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Goldman Sachs aims to tackle savings gap with retail launch

Goldman Sachs aims to tackle savings gap with retail launch

Goldman Sachs is hoping to boost UK savings rates by launching its retail bank with the highest rate on the market.

The investment bank has launched its retail bank offering - called Marcus - in the UK with a cash easy-access savings account offering a 1.5 per cent interest rate.

Marcus is an online-only service which has been available in the US for the past two years, where it has attracted $20bn in deposits.

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Its new account has gone straight to the top of the rate tables, overtaking the previous leader Yorkshire Building Society, which offers an easy-access account with a 1.41 per cent rate.

Des McDaid, managing director of Marcus, said: "Over the last decade savers have been on the wrong end of low interest rates.

"We’ve spoken in-depth to people across the country and there is a real disillusionment about savings – while most UK adults are diligently trying to save every month, some do not even have a savings account, with low interest rates and complexity being put to blame.

"We want to reverse the trend – literally putting the interest back into savings and make saving worthwhile again."

Savers will be able to open an account with just £1, with a maximum of £250,000.

Sarah Coles, personal finance analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: "The account is going to make a splash. Easy access accounts hold 80 per cent of the UK’s savings, and the high street banks offer vanishingly small rates."

The UK base rate was held at historic lows after the financial crash but was raised in August from 0.5 per cent to 0.75 per cent.

In his press conference accompanying the bank’s quarterly inflation report, governor Mark Carney repeated his long stated view that any rises in UK interest rates from here on are likely to be "gradual" and that rates will peak at a lower level this time than they have in the past.

damian.fantato@ft.com