Onus on customer to check for better interest rate

Savings Accounts,
Linda decided to switch from her standard savings account to an online savings account because of the higher interest rate and extra convenience. She arranged the switch in person at her branch. Coincidentally, she said, the staff member gave her the impression the bank was phasing out standard savings accounts anyway.
May 2014

Five years later, Linda discovered the bank was still offering standard savings accounts, and that such accounts had been paying higher interest rates than her online account for the previous two years. She complained that, had she known this, she would have transferred her money from her online account to a higher-paying standard account – earning her an extra $3,000 in interest. She said she never compared interest rates because the bank had led her to believe it was phasing out standard savings accounts.

She asked the bank to compensate her for the lost $3,000, but the bank said no.

Our investigation

We reviewed the bank’s records relating to Linda’s opening of the online account to try to determine who said what, but there was nothing on file to support Linda’s version of events, or the bank’s, which was that it had given no suggestion it was winding up standard savings accounts.

In the absence of any evidence, we told Linda we could not find that the bank had misled her. We also said it was her responsibility to monitor different savings options if she wanted a better interest rate. Had she done so, she would have learned that standard savings accounts were still available. 


The bank offered Linda $500 compensation as a goodwill gesture. We told her this was reasonable in the circumstances and encouraged her to accept it, which she did.

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