A savings account exclusively for NHS workers has been launched to thank them for their work during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Thank You Saver account from Cardiff-based Principality building society pays a competitive 1.65% interest a year at a time when many savings accounts pay well below 1% – though the “firebreak lockdown” being introduced across Wales from 6pm on 23 October could make opening one a challenge.
Thank You Saver is a regular savings account where customers save money every month, and the society says it “has been designed to acknowledge the crucial role played by NHS workers, and to thank them for their ongoing support within our communities”.
Those eligible have to live in the UK and be employed directly by the NHS. But one sticking point for some potential applicants is that this account can only be opened in one of the society’s 70-plus branches and agencies, the vast majority of which are in Wales. There are a handful in England in locations such as Chester, Hereford and Shrewsbury.
This condition is in place because applicants need to present their NHS staff ID card to prove they are eligible. However, after that, the account can be managed in various ways, including online.
The other challenge is that a firebreak lockdown will be in place across Wales from 6pm on 23 October until the early hours of 9 November. People are being told they “must stay at home, except for very limited purposes”, and Principality’s branches in Wales will be providing a counter service for deposits and withdrawals only from 26 October.
The account allows people to save up to £250 a month, up to a maximum balance of £20,000, and three withdrawals are allowed each year.
West Brom building society is offering a rate of 2% through a similar branch-based account, but other accounts paying more than Thank You Saver are only available to existing customers of the institutions offering them.