0.65% interest, while Barclays’ Everyday Saver account provides a mere 0.55% interest. Considering the UK’s inflation rate is over 10%, these rates fall short of meeting consumers’ needs for meaningful returns on their savings.

C. Legacy banks lagging behind

One might wonder why anyone would continue to keep their money in accounts that offer such low interest rates. A plausible explanation could be the fear of the banking industry’s stability, prompting some to prefer the security of well-established legacy banks.

However, those with deposits protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) have little reason to worry, as their funds are safeguarded up to £85,000. For deposits exceeding this amount, splitting them across multiple accounts with different banks is a viable strategy.

FSCS Protection and Importance of Diversifying Deposits

A. Concerns about the stability of the banking industry

With interest rates on the rise and digital banks becoming increasingly popular, there are valid concerns about the stability of the banking industry, particularly for newer institutions. As customers search for better returns on their savings, they may worry about the safety of their money in the face of potential bank failures or financial crises.

B. FSCS protection for peace of mind

To ease these concerns, the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) provides a safety net for depositors. Under this scheme, eligible deposits of up to £85,000 per person per financial institution are protected. In the event of a bank failure or insolvency, the FSCS ensures that consumers can recover their funds up to the covered limit.

C. Spreading deposits across multiple accounts

For those with deposits exceeding the FSCS limit, a prudent strategy is to diversify funds by splitting them across multiple accounts at different banks. This approach not only provides additional protection but also allows savers to take advantage of higher interest rates offered by various providers, maximizing their returns.

Revolut Developments

A. Revolut credit card updates and availability

Revolut’s latest financial accounts, published in March, revealed a significant increase in profitability. The digital bank reported a 57% increase in revenue for 2021 compared to the previous year, amounting to £361 million. This impressive growth has fueled optimism for Revolut’s future prospects, despite challenges faced by the banking industry.

B. Upcoming release of Revolut Ultra

Another exciting development in the pipeline for Revolut is the upcoming release of Revolut Ultra (Link), a new subscription plan tailored to high-net-worth individuals. The service is set to include a range of premium features, such as access to exclusive events, dedicated customer support, and enhanced cashback offers. The launch of Revolut Ultra is expected to bolster the company’s position in the competitive fintech space.

Wise’s Rebranding, Interest Rates, and FSCS Protection

A. New branding and physical card design

Wise, formerly known as TransferWise, has recently undergone a rebranding exercise, showcasing a new logo and physical card design. The updated branding aims to reflect the company’s broader range of financial services and its commitment to offering transparent, low-cost solutions to customers.

B. Competitive interest rates on GBP balances

Wise, the rebranded financial services provider, has introduced competitive interest rates on GBP balances, making it an attractive option for savers looking to maximize their returns. Customers with a Wise account can now enjoy a 3.66% AER on their GBP balances up to £85,000. This rate is highly competitive in the current market, especially when compared to the offerings from other banks and fintech companies.

By providing such appealing interest rates, Wise aims to attract new customers and retain existing ones, while also staying ahead of the competition. Savers looking for a reliable platform to grow their money should consider Wise as a strong contender for their banking needs.


C. FSCS protection with Wise Assets opt-in

To further strengthen its appeal, Wise now offers FSCS protection for eligible deposits through an opt-in service called Wise Assets. This feature allows customers to diversify their deposits into various funds, which are covered by the FSCS up to the £85,000 limit. By offering this additional layer of protection, Wise enhances its reputation as a secure and reliable platform for managing finances.

Interest Rate Updates for Various Accounts

A. Chase UK Saver Account

Chase UK’s Saver Account has recently updated its interest rate offering. The bank now provides a competitive 3.1% AER for balances up to £50,000, making it an attractive option for savers seeking a higher return on their deposits.

B. Kroo’s current account

Kroo, a newcomer in the fintech space, has also updated its current account interest rates. The company now offers an enticing 3.33% AER on balances up to £10,000, drawing the attention of customers searching for a better return on their everyday funds.

C. Monzo’s saver

Monzo, a popular digital bank, offers a range of savings accounts with varying interest rates to cater to different customer needs. Its top-tier Easy Access Savings account currently provides a 3.20% AER, while its Fixed Savings Pot offers rates up to 3.46% AER for a 12-month term.

D. Starling Bank’s offerings

Starling Bank continues to maintain its competitive edge with a variety of savings products. Its Easy Access Savings account offers a 3% AER, while its Fixed Savings account boasts an interest rate of up to 3.25% AER for a 12-month term. These attractive rates further solidify Starling Bank’s position as a strong contender in the market.

The landscape of banking and interest rates is constantly changing, and customers need to stay informed to make the most of their savings. By staying abreast of developments in the industry, savers can capitalize on the best opportunities and ensure their financial security in an ever-evolving market.

BankAccount TypeInterest Rate
WiseInterest4.32% AER on USD balances, 3.66% AER on GBP balances, 2.17% AER on EUR balances
RevolutSavings Vaults (Metal plan)Up to 2.76% AER on GBP savings
MonzoMonzo Plus1.00% AER/Gross (variable) interest on up to £2,000
MonzoMonzo Premium1.50% AER/ 1.49% Gross on a balance of up to £2000
KrooCurrent Account3.33% AER / 3.28% Gross (variable) interest on your balance up to £85,000 from 01.04.23
StarlingFixed Saver Account (1-year fixed rate)3.25% AER/gross interest on any amount from £2,000 up to £1,000,000
Chase UKSavings Account3.1% AER (3.06% gross) interest on up to £250,000
Chase UKRound-up Savings5% interest
First DirectRegular Saver Account7.00% AER/gross p.a. fixed for 12 months


A. Recap of account options and interest rates

In summary, the banking industry has experienced significant changes in recent months, with interest rate hikes and the ongoing evolution of fintech companies. Banks and financial providers are responding to these shifts by adjusting their interest rates and offerings to stay competitive.

We’ve explored the latest updates from various providers, including Chase UK, Kroo, Monzo, Starling Bank, and Wise, highlighting their current interest rates, account options, and new features. These updates demonstrate the ever-changing landscape of the banking industry and the importance of staying informed to make the most of your savings.

B. Encouragement to explore options and subscribe for updates

As the banking sector continues to evolve, it’s crucial for customers to explore their options and stay up-to-date with the latest developments. By keeping an eye on interest rates and account offerings, savers can capitalize on the best opportunities available and secure their financial future.

We encourage you to subscribe for updates and continue reading about the latest trends and changes in the banking industry. Staying informed will empower you to make informed decisions and ensure that you’re making the most of your hard-earned money.