New kids on the savings block

New kids on the savings block

There have been a few new entrants to the UK banking market in the last couple of years, but who are they, and should you consider trusting them with your money? Here’s a quick rundown of some of the new faces which you might have heard about.

Ikano BankOwned by the Kamprad family, who also own IKEA, this Swedish bank has been in the UK since 2004, but they’ve only recently started offering products like fixed rate bonds. They hope to branch out into savings accounts later in 2016.With a UK base in Nottingham, and a savings centre in Newcastle, it’s led by Dan Joy, whose history includes Capital One and Zurich. Any money invested is used as loans for people purchasing cars or carrying out home improvements.

As it’s based in Sweden, you’ll receive up to €100,000 cover from the Swedish deposit insurance scheme, if anything goes wrong. Their website is, and their phone number is 0371 880 6182.

RCI Bank

RCI is a French owned bank (RCI Banque), which arrived in the UK in 2015, setting up headquarters in Watford and a Newcastle based savings centre. Its key attraction is its attractive rates for fixed rate bonds and easy access savings.

At the helm is Steve Gowler, well known in finance circles after managing the 2007 Renault and Nissan Finance groups. No surprise then to discover that RCI keeps ties with Renault and Nissan, and that any money invested is used to fund loans to UK customers purchasing a Nissan, Dacia, Infiniti or Renault vehicle.

As it’s based in France, your money is covered for up to €100,000, as part of the French deposit protection scheme. Their website is, and you can call them on 0330 2000 300.

Shawbrook Bank

Frequently mentioned in The Daily Mail’s Money Mail best buys, Shawbrook launched in 2011. Headed up by former Santander boss Steve Pateman, it specialises in fixed rate bonds and cash ISAs. With headquarters in Brentwood, Essex, it launched itself on to the stock exchange in 2015.

You can set up an account online, over the phone or by post. Any money you invest can be borrowed by small businesses and UK consumers. It is covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

Their website is, and their telephone number is 0345 266 6611.

United Trust Bank

United Trust Bank has actually been around since 1955, but it’s only been offering fixed rates bonds to the general public for the last few years. Owned predominantly by its own management team and some select private shareholders, United Trust is based in London, and is headed up by former Investec Bank executive Graham Davin.

Any money you invest is used to form loans to small businesses and property developers. It’s safe, because it’s covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

Their website is, and you can call them on 020 7190 5555.

Vanquis Bank

You might have heard of Vanquis Credit Cards; well, this is the Newcastle based company behind them. They’re a part of Provident Financial, a company specialising in lending in the form of credit cards. Their credit cards are targeted at people who have a history of debt problems, and are a popular choice for those looking to rebuild their credit history.

Vanquis Bank specialises in fixed rate online bonds. Any money you put in will be used to fund credit card lending, but don’t worry about its safety, because it’s covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, so you’ll always get your money back if something untoward were to happen to Vanquis.

Their website is, or you can call them on 0191 505 0033.

With the UK’s high street banks offering poor returns on savings accounts, it’s definitely worth looking at some of these new faces if you’re looking to invest some money.

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