If you're looking for a savings account provider, it can be difficult to know which one to choose. You've done some online research, but do you just look at the rates on offer, or are there other factors to consider?
Everybody wants something different from their bank, and whilst interest rates are likely to play a part in your decision, you may well want to think about the bank itself.
A good starting point is to find out how long they've been operating. If they've been around for years, it's an indication that they're a safe choice and won't disappear overnight.
If the worst does happen and the bank closes, you'll need to know that your money won't be lost. A bank like Secure Trust Bank that has FSCS protection means that up to £85,000 of your savings (or £170,000 if you have a joint account) will be safe.
Although a bank's website may be displaying the FSCS logo, it could be a phishing website; set-up to look like a genuine website but designed to steal data. The safest way to check that a bank provides FSCS protection is to look at FSCS' website.
Safe online banking
Next, it's important to know that when you're using online banking, the bank you're looking at will help you to keep your information secure.
If a bank has been Cyber Essentials Plus accredited, it means they're part of a Government-backed scheme and independent experts have verified the controls the bank uses to protect against you internet-based threats. If they are accredited, they'll be displaying the logo on their website, but again, you could be looking at a fake website. Have a look at the National Cyber Security Centre website to find out if an organisation has been issued with a Cyber Essentials Certificate. For your peace of mind, Secure Trust Bank is Cyber Essentials Plus accredited.
Then you may want to discover what their reputation is like. Looking at online reviews such as Feefo and Trustpilot will give you an insight into how customers feel, but you may also want to ask your friends and family who they bank with, and find out what their personal experiences have been.