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Standard Life BankStandard Life Bank
Standard Life BankingStandard Life Banking
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Smile BankSmile Bank
First Direct BankFirst Direct Bank

Standard Life Banking

Standard Life banking encompasses only three main areas of personal banking (as well as a suite of business banking products for companies, partnerships, charities and pension scheme trusts). These are mortgages, savings accounts and insurance. The mortgage range is very mature, including fixed rate, discounted, capped and offset mortgages. The offset mortgage of course allows you to reduce your mortgage interest by offsetting it with the balance of your savings account. In the other direction, a Cash Reserve mortgage gives you a pot of cash permanently available within your mortgage to top up your finances when necessary- this is of course borrowed at a preferential mortgage rate rather than a loan rate; making for cheap borrowing. Oddly enough other loan accounts appear not to be available.
Several types of savings account are on offer, from bonds (a very stable savings mechanism, becoming more popular as the stock market becomes ever more uncertain) through to notice and instant access accounts and tax-efficient ISAs. But the clever use of technology is in what the Standard Life banking folks call "pooling"- bolting up to 99 accounts of the same type together (for example, separate accounts for everyone in your family). Do this, and you can benefit from interest rates applicable to the overall balance- even though the accounts are private to their respective owners. This is a bit like a savings version of investment clubs, where several people pool their assets for a better return overall.