Five million NatWest and RBS customers will be automatically moved to new accounts in January paying well below the best buys, making it a key trigger for them to seek out a better deal.

The customers of 33 old accounts that are closing will be moved to their respective bank's Instant Saver account in January.

The problem is it currently pays 0.5% AER on balances between £1 and £24,999, and 0.75% AER for balances £25,000+. The top easy access savings account pays 1.45%, though you can get 3% via a current account. (See our Top Savings Accounts guide for the best deals.)

The move can be spun as positive given four and a half million of the five million customers will see their rate boosted.

NatWest and RBS will write to affected customers in October to outline the changes and they add existing account holders will receive the applicable rate at the time of the switch though there are no current plans to change the Instant Saver rates.

Martin Lewis
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Am I affected?

Everyone with the following accounts – which are no longer available for new customers – will be moved to the Instant Saver:

NatWest:

  • First Reserve (current saving rate 0.10% AER on balances of £1+)
  • Special Reserve (current saving rate 0.10% AER on balance £0+)
  • Diamond Reserve (current saving rate 0.10% AER on balances of £1+)
  • Instant Access Reserve (current saving rate of 0.20% AER on balances of £1 to £2,999, 0.50% on £3,000+)
  • Telephone Saver Plus (current saving rate of 0.10% on balances of £1 to £24,999 and 1.50% AER on balances £25,000+)
  • e-Savings (current saving rate 0.50% AER on balances of £1 to £24,999 and 0.75% AER on £25,000+)
  • e-savings Plus (current saving rate 0.10% AER on balances of £1+ and 0.50% AER on £5,000+)
  • Advantage Private Reserve (current saving rate, including bonus – 0.10% AER on balances £1 to £9,999, 0.75% AER on £10,000 to £24,999, 0.85% AER on £25,000 to £49,999, 0.90% AER on £50,000 to £99,999, 1.00% AER on £100,000 to £249,999 and 1.30% AER on £250,000+)
  • Advantage Reserve (current saving rate, 0.10% AER on balances £1 to £1,999, 0.50% AER on £2,000 to £24,999, 0.60% AER on £25,000 to £49,999, 0.65% AER on £50,000 to £99,999, 0.75% AER on £100,000 to £249,999 and 0.90% AER on £250,000+)
  • Private Banking Savings Account (current interest rates of 0.20% AER on balances of £1 to £49,999, 0.25% AER on £50,000 to £99,999, 0.35% AER on £100,000 to £249,999 and 0.50% AER on £250,000+)
  • First Home Saver (excluding cashback – current saving rate, 1.00% AER on balances of £1+)
  • Savings Direct (current saving rate of 0.10% AER on balances £1+)
  • 30 Day Bonus Reserve (current saving rate, including bonus – 0.10% AER on balances up to £1,999, 0.75% AER on balances £2,000 to £99,999 and 0.90% AER on balances of £100,000+)
  • Reward Reserve (current saving rate, including all interest rewards – 0.10% AER on balances up to £1,999, 0.70% AER on £2,000 to £24,999. 0.75% AER on £25,000 to £49,999 and 0.80% AER on £50,000+)

RBS:

  • Instant Access Savings Account (current saving rate of 0.10% AER)
  • Instant Savings Tracker (current saving rate of 0.10% AER on balances £1 to £4,999, 0.25% AER on £5,000 to £24,999 and 0.50% AER on £25,000 to £50,000+)
  • 30 Day Savings Account (current saving rate of 0.10% AER)
  • 60 Day Savings Account (current saving rate of 0.10% AER)
  • Gold Deposit (current saving rate of 0.10% AER)
  • Savings Accelerator (current saving rate of 0.10% AER)
  • Postal Plus/ Phone Plus/ Special Edition Account (current saving rate of 0.10% AER on balances £1 to £50,000+)
  • Telephone Saver (current saving rate of 0.10% AER on balances £1 to £9,999, 0.30% on £10,000 to £49,999, 0.65% on £50,000+)
  • e-Savings (current saving rate of 0.50% AER on balances £1 to £24,999 and 0.75% on £25,000+)
  • Direct Saver Plus (current saving rate of 0.10% AER on balances £1 to £4,999 and 0.50% on £5,000+)
  • First Home Saver (current saving rate, excluding conditional bonus, of 0.10% AER on balances £1 to £4,999, 0.25% AER on £5,000 to £24,999, 0.50% AER on £25,000 to £50,000+)
  • Royalties Saver (current saving rate of 0.10% AER on balances £1 to £1,999, 0.40% AER on £2,000 to £24,999, 0.70% AER on £25,000 to £49,999, 0.90% AER on £50,000 to £99,999 and 1.20% AER on £100,000+)
  • Private Banking Deposit Account (current saving rate of 0.20% AER on balances £1 to £49,999, 0.30% AER on £50,000 to £99,999, 0.55% on £100,000 to £999,999 and 1.00% on £1m+)
  • Savings Account (current saving rate of 0.10% AER on balances £1+)
  • Bonus 30 (current saving rate, excluding bonus, of 0.20% AER on balances £1 to £99,999 and 0.30% AER on £100,000+)
  • Bonus 90 (current saving rate of 0.10% AER)
  • Primary Savings (current saving rate of 0.10% AER on balances £1+)

ISA rates have already been cut

The banks, part of the RBS Banking Group, already cut the rates for one million e-Savings customers in July, from 1% to 0.75% on balances over £25,000, and from 1% to 0.5% for balances below £25,000.

In November 2013, they also announced that one million ISA savers would see a 1 percentage point cut in interest rates, while 1.9 million people would see an increase of 1 percentage point from 31 January this year (see the MSE News story: Got a NatWest or RBS cash ISA? Check your rate isn't being cut).

What do NatWest and RBS say?

An RBS and NatWest spokesperson says: "We want to be a bank that customers can trust, so, we're striving to make saving with us simple and fair.

"We've removed old ISA accounts already and we will remove old savings accounts to ensure that all of our existing customers will get the same rates as new customers. For the majority that means an increase in their interest rate."

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