Deposits go walkabout

OVER $13 trillion is sitting in American bank accounts and money-market funds, earning little or no interest. If consumers were even marginally more demanding, they could earn tens of billions of dollars in extra returns. That is the premise behind MaxMyInterest, a year-old electronic service aimed at slothful but yield-hungry savers. It offers to move money from banks that want to shed deposits, and that therefore pay savers low interest, to ones in need of them, and so willing to pay more. At the same time, it makes sure that each account holds no more than $250,000, the maximum amount insured by the government, providing not just higher returns, but risk-free ones.

The average interest paid on deposits in America is a microscopic 0.09% a year, according to BankRate, a data firm. MaxMyInterest’s clients receive 0.75% to 1.05%, with a weighted average of almost 1%. That may seem small, but it amounts to $2,000 a year for every $250,000 account, and should rise considerably whenever the Federal Reserve starts to raise rates. (At a meeting this week the central bank left rates unchanged, but it is still expected to start lifting them later this year...

via The Economist: Finance and economics Business Feeds

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