Intelligent Finance

A new topic to split out some off-topic comments from the thread about everyone’s other favourite fintech establishment

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Yeah. I still mourn the failure of offset banking in the dotcom era, with my Intelligent Finance account. Each product was differently priced, but offset each other.

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I agree. I mentioned something in one of the now locked down Starling threads Starling Discussion & Feedback - #3250 by 47AlphaTango

To offer a customer based credit line instead of product based would be very innovative. Especially if you didn’t pay interest provided you where in credit overall.

For example you may have a £5000 credit limit and £7000 in the bank. My preference would still be to pay for my £2000 holiday on credit to get to get the S75 protection. Once my overall balance drops below my credit limit then I pay an interest rate.


Can you expand a little on this at all?

I understand the concept of an offset mortgage (let’s say at 2% APR) - so your savings offset against that. But I’m not sure how it would work if there were multiple products at different rates.

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I’ve tried to sum it up, but actually just read IF’s press release from its launch.

(I know it’s a lot, but I needed to school the children that there was innovation pre-Monzo :wink: and WOW LOOK AT THE RATES IN THE NINETIES!)



Intelligent Finance, the ground-breaking telephone and internet bank, today announced six market leading rates with the potential to make more than 94% of the banking population - that is 18 million households - £5.6 billion better off.

Intelligent Finance unveiled the best full service (including a cheque book) current account rate in the country of 5% (this compares with 0.1% on average from the clearing banks); a direct access savings account paying up to 6.25%; a flexible mortgage rate of 6.8%; discounted by 1.5% for the first six months; a personal loan rate of 10.5%; an authorised overdraft rate of 10.8% and a credit card rate of 10.8%.

Intelligent Finance makes these rates even more attractive by automatically connecting customers’ financial products in order to maximise the interest on their savings or minimise the interest on their borrowings.

For example, customers who want to minimise interest payments on their borrowings and who have £1000 in Intelligent Finance’s current account and £1000 outstanding on Intelligent Finance’s credit card, will pay absolutely no interest on their credit card.

Research shows that 6 million customers have enough money in their current account to repay their outstanding credit card balances, yet they are charged an average rate of 17.8% on their credit card by their existing lender.

Intelligent Finance will change this through its Intelligent Banking System, using the benefits of connectivity, for which a patent has been applied. Intelligent Finance is the only bank to offer the benefits of connectivity across all banking products.

Customers can use the same principle of connecting their current account and savings money to personal loans or even their mortgage. Therefore 0% rates can apply to both personal loans and mortgages.

Research shows that 9.3 million people save more than they borrow and therefore could benefit from the 0% rates for all their borrowings. For those people who borrow more than they save, the average benefit amounts to £515 per annum. Research by ICM, independently verified by Professor Michael Danson, Department of Economics, University of Paisley, shows that 18 million households have the potential to benefit by up to £5.6 billion a year - the equivalent of 2p off the basic rate of income tax.

Intelligent Finance also confirmed that the first new generation bank to launch with a full range of products on day one will open for telephone business on Friday 14 July, followed by internet applications by the end of July.

Each product will remain separate because that’s what customers want. Customers can choose as few or as many products as they wish.

There are no restrictions or tie-ins and each product has “best of breed” features. Customers will be able to choose the way in which they bank with Intelligent Finance - over the phone, by WAP, or on the Net - with no penalty for doing so. The first 150,000 customers to open a current account or take a credit card will receive a free WAP phone.

Whenever savings or current account balances are connected with a credit card, personal loan or mortgage, the interest saved is earned on a gross basis with no tax liability - provided customers choose the right to offset the money they have against the money they owe. But even if customers have no borrowings, Intelligent Finance connects current account and savings balances and pays interest at the highest savings rate for the whole account.

Jim Spowart, Chief Executive of Intelligent Finance, said: "Intelligent Finance is showing the way. This is how all banks will be in the future. The potential saving to consumers of £5.6 billion is enormous.

"For millions of people, the need to shop around for better rates will become a thing of the past, not just because of our market leading individual rates but because our unique system of connectivity will always offer the best possible deal to customers. They can always be assured that Intelligent Finance will lead the way in offering the UK public the best possible deal. "

Notes to Editors:

Interest Rates

Product Normal Rate And it could be…
Current Account 5% gross/AER Up to 10.8% gross/AER
Savings up to 6.25% gross/AER Up to 10.8% gross/AER
Mortgage 5.3% variable discounted rate for 6 months then 6.8% (6.97% APR) variable Reduced to 0% APR
Credit Card 10.8% APR variable Reduced to 0% APR
Personal Loans 10.5% APR Reduced to 0% APR

The Product Range

Current Account

  • Variable interest rate
  • Credit balances pooled with instant access savings balances for interest purposes
  • Automatic sweep facility between current account and savings
  • Overdraft facilities available
  • Cheque book and debit card
  • Dedicated team of 400 people to move standing orders and direct debits on the customer’s behalf, with a payment of £10 to cover the cost of interest and inconvenience during the changeover
  • Direct debits, standing orders and bill payments
  • Free cash withdrawals from all Link machines
  • £300 daily cash machine limit

Savings Account

  • Variable and tiered interest rates
  • £1 minimum deposit, no maximum deposit
  • Mini cash ISA and Tessa-only ISA available
  • Regular transfers may be set up from savings to current account or other IF savings
  • 14 day cooling off period after savings account opened

Personal Loan

  • Fixed interest rate
  • Loans from £1,000 to £25,000
  • Loans can be repaid over 1 to 8 years
  • Payment holidays available (customer may miss up to two regular payments in any one calendar year, apart from during first or final 6 months of loan)
  • Loan can be repaid in full at any time without penalty

Credit Card

  • Variable rate, Visa credit card, no annual fee
  • Up to 56 days interest free period
  • No interest charged on purchases if balance cleared monthly within interest free period
  • Credit limits from £500 to £10,000
  • Minimum repayment 3% of balance or £5
  • Second card holder option
  • Card protection insurance available


  • Variable interest rate
  • LTV up to 95%
  • Minimum loan £25,000; maximum loan £500,000
  • Minimum loan period is 3 years
  • Repayment on an interest only, or capital and interest basis or a mixture of both
  • Payment holidays available (customer may miss up to two regular payments in any one calendar year except during first 6 or final 36 months)
  • Customer can repay into mortgage and draw down again at a later date
  • Customer can mortgage for house purchase/remortgage/equity release
  • Intelligent Finance pays conveyancer’s charges for remortgaging
  • Intelligent Finance contributes towards the legal cost of your home purchase
  • No arrangement fees; no tied insurance
  • Choice of changing regular mortgage payments when interest rates change or of having same regular payment for a 12 month period
  • Decision in six minutes

I remember when this 1st launched as it was pretty much drilled into us every week about the service. I worked at Head Office for Halifax at the time, they had their own television network to pump out news {way before video over intranet etc became popular)

Anyways one of the key parts of news was that plenty people were saving for a boob job, as you could name the savings areas and that was one of the more popular :joy:


10% interest on a bank account… be still my beating heart.


So that’s where TSB got the idea of a 5% interest rate from?!

And almost 7 on a mortgage

My parents go on and on about paying 16% on their mortgage once


It was better to pay no interest on borrowing (and therefore get no interest on the equivalent savings) because savings’ interest was taxable, so the offset on borrowing was also tax efficient.


I have moved out some comments about Intelligent Finance to this topic

It does not seem to have its own existing topic, which is a little bit surprising given how innovative it was at the time and how many people must have either been with them or had parents who did

Wouldn’t mind some 10% interest now!