Those without internet access more prone to debt struggle?

The debt fears of some people may be exacerbated simply because they do not have access to the internet, new research has indicated.

A study carrie…

The debt fears of some people may be exacerbated simply because they do not have access to the internet, new research has indicated.

A study carried out by Which? discovered the four million Britons who do not use the web are missing out on the best rates for financial products.

The consumer-centred organisation found an online user can save around 37 per cent more than those who only manage their finances in-branch.

It was shown the average rate for instant access savings accounts available to those who use the internet is around double that afforded to individuals who do their banking physically.

People who go online can enjoy rates of 1.14 per cent, while others can only access those offering 0.56 per cent.

The investigation suggested fixed-rate savings accounts, current accounts and cash individual savings accounts (Isas) also offer more advantages for web users.

Furthermore, Which? revealed there is a 355 per cent difference between the best online deal for travel insurance and the most rewarding in-branch offer.

To come up with the figures, the organisation compared the difference in interest earned over a 12-month period for a number of branch and internet-based products.

These included £30,000 in an easy-access savings account, £10,000 in a cash Isa, £10,000 in a fixed-rate savings account and £1,000 in a current account.

Peter Vicary-Smith, chief executive at Which?, said banks should be more inclusive of people who are not comfortable when controlling their finances on the net.

By contrast, The Telegraph newspaper recently published a list of products which are not cheaper to buy online.

Moneyfacts.co.uk recently warned increases in authorised overdraft rates might result in elevated debt concern for many individuals in the UK.

By James Francis

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