frequently asked questions
Who are you?
Founded in 2000, we’ve spent the last 16 years building the trust of thousands of customers with smart, simple and easy-to-use financial products that do what they say they will. We now manage over £6 billion on behalf of more than 50,000 people. Visit octopusinvestments.com to find out more.
How do you make money?
There’s no cost for saving with Octopus Cash – other than any fees you might agree to pay your adviser. Instead, we charge our partner banks an admin fee of between 0.15% and 0.30% for handling the process.
How it works
How come your rate’s so much higher than the high street banks?
We work with smaller challenger banks who offer better rates than their bigger high street counterparts.
Why can these banks offer better rates? Well, firstly because they’re way more efficient than the massively unwieldy and extravagant brands you’ve come to know (and probably hate).
They spend less money generating their income than the big banks – and so can afford to give more to their customers. The less they spend on bankers’ bonuses and high-profile sponsorship deals, the more they have to offer you!
What’s more, the big banks haven’t needed to worry about winning over customers. Over the last seven years, the Bank of England has pumped huge amounts of money into the economy through successive bouts of ‘quantitative easing’ (the technical term for printing more money).
And, in a bid to get them lending, its handed banks and building societies substantial funding through its ‘Funding for Lending Scheme’ (though many of us may have probably failed to notice the impact…). Awash with free cash, the high street has simply stopped caring about the customer.
For smaller challenger banks, who are less reliant on the central bank and more focused on developing products for everyday savers, this has opened up an opportunity to stick it to the big banks. And we want to help them do it.
How do you choose which banks to partner with?
The banks we work with are typically younger ‘challenger’ banks who want to make saving easier and more rewarding for their customers. They offer better savings rates than you could find on the high street, with none of the frustrating ‘bait and switch’ tactics of their big name counterparts.
But it’s not just about giving you a better deal; it’s also crucial that we keep your money safe at all times. That’s why we only work with banks which are regulated by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA), and which qualify for the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), protecting up to £85,000.
Remember, as with all banks, any deposits you hold above the limit are unlikely to be covered. For more information, visit fscs.org.uk.
Can I pick and choose which banks my money’s saved with?
No – we’ll handle all the legwork for you. We’ve designed the product so that we automatically give you the best available rate while doing everything we can to ensure there’s zero risk.
How do you allocate my money to partner banks?
If you’re saving £85,000 or less, we’ll deposit all your client’s cash with the bank which pays the best rate. If you’re saving more, we’ll deposit it in chunks of £85,000, starting with the bank that pays the highest rate and ending with lowest.
Savers can currently deposit up to £255,000 and retain full FSCS protection (in fact it’s slightly less, so that we can ensure your interest is protected, too. See ‘is my interest covered by FSCS?’ for more info…).
But you’re welcome to save more than that if you like – you’ll just need to confirm that you’re happy that it won’t all be covered. Anything saved over the £255,000 limit will be spread evenly across those banks which are willing to take over £85,000 per customer.
We currently work with 3 banks that accepts corporate money. This means only £255,000 is protected but you can save up to a maximum of £1,100,000.
How is interest calculated – and when’s it paid?
Interest is calculated daily and, like with all fixed-term savings accounts, will be paid at maturity – i.e. at the end of the one-year term.
Is my interest taxed?
Your interest is paid before tax. So, depending on your individual circumstances, you may have to declare it as part of your annual tax return.
Remember, the Personal Savings Allowance entitles basic rate taxpayers to earn £1,000 of interest completely tax free. For higher rate taxpayers it’s £500, while additional rate tax payers aren’t entitled to any interest tax relief. If you’re unsure about if or how much tax you should be paying, you should consult a specialist tax adviser.
Is my interest covered by FSCS?
Yes. We calculate how much interest you’ll earn over the course of the one-year term and reduce the £85,000 maximum accordingly, so that your savings will never exceed the FSCS limit with each bank. That way, unless you actively choose to save more, your money will always be protected.
Protecting your money
What happens if one of the banks goes bust?
All of our partner banks are covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). That means, if the unthinkable happened and any of them were to fail, the FSCS will compensate any amount you hold with them up to £85,000, within 20 working days.
Any deposits you hold above the limit are unlikely to be covered, but could still be reclaimed from the bank through the administration process (though this could never be guaranteed, and would take a good deal of time).
Where’s my money kept before it’s deposited with your partner banks?
Prior to being deposited with our partner banks, your money will be kept in a segregated HSBC trust account.
Because we spread your money across more than one bank, we can allow you to save more than the £85,000 FSCS limit while still making sure your cash is protected by the scheme. However, there’ll be a short space of time prior to us depositing the money with our partner banks where any money over this limit will be unprotected in the HSBC trust account.
