Motley Fool: Better Than Banks And Building Societies!

Britain’s banks are among the most profitable in Europe, if not the world. Indeed, the UK’s five biggest banks (HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland, Barclays, HBOS and Lloyds TSB) made a combined pre-tax profit of £33.5 billion last year, which is an all-time record.

One reason why British banks are so profitable is that they are merciless middlemen. They pay inferior rates of interest to savers, while charging borrowers sky-high rates of interest. For example, according to independent financial researcher Moneyfacts, a typical savings account pays annual interest of less than 2.7% a year before tax. Quite frankly, with the Bank of England’s base rate currently standing at 4.75% a year, it’s clear that many savers are being taken for a ride!…

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