Maria Harris: The term ‘Standard Variable Rate’ should be scrapped

Ryan Bembridge

July 10, 2019

The term Standard Variable Rate should be scrapped and replaced by something like Default Rate, Atom Bank’s Maria Harris urged yesterday.

Speaking at a Trussle-hosted reception in Parliament yesterday, she said it should be given a name that gets across the point that it’s a temporary rate, like calling it Interim Rate or Default Rate.

Harris, director of lending at Atom Bank, said: “Can we stop calling SVR Standard Variable Rate?

“There is nothing standard about moving onto the last rate of default on the basis that you haven’t made any other choices.

“I would really campaign that we start changing the terminology around SVR.

“I would like my fellow lenders to offer their customers the same access to real-time data that they have with Atom Bank and make it really easy for customers to know when their rate finishes, what that means for them and that they have choices.

“And that their choice is not to default onto a standard variable rate.”

While Atom Bank uses the term Standard Variable Rate Harris said this is because it’s the terminology that the industry recognises, and not what the bank would like to call it.

Morgan Wild, senior policy researcher from Citizens Advice, backed Harris’s call to rename it to Default Rate.

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