Nought point nought five per cent. Or 0.05%. What is that? When you spell it out, it’s even more obvious what it is. Zero, practically. There’s a whole load of noughts in there – and in a bad way. Like without a one or a five or any kind of positive figure up front. Yup, it’s a tiny percentage of absolutely nada. It’s almost nothing. It’s also the interest rate I’m about to earn on my savings account.
That veritable high street institution Lloyds Bank has written to me (again) to tell me that the interest rate on my account is going down (again) from 8 December. From a not great but sort of respectable 0.25% to this new crazy figure of 0.05%. That’s an 80% reduction, by the way. Nice Christmas present, thanks Lloyds.
Higher rates (like a heady 2%, wowsa) are available if I regular save or lock my money away for a year or so. But I don’t want to do either. I can get my 0.25% again by swopping into a new Lloyds account (online, of course) but only for another year. Seeing as I have only £1,020.50 in this account, is getting £2.55 a year rather than 51 pence actually worth the hassle of moving?
I’m lucky enough to be lazy about it because Team Minted is still living off a salary and a half. But for all those people who are retired or trying to eke out an income from savings, it’s a disaster.
We needed a wash of cheap money to help us after the global financial crisis. But that was 2008 and it’s been going on too long. Theresa May said recently that she was going to help people who’d been disadvantaged by it. But how can she put up rates to help savers without crippling borrowers? That’s a conjuring trick I’d really like to see.
• Check out our guide to getting the best savings rates here.