Following the end of COP26, RCI Bank launched a new green savings account, where deposits will be used to finance sustainable transport and mobility projects.
The account is now available for new and existing customers. The bank, initially created by Renault to help finance customer vehicles, will initially use the proceeds to finance electric vehicles and electric charging stations.
Here, which one? reveals what the account offers and what is behind its “green” claims.
What does RCI Bank’s E-Volve account offer?
RCI Bank’s E-Volve account is a 14-day notice account, which pays a variable rate of 0.55% AER. You need to deposit at least £ 1,000 to open the account, and savings are capped at £ 1million.
The account is covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), but only up to £ 85,000 – any savings over that amount would not be covered if the bank went bankrupt.
Notice accounts fall somewhere between instant access accounts and fixed-term accounts, as they usually offer unlimited withdrawals, but you must wait for the specified notice period until the money comes to you. be paid.
In this case, it is 14 days. This is an unusual notice period – the most common notice periods are 30, 60, 90 and 120 days. As a general rule, the longer the notice period, the higher the interest rate. In the case of the E-Volve account, however, its rate of 0.55% is interest paid by other notice accounts that require 30 and 45 days notice.
However, you could beat that rate with an instant access account; the maximum rate for this type of account is currently 0.67% AER.
The rate can be changed at any time, but you will be given 28 days notice before this happens.
What is “green” about the account?
RCI Bank as a whole does not portray itself as a sustainable savings provider, and deposits from its other savings accounts are used to finance the lending activities and operations of its sister companies in the Renault-Nissan Alliance in UK.
While RCI Bank has been financing electric vehicles since 2011, savers’ deposits in its E-Volve account will be used exclusively for sustainable projects, which it says will help the company halve its emissions and achieve value. net zero by 2030. For this, it will initially be a question of financing infrastructure for electric vehicles and electric charging stations.
RCI Bank later said it would consider expanding into other environmentally friendly transport projects, in line with the UK government’s green finance framework for the development of clean transport options. Depending on the government cadre, this could include things like zero-emission buses and research into new zero-emission technologies.
The E-Volve account was also created in accordance with the principles of green loans, which ensure that the proceeds are used for things that have a clear environmental benefit, are traceable and are transparently reported.
NS&I Green Savings Bonds also protect savers’ deposits for environmentally friendly government projects. The money is guaranteed by the Treasury, but you will have to commit for a fixed period of three years and you will only earn 0.1% more interest than with the RCI Bank account.
How to check your supplier’s sustainability metrics
If you want to know how your savings institution is using your deposit, there are a few things you can do.
First, you can check out our survey of the most sustainable savings providers from the start of the year. Unfortunately, RCI Bank was not one of the 18 providers we evaluated, but we gave a range of large banks and small mortgage companies a rating out of 100 based on publicly available sustainability information. that they provided to potential customers.
You can also check your provider’s website. As we’ve seen, the amount of sustainability information can vary, but with environmental issues in the spotlight, many vendors share this kind of information and goals online – their “About Us” page. from us’ may be a good place to start looking.
For further consideration, supplier lending criteria, ethics reports, and annual reports should provide guidance on environmental impact, emissions, and details on which industries the company will and will not lend to.