THE Post Office says it is taking on the big banks with a new savings account.
Post Office Financial Services' Instant Saver offers interest of 4.75% a year, when its 1% bonus for the first 12 months is included.
The account guarantees its rate will not be more than 1% below the Bank of England base rate.
It can be accessed through any post office branch as well as by telephone or the internet.
People can also withdraw money from their account through cash machines.
Other features include a charge of £1 each time money is taken out after six free withdrawals a year.
The minimum opening balance is £500.
The Post Office claims there is more than £450bn sitting in bank and building society accounts that neither offers competitive rates or easy access.
Meanwhile National Savings and Investments announced it was changing the rates it paid on its Inflation-Beating Savings Certificates and Fixed Interest Savings Certificates following movements in gilts market.
Rates are increasing on Fixed Interest Savings Certificates by 0.1%.