DARLINGTON Building Society is reinforcing its commitment to encouraging North-East youngsters to form good savings habits.

The Society has announced that its top-rated Junior ISA will continue – with a dedicated focus on its local communities.

The account, which offers the best rate in the country at 2.5 per cent, has been overwhelmingly popular nationwide after being repeatedly highlighted in the national press and recommended by money savings expert Martin Lewis.

As a result of that demand, the Society has made the key strategic decision to protect the future of the account by dedicating it to its current members, or a new customer living in the Society’s operating area of the DH, DL, HG, TS, SR, and YO postcodes.

Darren Ditchburn, the Society’s Chief Customer Officer, said: “Our Junior ISA is designed for parents and guardians to help give their children the best possible start in life.

“It has been the highest rated account of its kind in the country for the past three months, and that has inevitably led to significant demand nationally. We therefore had to make a choice to remove the account from sale, reduce the interest rate, or limit it geographically.

“Our decision was to maintain the rate and leave the account on sale for existing members, and people in our operating area, because our priority will always be to support our local communities.”

The Junior ISA is designed as a longer-term savings account for under-18s to help them save for the likes of a deposit on a home, higher education, or a first car. The account, which allows up to £9,000 to be deposited in a financial year, is opened and managed by a parent or guardian, but the money is owned by the child. The child can then take control of the account at 16 but cannot withdraw any funds until they reach 18.

To secure the future of its Junior ISA, DBS will not be accepting any more applications from out of area customers from close of business at 2pm this Saturday (May 22).

In a further commitment to young savers, the Society has also launched a Teen Goal Saver account, at a very competitive rate, to encourage teenagers to save for purchases.

For children under 12, the Society also has an award-winning Darly Regular Saver account, aimed at encouraging good saving habits and financial education from an early age.

In addition, the Society’s branch refurbishment programme is placing greater emphasis on making its branches more modern and welcoming to younger customers.

“The importance of financial resilience has been underlined over the past year, and these important strategic steps are all about looking after our customers now and into the future,” said Mr Ditchburn. “We look forward to welcoming junior members into our branches and giving them a helping hand on their savings journey.”