Is the interest bonus guaranteed? I think not

I don’t think the bonus is guaranteed because they say the payment of bonuses in completely at the discretion! Here is the information which I found in ttps://www.getchip.uk/terms:
‘7.2 The payment of all Bonuses is at Chip’s sole discretion. Despite any terms to the contrary on our website or elsewhere, we may choose to withhold the payment of all or part of any Bonus, including a Bonus which is showing in your account as having already accrued, even if you meet the criteria that have previously been advertised. We may give reasons for withholding the payment of all or part of a Bonus, but are not obliged to do so. This clause 7.2 shall apply to all Bonuses accrued on or after 20 July 2020, but shall not apply to Bonuses accrued before such date, which shall continue to be governed by clause 7.1’

Am I correct? I hope I’m wrong,

Well it clearly states the terms in black and white

Did you not read them before signing up?

I confess I didn’t. I realise that was stupid. But I think that fact is so important that it shouldn’t just be mentioned in the terms don’t you, or do you think that everyone opens accounts for the autosaving feature? I saw the account talked about on moneysavingexpert and there was no mention of this so I think that’s a mistake on their part, but you’re obviously right one should always look at the terms (quoted above).

Thank you for the reply.

Lifted straight from MSE the website so it has been mentioned and I think it’s acceptable to be in the t & c’s

I think MSE’s saying it’s not fscs protected it’s not saying that you may not get the bonus which is a crucial difference and the point is significant.

Most terms and conditions have “get out clauses”. It doesn’t mean they will be used. They protect the company if there are any unforeseen circumstances.

I think it would help if it was clearer what that clause is designed to cover. I agree with @John that it probably won’t be used, but it does seem a bit weird.

Ben

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I echo John. You look in any T&Cs from any company for any offer or even any bank for any interest bearing account it will say the same

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Hmmm. I thought interest is guaranteed with savings accounts unless the business goes out of business? I’ll have to check that, perhaps you’re right. Anyway I’ve decided to close my account. Thanks for the help everyone.

Hi there, as mentioned - there are often clauses in the T&Cs which have to be put in compliance wise to protect the company in unforeseen circumstances, as opposed to a company just deciding they don’t want to anymore. More information on this can always be found if you contact our team in app, or shoot us an email to ‘hello@getchip.uk’ - messages can often be missed on this Forum as it’s a place for general discussion, and not immediate query solving. Having said that, i’ll look into this for you right now with the team and get more clarification on it :slight_smile:

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MSE’s reply:

Hi xxx,

Thanks for getting in touch and flagging this concern.

We queried this part of Chip’s terms directly with Chip. It clarified that the reason for the provision is to protect the firm from third party fraud, in particular money laundering. It has also assured us that it would not withhold the bonus from genuine customers.

Of course, since the bonus is variable, it could drop in the future. If you’re looking guaranteed returns on your savings, and you’re able to lock cash away, it’s worth looking at fixed rate accounts instead.

I hope this helps.

Best wishes,

MSE Petar

Of course they say they don’t expect to have to apply it but it makes me very cautious and for a number of reasons including this I’ve decided not to invest with them.

Really, I expected a better response from MSE, one which says that they’ll be flagging this up on their page, but at least they investigated. I’ve learnt to be wary of MSE’s advice because I know they’ve advertised things before without telling the consumer.

2020 has taught us all that nothing is guaranteed in this world. However, weighing up the minute risk, in the current climate it’s a damn good return. IMHO

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What makes you say it’s a minute risk? Do you know the people who work for the company?

The bonus is held separately from Chip, and whilst not fscs guaranteed, is about as secure as it can be without it. I am confident in its safety, if you have doubts then act accordingly.

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Chip has been around for a few years and intends to be around and growing as a company in the future - it is clearly not just a scam or similar.

It would be very bad publicity if they were to advertise a bonus and then decide to not pay said bonus. Each person they did that to would withdraw their funds, they might also make a fuss on review sites and other forums. There seems to be no reason why Chip would choose to withhold bonus.

@Phrase2 said above that bank terms would say, effectively, “interest is paid at our sole discretion and is not guaranteed.” I checked a few banks’ terms and none said that, so I don’t really know why Chip would have this term but the bonus isn’t interest so maybe that has something to do with it.

I don’t know how this term would protect Chip from third party fraud, but if the app was being used for money laundering then I can see that they wouldn’t want to have to pay the money launderer a bonus that, without this term, they would presumably be obliged to pay.

I respect your decision to not use the product because of this term but, what is the worst that can happen? You don’t get paid the bonus and lose out on a maximum of £43 over 12 months (if my maths is correct – (£5000*0.0125)-19.5 ). As I say above, this would be a stupid tactic for a company that is trying to establish itself in the market etc.

I think MSE’s response to your concerns is fair enough. I have no idea whether they read the terms of every product they promote/feature but I don’t think they are in the habit of advertising offers that they don’t believe to be true. I note you say they have “advertised things before without telling the consumer” but I haven’t personally had any problems with them.

My previous post in the thread was querying the reason for the term. Whilst it would have been nice to have something “from the horse’s mouth,” the reason that Chip have apparently given to MSE when asked sounds sort of logical, and I still firmly believe that they are not going to actually use this term. Yes, they have the right to, but… see above.

Up to you, but I don’t think there is anything to lose (unless you are a money launderer, in which case avoid :upside_down_face: ).

Ben

Ben, thanks for checking that. i haven’t been on this forum long but I’m a bit suspicious of some of the people commenting here - which is why I asked if somebody here ‘knew’ the people who worked for the company, I’ll see if they answer.

If you look on another thread you’ll see that I was also unhappy with the complete lack of clarity over their autosave feature. So in the end, I decided it wasn’t worth the hassle or the worry. Good luck to anyone who invests.

@yothere, no I don’t know anyone who works there, but as in investor in the last three rounds I’ve done a lot of research on Chip. I also negotiate contracts as part of my job, so understand the clauses that get used and why. Google “Hoover free flights promotion” to see what can go wrong with well intentioned promotions and specifically what happens to a company that reneges on them.