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Published on 9th April 2016

Who are Paragon Bank, Charter Savings Bank & RCI Bank?

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Since 2014, a few new names have popped up to compete for your savings. In this post, we take a look at three of these savings-focused UK banks: Paragon Bank, Charter Savings Bank and RCI Bank. Who are they? What do they offer? And, are they any good?

The Paragon Bank story…launched in 2014, Paragon Bank is a savings-focused bank based in Solihull. Although a relatively new name to many, it’s part of the Paragon Group of Companies, a FTSE 250 company which was founded in 1985, has over 1,000 employees, and provides other services like Car Finance and Buy-to-Let Mortgages.

What do they offer? Essentially, a couple of savings products…an easy access savings account, as well as 1, 2 and 3 year fixed term savings accounts.

Are your savings FSCS (the UK’s deposit protection scheme) protected? Yes (up to £75,000)

Are they any good? Well, with a 3.18 / 5 overall rating (63.6%) as at 10th October 2016, there rating could be a lot stronger. A common theme is unhelpful staff. 

Read our Paragon Bank reviews to find out more.

The RCI Bank story…launched in 2015, RCI Bank is the only bank in the UK savings market to be owned by a car company, Renault.

What do they offer? Similar to Paragon Bank, RCI Bank offer an easy access savings account (called the Freedom Savings Account) and 1, 2 and 3 year fixed term savings accounts.

Are your savings FSCS (the UK’s deposit protection scheme) protected? No, but they are covered by the FGDR (Fonds de Garantie Dépôts et de Résolution), the French deposit protection scheme, up to €100,000.

Are they any good? Like many banks, RCI Bank has lowered the savings rate on its flagship Freedom Savings account a few times since launch in 2015. Of course, savings rates are always subject to change, so remember to keep track of the rate you’re getting, and look at alternatives if your rate starts to drop.

Read our RCI Bank reviews to find out more.

The Charter Savings Bank story…launched in 2015, Charter Savings Bank is based in Wolverhampton, and part of Charter Court Financial Services, which was established in 2008. They also operate Precise Mortgages (buy-to-let mortgages, bridging and second charge loans) as well as Exact Mortgage Experts (which helps other mortgage lenders analyse and manage their mortgage portfolios)

What do they offer? A standard range of savings products, consisting of an easy access account, notice accounts (30, 60, 95, 100, and 120 days), as well as a 1 and 2 year fixed rate bond.

Are your savings FSCS (the UK’s deposit protection scheme) protected? Yes (up to £75,000)

Are they any good? Well, they have a mixed record so far when it comes to their customer reviews, although it is early days! Particular issues appear to be trying to contact them by phone. One reviewer told us that it’s “almost impossible to speak to a charter bank employee over the phone.”

As of 10th October 2016, Charter Savings Bank have a 1.95 / 5 overall rating (39%) which happens to be one of the lowest ratings across Smart Money People. 

Read our Charter Savings Bank reviews to find out more.

British Bank Awards 2017

None of these banks made it into our British Bank Awards 2016 league table. But thanks to our growing review count for these banks, we're hoping to include them in the British Bank Awards 2017!

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