MSE News

Marcus closes easy-access savings account to new customers

Savers in the UK can longer open new Marcus easy-access accounts, in a fresh blow after months of cuts.

The Marcus easy-access savings account, which is operated by investment banking giant Goldman Sachs, stormed to the top of our best-buy tables when it launched in September 2018 paying 1.5%.

Since then the rate's been cut several times, but it's generally remained the top-paying account with immediate access – until last month, when the rate fell to just 1.05% and was then overtaken by NS&I's Income Bonds.

Now the account's been "temporarily" closed to new UK customers after an influx of deposits during the coronavirus pandemic.

If you're an existing customer, your Marcus easy-access account won't be affected by the change. And the Saga easy-access savings account, which is also operated by Goldman Sachs and pays 1% (including a 0.2% fixed bonus) - and Saga says there are no immediate plans to take it off the market.

The Marcus one-year fixed savings account is also still available to new and existing customers and pays 1%, but can easily be beaten by the top fixed-savings accounts.

See our Top Savings Accounts guide for more info on the best rates.

What are the best options for savers now?

Though the Marcus account was one of the highest-paying easy-access accounts, it could already be beaten by NS&I, which pays the current highest rate of 1.16% on its Income Bonds.

The NS&I account allows unlimited withdrawals, but there are some restrictions – you'll need to deposit at least £500, can only add additional funds of £500+ at a time and have to withdraw a minimum of £500 each time you want to access your cash.

For those who need more flexibility, the next top-paying accounts are currently NS&I's Direct Saver and Saga, both of which pay 1% and can be opened with £1.

Alternatively, you can get better returns on your cash by opening a fixed-rate or notice account – which give you less flexibility with withdrawals – or with some current accounts, including Nationwide's FlexDirect, which pays 2% fixed for a year on up to £1,500 if you meet its criteria.

See Top Savings Accounts and Best Bank Accounts for more info.

What does Marcus say?

A statement posted on the Marcus website says: "In the last couple of months in particular, more people have been opening online savings accounts with us and saving greater amounts of money. As a result, the total amount of deposits we hold has accelerated significantly.

"It's important that we manage how quickly we grow, at a rate that's manageable to us. To do this, we've decided to temporarily stop accepting applications for our online savings account. This means that we can continue offering our existing easy-access savers the competitive interest rates we want to provide."

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