Two more building societies join online interest rate auction
by Gill Montia
Furness and Harpenden building societies have joined licuro.com, the online interest rate auction house.
The number of societies participating in the facility, which was launched in July, has now risen to seven.
Licuro.com allows savers to auction their savings directly to banks and building societies, choosing how much they want to deposit and for how long.
In turn, banks and building societies bid against each other, offering their best available rates.
The site is aimed those with deposits of over £12,000 available for a fixed term of between 14 and 730 days.
According to licuro.com, its original site in Denmark, mybanker.biz, has processed the equivalent £1.4 billion in the last twelve months.
Sister sites in Luxembourg and Belgium are planned for February 2010 with Germany to follow in March 2010 and until 31st January, UK savers can make a first auction with licuro.com without paying a registration fee.
The UK’s building societies have recently been demanding a “level playing field” in the financial services sector, claiming they are disadvantaged in the current regulatory environment, which demands lenders hold higher levels of capital.
Compared to banks, mutuals are limited in the ways in which they can raise funds.
They are also facing strong competition from other savings providers; the Building Societies Association recently reported that balances in members savings accounts fell by £929 million in October.
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