Is Octopus Cash covered by the FSCS?
Octopus Cash isn't a bank, and as such isn't part of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). But the partner banks with whom we deposit your money are.
What happens if Octopus Cash goes bust?
Octopus Cash is not a bank. When you use our service, we deposit your money with our partner banks – all of which are part of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. Prior to sending your money to our partner banks, it will be kept in a segregated HSBC trust account and protected up to £85,000.
In the event that Octopus Cash were to go bust, we would stop facilitating any future deposits and enact our fully funded orderly wind down plan, allowing us to maintain a consistent service to existing customers. Any cash sitting in the HSBC trust account would be returned to customers immediately, and cash deposited with our partner banks would be returned at the end of the term as normal.
Octopus Cash is offered by Octopus Co-Lend Limited and forms part of the Octopus Group: a group of companies with more than £7 billion under management.
Accessing your money
Can I access my money before the end of the one-year term?
No, you won’t be able to access your savings prior to the end of the term, unless you can prove severe hardship.
In the future, we may make it possible to withdraw your funds for a penalty (for example losing your interest); but we would only ever suggest using Octopus Cash for money you know you won’t need for the next year.
Is it possible to save for longer than a year?
To begin with we’re only offering one-year fixed term accounts, but in time we may look to introduce other longer-term savings accounts, too.
What happens at the end of the term?
One month before the end of the term, we’ll get in touch to see if you’d like to continue for another year at a new savings rate, or if you’d like to withdraw. Regardless of which you choose, we’re obliged to get in touch again two weeks later, to give you 14 days’ notice of the end of the term.
If you choose to roll-over, your final balance (including interest) will be returned to the segregated HSBC bank account, before being automatically spread out again across our partner banks within a week. If you choose to withdraw, the total balance will simply be paid to your chosen bank account instead.
If we don’t hear from you, your money will go back into a segregated HSBC trust account while we try and confirm with you what you’d like to do.
setting up an account
How do I begin?
Apply directly on the Octopus Cash website or through your financial adviser today and we’ll get your cash working harder in no time. If you are applying as a business, please download and complete the paper corporate application form
How can I fund my Octopus Cash account?
Either by cheque or bank transfer. You’ll need to send us the full amount in one go – we won’t be able to accept payment in installments (you may need to speak to your bank to allow you to transfer more than their usual limit).
How long do I have to transfer my money?
You’ll have one week to transfer the money after signing up – if we receive it any later we won’t be able to guarantee the advertised savings rate. If it’s changed, we’ll get in touch with your adviser to let them know what the new rate is, so they can check if you still want to continue. If you do, we’ll go ahead and get your account up and running; if you don’t, we’ll return the money.
How long will it take for my money to be deposited?
Once we’ve received your money, we’ll aim to get it working within a week. If you’re funding your account by cheque, however, be aware that it’ll take an additional five days for it to clear.
Will I earn interest in the meantime?
No, you’ll only earn interest from the point at which the money’s deposited with our partner banks – that’s when the one-year term starts, not before.
Will the banks contact me?
No – that’s the beauty of it! You’ll just have one single point of contact – us – and so won’t have to worry about getting lots of junk mail through the letter box, or have the banks trying to sell you products or advice you don’t want.
Plus you’ll no longer have to remember all the various log-ins for your different savings accounts: just one account to manage your cash. You’ll never need another savings account again.
How can I keep track of my savings?
We’ll send you and your adviser (if you’re applying through your adviser) a letter of confirmation once your money’s been deposited. In time you’ll both be able to log in at any time to see how much interest you’ve earned. At the end of the term, when your interest is paid, we’ll send you an annual statement that you can use for any tax returns you might need to complete.
How can I get in touch with you?
If you’ve got any questions, comments or feedback we’d love to hear from you. You can...
Give us a call: 0800 294 6848 (you’ll always speak to a human)
Send us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or you can even pop in to see us at our offices, if you like: 33 Holborn, London EC1N 2HT
How do I make a complaint?
We try and get it right every time – but if you're unhappy and would like to make a complaint, then do get in touch.
How is my personal data used?
Who can save with Octopus Cash
Octopus Cash is currently open to individuals and company accounts, but we can only accept money that’s currently held in a UK bank account.
We won’t rule out other options in the future – for example joint accounts or trust accounts.
What’s the most or least I can save?
The minimum you can save with Octopus Cash is £1,000. For individuals, there’s no max, but be aware that currently only £255,000 will be eligible for protection by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). For Corporate depositers, please note that we can only accept deposits up to £1,100,000.
Can I make multiple deposits?
As part of our initial launch we’ll only be allowing customers to make a single deposit – you won’t be able to add to your account at a later date. But we’ll be working hard to allow you to do so in due course.