There's a new bank in the UK, RCI Bank, but the company behind it is a very well-known one: Renault.

It's part of RCI Banque, the Renault Group's finance company.

The new bank has debuted with a market-leading easy access savings account, the Freedom Savings Account, which offers a return of 1.50% AER.

There are no penalties, notice periods, tiered rates, gimmicks or small print. All you need is a minimum £100 deposit.

The new bank said it plans to launch a suite of additional savings products later this year.

A brief history of RCI Banque

RCI Banque has offered car finance with Renault, Nissan, Dacia and Infiniti in the UK over the last 20 years.

The move into offering savings accounts via RCI Bank follows similar moves in France, Germany and Austria in recent years.

A word of warning though: as RCI is authorised and regulated by the French regulators, it’s not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) which will cover your first £85,000 of savings should the bank go bust.

Instead, you’re covered by the French Deposit Guarantee Scheme which protects up to €100,000 (around £73,000) of your money.

[Related story: Premium Bonds savings limit rises to £50,000]

Easy access best buys

There are two types of easy access account: those with and those without an initial bonus rate.

A bonus will bump up your rate of interest, typically for around 12 months, before the rate comes crashing back down again. Chances are you'll then need to find a new home for your cash.

Let's start by looking at how the no-bonus best buy table looks now that RCI is on the scene.

Account

Interest rate (gross AER)

Minimum deposit

Access

RCI Bank Freedom Savings Bank

1.50%

£100

Online

Kent Reliance Branch Easy Access Savings 

1.45%

£1,000

Branch

The West Brom Limited Access Saver

1.40%

£1

Branch

GE Saver 

1.30%

£500

Online

NS&I Income Bonds

1.26%

£500

Online, post, phone

As you can see RCI stands alone at the top of the table, offering 0.05% more than Kent Reliance, and with a smaller opening balance requirement too.

Now, what about easy access accounts that come with an initial bonus rate? How do they measure up against RCI Bank?

Account

Interest rate (gross AER)

Minimum deposit

Access

BM Savings Online Extra

1.50% (includes 1% bonus for first 12 months)

£1,000

Online

Tesco Bank Internet Saver

1.35% (includes 0.60% bonus for first 12 months)

£1

Online

Saga Telephone Saver*

1.35% (includes 0.85% bonus for first 12 months)

£1,000

Online, phone

AA Internet Extra 

1.25% (includes 0.75% bonus for first 12 months)

£1,000

Online

Post Office Online Saver

1.20%(includes 0.55% bonus for first 12 months)

£1

Online

*Available to savers aged 50 or over

So BM Savings offers the same rate as RCI Bank, though it comes with a one-year bonus and also a higher minimum opening deposit. As a result, if you do go for the BM Savings account, make sure you note when the bonus comes to an end so that you can move your money to a new home.

Compare savings and Isa rates