New Barclays Bank account encourages loyalty
UK-based Barclays Bank is rolling out a new account, Open Plan, that allows customers to combine their current account, savings and mortgage. The bank hopes to attract half a million customers by the end of the year. Open Plan has obvious loyalty advantages: most people who sign up for it would probably do so for its long term benefits.
According to John Eaton, Barclays' managing director of UK retail products, "We are investing £50 million in developing and supporting this service. This is a big move. We believe that by 2005 at least one tenth of the UK population will be using Open Plan from Barclays and Woolwich."
Big savings Customers will be able to offset any credit balances against their mortgage, thus saving interest repayments. The bank estimates that a customer with a mortgage of £87,000 and savings of £7,000 will be able to save almost four years off the mortgage term and £17,800 in interest.
Customers can view their finances on one integrated statement, but will also be able to see each component separately. The Open Plan consists of three elements which can be "mixed and matched". Later this month a version for Premier customers will be launched and it will be expanded to include Spain and Portugal. From November, customers can operate their accounts online.