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Marcus bank UK – the home of great saving rates?

9 minutes to read

Marcus bank UK is renowned for market-beating interest rates and has grown hugely in popularity. When I was looking for a place to stash my Emergency Fund savings, it was first on my radar to check out. 

In this review, we go through who Marcus bank UK is, if the interest rates are still competitive and how easy it has been to use.

Who owns Marcus bank UK?

Marcus bank UK is owned by Goldman Sachs, the giant American multinational investment bank that’s been established for over 150 years. That gives Marcus bank UK serious clout and provides reassurance to its customers.

Marcus bank UK itself was established in 2018 and is a relative newcomer to the UK banking world. Thanks to its market-beating interest rates on offer, it quickly enjoyed high-profile media attention and rapid growth. For two years, until 2020 when Covid struck the planet, it was the go-to account for savers looking for ‘great’ rates and now boasts over 500,000 customers.

When Goldman Sachs launched Marcus bank in the UK, it was on the hunt for lots of capital, and fast. It did this by offering the best savings rates out there to attract huge swathes of customers. As a result, it quickly started dominating the ‘best buy’ savings account league tables and became one of the go-to places to save your money.

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How does a Marcus bank UK savings account work?

Fundamentally, a Marcus bank UK account is a pure savings account, and that’s all. It is not a current account that you can pay your salary in to, you can’t set up direct debits and there is no bank card.

The way that it works, is that the Marcus savings account is linked to your main current account, the one you currently use for your day to day banking.

For security, this means that you can only put in money from, and withdraw money out, to that linked account.

One thing to be aware of is that you can only transfer in or out £10,000 at a time, for security.

In practice, because of this set-up, I found that I almost completely forgot about the account. As a result, I was able to adopt a true ‘set and forget’ mentality. This has helped protect my savings from whimsical and impulsive spending urges. It’s slightly more of a faff to get to your money, and that’s a good thing.

Marcus bank UK interest rates

Before 2020 when coronavirus hit, Marcus Bank UK was renowned for offering market-beating rates. To put that into context though, we’re talking about 1.05% which at the time, was indeed was one of the best rates out there.

However, between April and May 2020, Marcus bank UK slashed its rates in quick succession to a tear-inducing 0.5%. At the time of writing, though (March 2021), this remains a market-topping rate.

Worryingly though, it got to the point where its total customer deposit peaked above £21bn. This is unnervingly close to the £25bn where banks are legally required to protect that cash by transferring it to a separate financial entity.

To prevent the administration effort and costs, which would prevent them from being able to offer great rates, in June 2020 it actually stopped taking on new customers. This lasted for the rest of the year.

Thankfully though, accounts to new customers were re-opened again in February 2021.

Good news indeed. However, the interest rates on offer at that time were still only at that 0.5% rate.

Marcus bank UK savings accounts

There are currently two savings products offered by Marcus bank UK.

1.  Online Savings Account

  • Easy access at any time
  • No fees or charges
  • Save between £1 and £250,000
  • Variable-rate of interest
  • Currently 0.5% AER (March 2021)

2. One Year Fixed Rate Saver

  • Fixed interest rate for one year
  • Deposit between £1 and £250,000 within 14 days of opening the account
  • Money locked away for one year
  • You cannot withdraw the money within one year, but you can close the account (fees apply)
  • Currently 0.4% AER (March 2021)

As always, remember to check the conditions carefully.

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Is Marcus bank UK safe?

Marcus Bank UK is protected by the FSCS (Financial Services Compensation Scheme). Therefore, £85,000 of your money is protected by the UK’s deposit protection scheme.

Remember though, this protection only covers your money across a single financial institution, which could operate several different brands or divisions.

In this case, if you have money saved with Marcus, Goldman Sachs and Saga Savings, then only £85,000 of your money spread across all of these entities is protected.

Marcus bank UK mobile app

Finally, after years of having to make do with a web portal alone, the Marcus App is here in our lives.

When I previously wrote this piece, my feelings were that as there was so little to do with a savings account, an app really wasn’t needed.

Now though, I have to admit it does make things easier.

Currently, the Marcus app is available only on the App Store for iPhones. They reassure us it is coming for Android shortly.

Marcus bank UK customer service

Whilst there are no physical branches, there are customer care teams that are available online and via an 0800 free phone number.

Marcus bank UK customer service number – 0800 085 6789 or 0203 901 3353

Lines are open 8am – 8pm Monday – Friday.

However, since I’ve had my account, I’ve never needed support. This is in part because at its heart it is a savings account that requires very little day-to-day management. You won’t be using overdrafts or having direct debits come out of this account.

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Marcus bank UK robo-investor

This is exciting news and an interesting product expansion soon opening for Marcus bank UK customers.

Goldman Sachs intends to now offer a new automated investment feature for Marcus bank UK customers, due in the second half of 2021. As a result, savers will now be able to access a tailored portfolio of stock and bond ETFs that can be customised to your appetite for risk and timelines.

Details and fees are still sketchy and it has first to launch in the US, but it sounds like an attractive proposition for those interested in robo-investing.

If you don’t want to wait to start your investment journey then check out our Beginner’s guide to investing. It has everything you need to know to get started. Most importantly, it covers common mistakes and what you need in place before you should be investing your hard-earned cash.

If you’d like to learn move about investing, check out our free Beginners Guide to Investing.

Marcus bank UK review

When I was researching where to put my Emergency Fund savings, Marcus bank UK was one of the first accounts I checked out, because I’d heard so much about their market-topping interest rates. I wasn’t disappointed.

Crucially, I was looking for a savings account that was separate from my main account, as this would make it slightly harder for me to access (ahem….flutter away) the cash.

The process of setting the account up and linking it to my main bank account was all done online and was quick and easy to do.

I don’t use the account much day-to-day and it generally just sits there and does its thing. When I do have to use the account, the web portal interface has been clean, intuitive and easy to use.

In summary, I’m glad about the choice of account I made and would certainly choose it again.

Marcus bank UK - the home of great saving rates?

Despite the slash in rates, Marcus bank UK continues to offer some of the best savings rates out there. Plus, being backed by one of the largest financial institutions in the world, you can relax and be as confident as you can be that your money is safe and protected.

For these reasons, my Emergency Fund is happily sat there wrapped in cotton wool and listening to classic FM, biding its time.

If you’re not sure what an Emergency Fund is, then check out our Emergency Savings articles below. We think everyone should have one. If you haven’t you could be one emergency away from serious financial problems.

Here’s to Financial Fitness

EatSleepMoney.co.uk does not offer financial advice and is intended for reference/information only. Remember, you should always carry out your own research and/or take specific professional advice before choosing any financial products or services or undertaking any business or financial venture. If you need financial advice Unbiased can connect you with a suitable professional for free. Investments may go up as well as down and you may get back less than you put in.