RBS set to be first bank to charge for deposits

Banks make money by charging interest on funds they lend you (overdrafts, loans, mortgages) and paying interest on funds you lend them (deposits, savings accounts). That’s generally how it works but it may all be about to change with the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) set to charge their biggest 70 odd customers for deposits from Monday.

Up until now RBS has charged investors 0% interest on mandatory deposits they’re required to make to cover trading positions. It’s expected that from Monday this week they’ll charge (instead of pay) interest on deposits although alternatives to cash such as bonds and securities will still be allowed interest free.

At this stage it’s just RBS’ biggest investor clients who will be affected. There’s no current indications that smaller businesses or consumers will be charged for money they have in their savings accounts.

We are living in interesting times and having cash in the bank doesn’t really work for anyone when interest rates are so low. Is now the time to invest heavily in your business either with your own funds or with borrowing? There hasn’t been a better moment in our lifetimes to be a borrower rather than a lender and it looks likely that interest rates will be staying low for the foreseeable future.

Are you investing? If so are you using your own funds, a traditional bank or an alternative lender?