Returns of 1.6% could soon be on way for Irish savers

Pan-European player Raisin.com readying second assault on Irish market

Raisin.com said it was “working intensively on finding a solution for Irish savers”.

Raisin.com said it was “working intensively on finding a solution for Irish savers”.

 

Beleaguered Irish savers could soon be able to access returns of as much as 1.65 per cent on their deposits, significantly beating returns available from local players, as a pan-European online savings platform readies its second assault on the Irish market.

The news comes as AIB continues to pay German depositors significantly higher returns on their savings than its Irish customers, through an associated platform.

Raisin. com, which initially launched in Ireland back in 2016, offers savers around Europe the opportunity of shopping around for the best deposit rates on its online platform. It currently has partnered with 50 banks, has more than 130,000 customers and more than €7 billion invested via the platform. Banks the platform has partnered with include Portuguese bank Atlantico, Czech bank J&T Banka and the Polish bank Alior, offering rates of as much as 1.64 per cent on term deposits of €2,000 and more at a term of up to five years.

While the platform initially launched in the Republic back in 2016, it’s understood that it soon fell foul of Central Bank rules, with the regulator stopping its entry in Ireland on the grounds that it needed a licence under the Investment Intermediaries Act to operate here.

Now, however, a spokeswoman for Raisin.com said the platform was “working intensively on finding a solution for Irish savers”, with the expectation that Irish savers will have access to the Raisin products within six to nine months. “The aim is that Irish savers will have access to the Raisin products,” she said.

Deposit guarantees

The platform was founded by alumni from McKinsey, Deutsche Banke and Goldman Sachs, and acts like a broker to European banks, and has grown substantially since it launched in 2013. All deposits at partner banks are covered by respective national deposit guarantee schemes, typically €100,000. While both Poland and the Czech Republic are not part of the euro zone, savers won’t incur exchange rate risk as long as the term deposit is made in euro.

If Raisin.com does go ahead and launch again in the Irish market, it could offer some relief to Irish savers struggling to match inflation with the rates on offer by local banks.

Consider someone with €50,000 on deposit earning interest at a rate of 0.98 per cent with State Savings over five years. This would see our saver earn €2,500 in interest over the period. Over a one-year term, an Irish saver would earn just €250 based on the best rate of 0.5 per cent.

Someone locking this money away with Atlantico via Raisin.com for five years, on the other hand, could earn up to €4,250 over the term. Opting for a one-year term could see our saver earn €450, based on a return of 0.9 per cent with Alior Bank.

Raisin.com also operates Weltsparen.de, a savings platform dedicated to the German market. Since 2016, AIB, which is majority owned by the State, has been offering deposits to German customers through the platform at a significant premium to what it offers its Irish customers. Indeed, the bank is currently offering a one-year fixed product to German savers at a rate of 0.5 per cent – far in excess of the 0.1 per cent it offers Irish investors over a similar term.

The bank has previously said that offering deposits through the platform allows it to diversify its funding base.