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The week in view: seven years bad luck

Posted on 08/03/2016, by Stuart Sheppard

Seventh birthday parties are normally occasions for celebration. For pass the parcel, party bags and musical chairs. Well, this weekend marked an altogether more sombre occasion: the seventh birthday of record low interest rates here in the UK.

I know what you’re thinking. ‘The day the Bank of England cut interest rates to a historic low of 0.5%’ might not sound, on the face of it, like the most exciting or significant of milestones. But, though neither fun nor uproarious, the seven-year anniversary of Britain’s rock bottom interest rate is an important one. Because according to findings published in The Guardian this week, the climate of loose monetary policy that has characterised the years from 2009 to 2016 has hurt savers big time – costing us a total of £160bn in lost earnings.

That’s a massive £6,000 for every household over the seven-year period. Or £850 a year – a potential family holiday gone wasted. Or, for the arithmetically super-keen, a £2.30 latte that you didn’t order and certainly didn’t get to drink, every single day, for seven years.

And the sad fact is, there’s no sign of relief.

According to Moneyfacts, the average easy-access savings account currently pays just 0.65%; while Hargreaves Lansdowne estimates that nearly £106bn is currently being held in accounts that pay no interest.

Well, as we enter the eighth year of rock bottom savings rates, we think it’s time for an alternative.

It’s time Britain’s frustrated savers were given the choice to make their money work harder – without having to resort to the confusing jargon and risky turbulence of the stock market.

That’s what Octopus Choice is all about. And that’s what we’re working hard towards. So that this time next year, as we quite feasibly celebrate the eighth year of continuously low savings rates, Britain’s savers will be cheering a far happier anniversary: the year of the Octopus.