Friday, 19 August 2016

Progressive Building Society - Reducing Savings Rates to increase profits?

The Progressive Building Society, Northern Ireland's last remaining local building society, has announced that it will be reducing its savings rates with effect from 1st September. It cites the recent reduction in the Bank of England's base rate from 0.50% to 0.25% as the catalyst for this move. I suppose a reduction was inevitable but a reduction in excess of 0.25% smacks of unfairness to those members who are savers. It appears that the directors of the Progressive Building Society may have decided to increase the Society's margins. I see that their 7 day notice postal account has suffered a reduction of 0.35%. A similar reduction will apply to many ISA account owners.

The Government seems to believe that a reduction in base rate will cause people to spend money rather than save it and that as a consequence the economy will be given a fillip. I wonder if they remember that they are also exhorting people to save more for their retirement! I can't imagine that I am the only person who has spotted this contradiction.

What happens to, "the Progressive," if savers remove their money enmasse? It won't happen of course. Apathy rules more's the pity but it would be nice to see a bit of saver power.


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