AFTER being contacted by a constituent from North Antrim regarding the extremely low interest rates his parents were receiving from their Passbook savings account, local MP Ian Paisley has raised the issue at Westminster with politicians and has published an Early Day Motion (EDM) in the House, aimed at making the Government take notice of the issue.
Mr Paisley was alerted to the problem by his constituent who had discovered his parents’ bank account was earning interest rates of 0.05%, simply because they have Passbooks for the account.
He said: “The ludicrously low rate has angered Paisley, especially with the knowledge that many pensioners rely on these Passbooks to keep track of their savings and may not always realise that they are being disadvantaged in terms of interest rates.”
Mr Paisley launched his EDM calling on the House of Commons to take note of the fact that UK banks offer lower interest rates on passbook savings accounts than they do on other accounts, and he specifically mentions pensioners as the key demographic most likely to be punished by the rates. He has also urged the Government to address the issue with banks and for them to implement an educational programme whereby pensioners and all passbook account holders are informed of the interest rates on passbook accounts and outlines other options available to them with better savings alternatives.
The motion has been signed by parties from all sides of the House in Westminster and is running a healthy campaign. The issue which was originally notified and brought to Paisley’s attention in North Antrim is now taking flight and travelling all over the UK, with MPs and the general public being made aware of the matter in England, Scotland and Wales.
Speaking this week from Parliament Mr Paisley said: “The purpose of this campaign is to raise awareness and let the public know the awful interest rates afforded to them by banks when they possess passbook savings accounts. I believe the matter is scandalous, especially as so many of these accounts are trusted and relied upon by pensioners who prefer to keep track of their savings this way.
“I am glad my constituent has brought the matter to my attention, because of his actions I am now able raise publicity and involve MPs from all over the UK in the campaign to educate the wider public who may not be informed of the poor interest rates they are receiving on these accounts. “I urge everyone in North Antrim who possesses a passbook savings account to go down to your bank and to ask the manager what interest rate you are receiving and if they can offer you a better rate on another account.
“For too long members of the public have been losing out on money because of unfair policies by banks. Now because the issue has been raised in North Antrim, we can inform holders all over the UK and hopefully save a lot of people more interest on their accounts,” said Mr Paisley.