The convenience of online savings accounts and Internet retailers
DIY enthusiasts cannot fail to have noticed the proliferation of online stores that sell a wide range of hardware at very attractive prices. Shopping over the Internet may have some drawbacks, such as not being able to see new drills and electric saws in operation, but the convenience and value for money that they offer more than makes up for this in many people's eyes. If you already have all the tools that you need and are currently looking for somewhere to keep your spare cash then the Internet could still be a great help. Instead of visiting local banks and building societies in person you can apply for and open various different accounts online, which could save you an awful lot of time. There are many independent reviews of European banks and other financial institutions on Internet forums and numerous websites so if you are the type of person that likes to do their homework before making a decision, this will not present a problem. Reviews of power tools are also easy to find online and can help you to make the right choice when investing in a new sander or jigsaw. UK distance selling laws apply to online purchases and should ensure that were you to experience any problems with something that you bought over the Internet, the situation would be resolved in an amicable and expedient manner by the retailer in question.
British banks are regulated by the FSA but if you would like to open an Online Savings account with a European institution, you should check whether they are a member of a deposit insurance scheme beforehand. All reputable organisations will be properly regulated and have some form of insurance that will entitle their customers to compensation in the event that they run into severe financial difficulties and are forced to close. There are also consumer protection laws in place to make sure that people do not suffer financially if a company that they ordered a product from should happen to go into liquidation before they receive their goods but this is obviously something that only happens very rarely. Nevertheless, sticking with firms that are based in the United Kingdom might be a good idea if this is the sort of thing that you tend to worry about when dealing with commercial entities on the Internet.
To ensure that your money earns as much interest as possible whilst sitting in a bank account it will probably be necessary to shop around, rather than choose to invest with the first organisation that you come across. Higher rates are on offer with banks in various countries in mainland Europe so it is worth bearing this in mind when evaluating your options. Most of these banks offer accounts denominated in pounds sterling so there is no need to worry about the effect of exchange rate movements when dealing with a Continental organisation. If you purchase power tools in a foreign currency your exposure to this risk will be minimal.