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22,000 Open savings gateway

Over 22,000 people have opened a savings gateway account during the second pilot of the Government initiative in six areas.

The Government is using the scheme to explore how matching savers’ contributions and the support of a range of community financial bodies can help promote saving among people who do not normally save.

The 15m pilot take-up period began in March and ended at the start of August covering East London, Cambridgeshire, Manchester, East Yorkshire, South Yorkshire and Cumbria.

Halifax provides the banking facilities for the project which tests alternative matching rates, different monthly contribution limits, the eff- ect of an initial endowment and the support of a range of community financial edu- cation bodies.

The accounts will run for 18 months and MORI and the Institute of Fiscal Studies are conducting researchand evaluating the schemes.

The maximum amount that can be saved per month varies between 25 and 125 depending on the area, with different match rates also dependent on area.

The Conservatives and LibDems have indicated that the results of this scheme will influence future policy proposals regarding long term saving.

Economic Secretary to the Treasury Ivan Lewis says: “It is fantastic that the new saving s gateway pilot scheme has proved so popular. By matching the amount that participants save, the gateway will encourage saving and help those savings to grow.”

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