A start-up savings platform that offers savers access to the best rates across Europe is turning its attention to attracting more British customers.
Raisin has raked in deposits of €5billlion in just four years, largely from interest-starved savers on the continent.
It gives savers access to a pick of the top deals across Europe – meaning they could beat the rates they can get at home.
Although for British savers there is one small problem, we tend to have better rates than most other major European countries.
EU-wide savings: Raisin offers savers in a number of European countries the chance to open accounts cross-border
Since launching in 2013 Raisin has tempted in 100,000 customers, mostly in its native Germany.
Now, it could help drive more competition in the British savings market, as it looks to build a portfolio of savers this side of the Channel.
Last year, it snapped up a similar start-up in Britain, PBF Solutions, founded by Kevin Mountford, former head of banking at comparison website giant Money Supermarket.
The concept sees savers across Europe able to open rates across the continent, without the complexities of accessing accounts in foreign languages and having a physical presence in the country. As well as ‘simple’ savings products it also offers some investment products.
Founder of Raisin, Tamaz Georgadze, said the move to buy the competitor was to focus its strengths on the British market in a ‘targeted and focused manner’ and with Brexit on the agenda.
It has accepted British savers since 2016, but it may have struggled to attract customers, given that rates in Europe largely do not match those on offer here – while Brexit may make it difficult to passport accounts in the future.
Kevin told This is Money that five banks will be launched on the UK website in the next month, although wouldn’t go into detail about what brands these will be or the rates on offer because of confidentially.
Raisin will offer savers the convenience of a single registration process to apply for multiple savings products. A similar firm has also been doing something similar for a while – Savings Champion.
It remains to be seen how competitive the rates will be at Raisin UK.
Kevin said: ‘This represents the beginning of our journey to bring great partner banks with attractive offers to UK savers.
‘Over time we will be introducing enticing marketplace features to offer savers a better deal for their money.’
In 2017, Raisin saw a total €3billion deposited from customers across Europe, highlighting its rapid growth.
It has localised platforms in Austria, France, Germany and Spain.
It offers 40 banks with around 170 savings accounts and says it has helped customers gain additional interest of €40million since it launched.
Tamaz Georgadze, chief executive and founding member of Raisin, said: ‘In times of negative interest rates, many banks are not interested in their customers’ deposits and therefore offer them zero or even negative interest rates.
‘We are pleased to be able to offer savers throughout Europe an attractive alternative.’
Its main customer base is in Germany, which has seen some banks offering savers negative interest.
This shows that although rates in Britain are low, savers can still see some return from traditional savings accounts – albeit returns that do not beat inflation.
Some of the banks listed on the German version of the website are based in Britain – B&C, FirstSave and Wyelands Bank. The top rate of interest is 1.1 per cent, over four years, with FirstSave.
Raisin launched ‘globally diversified and cost-effective ETF portfolios’ last year as it looks to build up the investment side of the business. Some big names have invested heavily in the firm, including PayPal.
It says all deposits are guaranteed up to €100,000 per saver and bank by each national deposit guarantee scheme in accordance with European Union directives.
According to its latest saving radar, Britain has the third best one-year best buy fixed-rate accounts in Europe behind Norway and Poland. In comparison, Belgium, Ireland and Holland have the lowest.
In the three-year stakes, it has the second best behind Poland. Savers in Belgium, Denmark and Ireland get the worst rates over this term.
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