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New savings scheme lures customers

A BANK that offers the convenience of a savings account with a number of attractive features?

I think we’d all like to see that. Maybe we have.

ING Direct general manager Bas Lichter obviously felt that there were enough people looking for such a product when he brought the ING Direct Savings Maximiser to Australia 12 months ago. The plan has a number of features, including:

l A current variable interest rate of 6.25 per cent per annum;

* No bank fees;

* No minimum deposits;

* No minimum balances;

* No fixed terms – access to funds 24 hours a day, seven days a week;

* No withdrawal limits; and

* Interest calculated daily and paid monthly.

Some 60,000 customers have deposited $1.2 billion in the account. In Canada, $3 billion is managed in this type of account.

The Savings Maximiser is not intended to be a stand-alone type of account but to complement an existing bank account. It can be accessed via the Internet or the telephone at any time.

However, as the bank does not handle cash it is necessary to have money transferred from the Maximiser to your transaction account.

Once the account has been opened, money can then be deposited via a direct debit link with an existing bank account.

ING Direct is cashless and therefore accepts no cash deposits and does not allow users to make cash withdrawals.

The fact there are no fees makes the account appealing. The bank makes its margin on the interest paid versus its borrowing requirements.

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