Getting the best from current accounts

Published on 1 January 1970 by Raffick Marday

Banks have been putting the squeeze on their customers to help get them back into business.

RBS has been accused of increasing its margins on lending, while Lloyds has placed higher charges on its current account customers.

The strain consumers now face when looking for credit, loans and bank accounts mean that more than ever it pays to shop around for the best deal.

Some accounts offer high interest on credit balances and low interest on overdrafts for no fee. Alliance & Leicester's Premier Direct Account for example offers 6 per cent a year on balances of up to £2,500.

Meanwhile Santander is making its fee-free current account more widely available. When it launched its Zero Current Account earlier this year it was only available to its mortgage customers. But from next week it will include people who also have a Santander investment product.

And Manchester Credit Union says it will guarantee customers a service with no hidden costs in return for a fee of £1 a week.

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