UK’s FCA summons top bankers over savings rates- FT

(Reuters) – Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has summoned chief executives of banks to address concerns that savings rates for customers are too low, the Financial Times reported on Monday.

Top bankers at Natwest, Barclays, HSBC and Lloyds are expected to attend a meeting at the FCA on Thursday, to discuss the pricing of cash savings and how banks communicate with their customers on rates, the report said, citing people familiar with the matter.

“We do think there is more value that can be provided to consumers, we are not happy with some of the lower savings rates we see, and we want banks to be supporting customers . . . and people to be able to make informed choices,” the report added, citing a person familiar with the FCA’s position.

The British parliament’s Treasury committee said on Monday it had written to the country’s big four banks – Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds and NatWest – asking if the banks believed their savings rates provided “fair value” and if customer inertia was being exploited.

The Treasury committee had on June 8 criticised easy-access savings rates of between 0.7% and 1.35% at a time when the central bank had raised the base rate to 4.5%. The base rate was raised to 5.0%on June 22, the highest since 2008.

HSBC, Natwest, Barclays and Lloyds did not immediately respond to Reuters requests for comment.

(Reporting by Chandni Shah in Bengaluru; Editing by Shweta Agarwal)