HSBC finds a niche at 4.5 per cent

HSBC Bank said it would not respond to the “teaser” interest rates on high yield accounts, and would continue to offer “a consistently good rate.” The bank said it aimed to build its franchise for the next 20 years to 30 years rather than over for the next six to 12 months. HSBC offers an interest rate on internet-based accounts of 4.5 per cent, which is less than the 5.25 per cent offered by ING, the 5.4 per cent offered by Citibank, and the 6.0 per cent offered by BankWest. HSBC said it had about 113,000 online saving account customers, 40 per cent more than in 2003.