Less Than 4% of Instant Access Savings Accounts Offer 3% Gross AER or More

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Sainsbury's Finance promises to pay 2% above Bank of England base rate.

With the Bank of England base rate at 0.5%, new research(1) from Sainsbury's Finance reveals that only 3.8% of instant/easy access savings accounts now offer a rate of 3% Gross AER or more on balances of £5,000. This equates to only 14 of the 367 instant access accounts in the market. For notice accounts, just 13 of the 164 (7.9%) available offer 3% or more on balances of £5,000.

Sainsbury's Finance is currently offering a rate of 3% Gross AER on its Internet Saver to customers opening the account with between £5,000 and £100,000. However, to help put savers minds at rest that this will continue to be one of the best rates in the market, it is promising to guarantee to be 2% above the Bank of England base rate for 12 months from the account being opened. If a withdrawal is made during this period, the interest rate reverts to the account's standard rate of interest, currently 0.75% Gross AER.

Helen Cook, Head of Savings at Sainsbury's Finance said: "The average interest rate on an instant access savings account is now only 0.17%(2). With rates so low, savers need promises from banks and building societies that they will still offer competitive rates, which is exactly what we are trying to do with our Internet Saver offer."

Sainsbury's Internet Saver account has achieved 'Moneyfacts - Trust It' status for offering a consistently good rate over 36 months(3), and since its launch in January 2005, it has always paid more than the Bank of England base rate. Indeed, analysis by Defaqto(4) reveals that Sainsbury's Internet Saver is the only instant or easy access savings account generally available that has consistently paid a gross AER interest rate on a balance of £1 that is equal to or above the Bank of England base rate in each and every month since January 2005.

Sainsbury's Finance has its own banking licence, is separately regulated by the Financial Services Authority and has an independent membership to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

Sainsbury's provide a wide range of financial services including pet insurance, life insurance, home insurance and personal loans. Visit http://www.sainsburysbank.co.uk now to find out more

For further information, please contact:
Phil Anderson / Sarah Rowan
Citigate Dewe Rogerson
020 7638 9571

Notes to editors:
(1) Sainsbury's Finance research. Conducted by Defaqto on 11 March 2009
(2)Bank of England research (March 2009)
(3)Moneyfacts
(4)Sainsbury's Finance commissioned Defaqto to analyse the top 50 instant access/easy access savings accounts in June 2008 and in January 2005

Sainsbury's Finance:
To view our latest press releases and product information, please visit the Sainsbury's Finance online media centre at http://www.sainsburysfinance.co.uk/media.

Sainsbury's Finance offers a range of quality, competitively priced, award-winning products. It opened for business on 19th February 1997 and was the UK's first supermarket bank. It is a 50:50 joint venture with Sainsbury's and Lloyd's Banking Group.

Sainsbury's Finance offers the following products: Credit Cards and Loans, a range of Savings products and Car Insurance, Life Insurance, Home Insurance, Travel Insurance and Pet Insurance

For further information and general Sainsbury's Finance enquiries customers can call the freephone number on 0500 40 50 60 or visit http://www.sainsburysfinance.co.uk

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Dan Goodwin
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