April 2016 saw the launch in Ireland, and several other European countries , of Raisin.com – which describes itself as an online deposit marketplace.
It is early days – but in short it allows Irish savers to get better interest rates on their savings from banks in the EU instead of accepting lower rates here in Ireland.
Raisin are based in Germany and they say their aim is to “disrupt the financial sector by offering an extensive product portfolio of banking products from our partner banks to customers across the EU/EEA and Switzerland. ”
With Raisin – it is all operated online and deposits are 100% protected up to amounts of €100,000 per bank. At the moment there are only 2 partner banks – but this number is expected to grow in the coming months. The 2 banks are Alior Bank from Poland and J&T Banka – a Czech bank.
At launch – some of the interest rates available on raisin.com were better than the highest rates offered by banks in Ireland.
Alior bank were offering fixed rates over 1 year , 2 years and 3 years that beat all the Irish banks. (1.6% , 1.65% and 1.7% respectively) .
See our current list of the Best Buys on Savings accounts here
Customers just need to register once with Raisin and then transfer funds to a Raisin Account. Customers can then open and manage one or more term deposits with the Raisin.com partner banks without having to register again. Id will be required for registration – such as a copy of your passport.
The EU banks will normally deduct taxes on deposit interest – but Irish residents will be liable for DIRT here in Ireland and can avoid paying tax in the country where the deposit is held if they can provide proof of Irish tax residency.
Update – Dec 2016
Raisin stopped accepting new Irish customers because the Central Bank of Ireland holds the opinion that Raisin would require a licence under the Investment Intermediaries Act.
Update Aug 2018
A spokeswoman for Raisin.com said the platform was “working intensively on finding a solution for Irish savers”, with the expectation that Irish savers will have access to the Raisin products within six to nine months.
Raisin currently has partnered with 50 banks, has more than 130,000 customers and more than €7 billion invested via the platform. Partner banks include Portuguese bank Atlantico, Czech bank J&T Banka and the Polish bank Alior, offering rates of as much as 1.64 per cent on term deposits of €2,000 and more at a term of up to five years.
Update July 2019
Raisin say they will “soon be going live once again in the Irish market. This means Irish savers will be able to access fixed term deposit products from across Europe, broadening the scope of rates and terms available to them. “