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First-e Is First to Up Interest Rates

Dublin-based Internet bank first-e was the first financial institution in the UK to raise interest rates on its savings accounts, following Bank of England's recent increase in the base rate of interest.

first-e increased the interest rates on its savings accounts from 6.25 per cent AER to 6.51 per cent AER within an hour of the Bank of England's announcement.

"first-e is all about offering our customers the very best banking service so we felt that it was important that our customers were able to take advantage of the new interest rate as rapidly as possible," said Richard Thackray, first-e's UK general manager.

"As an independent Internet bank it's possible to act far more swiftly than our competitors, so within hours of the announcement we had sent out teams to change the rate publicised on our major nationwide ad campaign. By continuing to innovate and increase the levels of customer service we hope to continue to revolutionise the UK banking industry."

Launched in the UK earlier this year, first-e offers free banking 24 hours a day. It requires no minimum deposit, while interest is accrued daily and paid monthly without tax deductions at source.

first-e is a joint venture of the French bank Banque d'Escompte and www.enba.com, and is backed with investments by some blue-chip companies including CGU, Intel, and Invision. Banque d'Escompte, which owns the trademark "first-e," is a limited liability company with a paid up capital of less than 38 million euros.



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