HSBC forced to relaunch web account

HSBC has relaunched its Online Savings Account, positioning it between a traditional bank transaction account and the high-interest online accounts. HSBC's Online Savings Account offers 4.5 per cent interest on balances over $2,000. This compares with Citibank's Online Cash Manager at 5.4 per cent, ING Direct's Savings Maximiser at 5.25 per cent, AMP Banking's Easysaver at 5.05 per cent and St George Bank's directsaver at 5 per cent. HSBC's rate rises to 5.25 per cent only on balances above $500,000. HSBC's account also provides free HSBC-ATM withdrawals and EFTPOS, five free withdrawals per month from non-HSBC ATMs and free Internet and telephone banking. Counter transactions are $5 each. Among rival online accounts only Citibank offers ATM access and charges $2 per ATM or EFTPOS transaction.