After the post New Year's explosion of January sales in banks up and down the high street, UK savers are now facing up to the fact that savings rates are not yet as friendly as they may have hoped them to be in 2010. However, while it may be difficult for individuals to find a decent return on their cash, an organisation has been launched to give UK savers a group voice.
Despite the tempting sales, January has not only seen the Bank of England base rate stick at 0.5 percent (and it looks like it will do for some time yet), but data from the Consumer Price Index (CPI) has shown that inflation has risen by 2.9% over the last month - according to Datenretter thisismoney.co.uk: 'one of the biggest increases since records began'.
The launch of Save Our Savers (SOS) will be good news for many who feel they are voiceless at a time when sensible money management and saving will no doubt be a positive step for savers and the economy as a whole. The independent action group is setting itself up to lobby against major political parties and the financial industry itself in an effort to convince Labour and the opposition, as well as major banks, to address the unfair treatment of current savers and to look for ways get others to save.
Led by entrepreneur Peter Duckworth, priest and ethics lecturer Rev Dr John Strain, member of the Public Accounts Committee and a number of other business/media heads and academics, SOS outline at their website (saveoursavers.co.uk) that will take a key position in highlighting savers' issues (as researched directly from their members) in the media - as well as promoting a new 'culture of long-term saving and investment in the UK'.
The launch of SOS also comes at a time when Isas are being viewed (at least in the mainstream UK media) hardly worth considering if savers want to see any significant returns. Currently, perhaps the best example of the reason for a backlash on Isas is due to the fact that some are being offered with interest rates that are even lower than the base rate. Yet, while this seems like a particularly raw deal for savers, the average Isa rate two years ago will have been around 0.25 percent below base of 5.5 percent - while now the average is a comfortable 0.3 percent above the 0.5 percent base.