COVID-19 causes cash confusion among business savers

Only 35% of small business owners say they know the rate of interest they are currently receiving on their business savings accounts, according to new research from Redwood Bank.

The challenger bank suggested that business owners are being urged to be “proactive and do research” when it comes to looking for the best rates on savings accounts during the coronavirus pandemic.

The survey, which quizzed 240 SME managers who have oversight of their company’s cash savings during May, has shown that the current economic environment has left many business owners unsure of the best approach to take when it comes to looking after their money.

In the last few weeks, Redwood found that 8% of business owners surveyed have moved their cash savings to try to secure a better rate of interest. This comes as interest rates on savings accounts have been falling since the Bank of England cut its base rate to 0.1% in March this year.

Another 11% of business owners say they plan to move all their savings in the future, while 13% intend to move some of them. Overall, Redwood revealed that only 37% of those interviewed suggested they have not moved their savings and have no plans to do so. When asked why, 63% indicated it was because all rates on savings accounts were so low it was not worth doing.

“There is a huge disparity between the interest paid on different business deposit savings accounts,” Redwood CEO and co-founder, Gary Wilkinson, commented. “COVID-19 has had a significant impact on SMEs and we can see from our findings that there’s also a lot of confusion around what to do for the best when it comes to savings.

“Given the strain that SMEs are currently under at the moment because of the  lockdown, it’s vital that businesses protect their cash reserves as much as they can. We urge business owners to be proactive and research savings accounts online to find the best possible rate, because at the moment many providers are paying little more than 0% interest.”

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