RCI Bank has launched a new savings account enabling savers to put their money towards supporting greener transport in Britain.
Its E-Volve savings 14 day notice account will pay 0.55 per cent with savers able to deposit up to £1million in the account, with a minimum deposit of £1,000 required to get started.
As the name suggests, savers must also give 14 days notice when withdrawing funds from the account meaning it falls just short of being an easy access deal.
RCI Bank is car maker Renault’s global banking group and money in the account is protected up to £85,000 via the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.
RCI Bank’s new savings product will enable savers to put their money towards supporting greener transport and mobility in the UK
Savers cash will primarily be used to propel the switch to electric vehicles, with deposits being used for the financing of EVs and charging infrastructure.
The bank also hopes to expand into other environmentally sustainable transportation projects in the future.
Alice Altemaire, chief executive officer at RCI Bank said: ‘Following on from the COP26 conference in Glasgow, we are delighted to launch this product to market.
‘As the last two weeks have shown, we are living in a time where consumers are more conscious of their own environmental impact and are looking to live life in more sustainable ways.
‘Given RCI Bank’s history as part of a motor finance company, we are ideally placed to give our banking customers the confidence – and the options – to make sustainable choices that help them save for a better tomorrow, whilst helping to accelerate the switch to EVs.’
How does it compare to other green savings deals?
NS&I’s hotly anticipated green bonds went on sale last month with many savers less than impressed by the paltry rate on offer.
Its three-year fixed rate bond pays just 0.65 per cent meaning savers will only be earning 0.1 per cent more than RCI Bank’s notice account whilst having to forfeit access to their cash for three years.
Ana Bowes, co-founder of Savings Champion said: ‘It’s great to see another savings provider launching a product that is highlighting the importance of supporting the environment and one that is simple to understand – as it is clear how your savings will be used.
‘When you compare it to the NS&I green savings bond that demands your money is tied up for three years and is paying just 0.65 per cent, this could be a nice alternative if you’re not just looking for the best rates.’
Money held in NS&I’s green bonds will go towards green projects such as offshore wind.
But NS&I’s green bonds are not the only ‘eco’ savings product on the market.
The agricultural bank, Oxbury, has a one year fixed term bond that directs saver’s interest towards planting trees on British farm sites to mitigate their carbon footprint as a return on investment.
Savers will receive an interest rate of 0.7 per cent and Oxbury claim that a deposit of £15,000 will effectively mitigate your carbon footprint for a whole year.
Savers can open an account with £1,000 and can deposit up to a maxim of £85,000.
Similar to Oxbury, Gatehouse Bank is offering a range of fixed rate deals designed to help grow woodlands across the UK.
For every account opened or renewed, the Bank promises to plant one tree.
Its one year fixed rate deal pays 1.3 per cent – almost double what Oxbury is paying.
Savers will need at least £1,000 to get started and thereafter can deposit up to £1,000,000 into the account.
Tandem Bank is another ‘green minded’ savings provider allowing savers to set up an account with as little £1
By opting to save via Tandem you’ll also be helping to support Tandem Bank’s green lending initiatives, with the aim of helping to make UK homes more sustainable and environmentally friendly.
Its easy-access savings deal matches RCI’s Bank’s rate, paying 0.55 per cent, whilst allowing its customers unlimited access to their cash at anytime.
|Account||Provider||Rate||Green selling point|
|Easy access||Tandem Bank||0.55%||Making UK homes more sustainable and environmentally friendly|
|Notice Account (14 days)||RCI Bank||0.55%||financing of electric vehicles and charging infrastructure|
|one year fixed rate||Gatehouse Bank||They will plant a tree when you open an account|
|Two year fixed rate||Gatehouse Bank||They will plant a tree when you open an account|
Ecology Building Society also offers a range of savings products that it uses to help fund properties and projects it feels respect the environment.
Since 1981 it has lent to over 3,500 projects, supporting individuals, charities, environmental businesses and community-led housing organisations to realise their sustainable living ambitions.
However, its savings rates are hardly going to excite savers.
Its easy-access deal pays 0.1 per cent for example, whilst its 90 day notice account pays between 0.25 and 0.55 power cent depending on the balance.
Those with a balance in excess of £25,000 will begin earning the higher 0.55 per cent rate.
Savers only need £25 to get started and can deposit up to £125,000 into either account.
Another option for eco-conscious savers is Triodos Bank.
The UK arm of the Dutch-founded bank led by environmentalist, Bevis Watts, promises only to lend on projects that make a ‘positive impact’ for people and the planet.
It publishes details about these organisations on its website so its customers can see where their money is going.
It has been recognised as the ‘best sustainable bank’ in the UK at this year’s Responsible Banking Awards, run by CFI.co.
Triodos offers savers the choice of either an easy access account paying 0.15 per cent or a one year fixed rate deal paying 0.4 per cent.
Is it competitive with the rest of the market?
In terms of notice accounts, RCI Bank’s deal is certainly competitive, albeit falling short when compared to the best easy access and fixed rate deals on offer.
Charter Savings Bank and Secure Trust Bank offer the best paying 30 day notice accounts, according to Moneyfacts, both offering a 0.7 per cent rate.
Although the rates are higher, savers will need to wait for an additional 16 days to withdraw funds.
|Type of account (min investment)||0% tax||20% tax||40% tax|
|Zopa Bank (£1,000+)||1.35||1.08||0.81|
|Gatehouse Bank (£1,000+) (3)||1.60||1.28||0.96|
|Zopa Bank (£1,000)||1.59||1.27||0.95|
|United Trust Bank (£5,000+)||1.82||1.46||1.09|
|Gatehouse Bank (£1,000+) (3)||1.78||1.42||1.07|
|Gatehouse Bank (£1,000+) (3)||2.05||1.64||1.23|
|United Trust Bank (£5,000+)||2.01||1.61||1.21|
The best paying easy access deal currently pays 0.67 per cent meaning savers could earn an extra 0.22 per cent without having to be restricted by a 14 day notice period.
Those prepared to lock their money away for a longer period of time will achieve better returns by opting for a provider on out independent Best Buy tables.
Although for a green-minded saver, Gatehouse Bank could be the solution – it is currently offering the best paying two and five year fixed rate deals on the market
Blower said: ‘In terms of the RCI Bank’s deal, it is pretty competitive although there are better rate offers out there.
‘It’s still better than the vast majority of equivalent savings accounts so it is worthy of consideration for savers looking to do more to support the green economy.’
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Lloyds Bank’s Club Lloyds account will pay £125 when you switch. There is a £3 monthly fee but this is waived if you pay in at least £1,500 each month. You also earn monthly credit interest on balances up to £5,000 and can choose a reward each year, including 6 cinema tickets.
Virgin Money’s M Plus Account offers £20,000 Virgin Points to spend via Virgin Red when you switch and pays 2.02 per cent monthly interest on up to £1,000. To get the bonus, £1,000 must be paid into a linked easy-access account paying 1% interest and 2 direct debits transferred over.
HSBC’s Advance Account pays £170 when you switch to the account. You need to set up two direct debits or standing orders and pay in at least £1,500 into the account within the first 60 days.
First Direct will give newcomers £150 when they switch their account. It also offers a £250 interest-free overdraft. Customers must pay in at least £1,000 within three months of opening the account.
Nationwide’s FlexDirect account comes with up to £125 cash incentive for new and existing customers. Plus 2% interest on up to £1,500 – the highest interest rate on any current account – if you pay in at least £1,000 each month, plus a fee-free overdraft. Both the latter perks last for a year.
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