Tandem Bank review

10 min Read Published: 18 May 2022

complete tandem bank review

With so many app-only banks trying to crack the UK market it can be difficult to choose which one is best for you; if any?

The thought of trusting a new challenger bank with your money can be daunting and so in this review, we took a look at Tandem to see how it works.

What is Tandem?

Launched in 2015 by founders Matt Cooper, Michael Kent and Ricky Knox, Tandem was created to 'get you and your money moving in the right direction'. Tandem is a fully-fledged bank account which means that up to £85,000 of your money is protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). Tandem became a fully-fledged bank account in 2018 after it acquired Harrods bank, allowing it to operate from the previous licence that Harrods Bank held.

Tandem was previously best known for its innovative savings features where it used artificial intelligence to analyse your spending habits and suggest an amount for you to save. Users could also save money using its handy round-ups feature, however, in January 2021, Tandem announced that it was stopping its autosaving features to concentrate on other projects including a focus on 'green banking'. Tandem has since announced that it is 'acquiring fast-growing consumer lender Oplo to create the UK’s fairer, greener digital bank.'

Susie Aliker, Group CEO of Tandem Group commented: “This is a really exciting moment for Tandem – by combining with Oplo we will create a bank totally focused on helping our customers to make fairer and greener financial choices. The two businesses are a great fit, bringing together a complimentary range of lending and savings products, with a shared common purpose to make a difference for our people, customers and the planet. With our flexible digital platform, new enlarged scale and strong profitability, Tandem is fantastically well positioned to become one of the UK’s leading digital banks.

How does Tandem work?

Currently, Tandem offers 1, 2 and 3 year fixed savings accounts, as well as an Instant Access account.

To join Tandem you just need to download the app from the App Store for iPhone, or Google Play Store for Android and register for an account. You are required to enter your Title, First and Last name as well as an email address and finally a secure password.

The next step is to enter your mobile number, this is required so that Tandem can send you a unique 6-digit code. Tandem then asks for further personal details including your date of birth, nationality and address. Finally, you'll need to enter your current account details so it can connect to your account.

Tandem features

  • Fixed savings accounts - Choose from a 1, 2 or 3 year fixed savings account and earn up to 2.65% AER
  • Instant Access Saver - Earn up to 1.10% AER
  • Tandem Mortgages - Buy-To-Let or Residential + Foreign Income mortgages from £500k - £5m
  • Loans - Personal and secured loans via the lender Oplo (part of the Tandem Group)
  • FSCS protection - your money is protected under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme up to £85,000

Tandem Instant Access savings account

Tandem offers an easy access savings account and savers can earn 1.10% interest on the balance. You can make manual transfers from your linked bank account and the money you have saved can be withdrawn by transferring it into your linked bank account.

You can connect your bank account to your Tandem account via open banking and the account you use to fund your Tandem account must be in your name.

Tandem account features:

  • Your money is protected up to £85,000 with FSCS
  • Withdraw money into your connected bank account
  • You can hold a maximum of £250,000
  • Interest is worked out daily and paid monthly

Tandem eligibility to apply:

  • 18+
  • A UK resident with 3 years of address history (in the UK)
  • Have a UK current account

Tandem 'fixed savers' savings accounts

Tandem offers the choice of three fixed-savings accounts with competitive interest rates. A fixed savings account guarantees the interest rate for a period of time but you cannot access your money until the account matures at the end of the term. Below is a comparison table with the Fixed Savings accounts that Tandem currently offers. For the best fixed-savings rates in the UK, and to see how Tandem compares, see our Best Buy tables.

Fixed Account Term Maximum deposit Interest rate (AER*)
1 year £2,500,000 2.26%
2 years £2,500,000 2.55%
3 years £2,500,000 2.65%

 

Tandem 'fixed savers' account features:

  • Your money is protected up to £85,000 with FSCS
  • Fixed interest rates in accounts for 1, 2 and 3 years
  • No withdrawals for the fixed term
  • You only have 14 days to deposit money into the account
  • Interest paid annually

Tandem eligibility to apply:

  • 18+
  • A UK resident with 3 years of address history (in the UK)
  • Have a UK current account

Alternatives to Tandem

In the below comparison table we highlight the key differences between Tandem and some of its competitors. Tandem closed its autosaving features in 2021 to focus on greener banking and its savings accounts so if you are looking for money management features in a digital bank then you may wish to look at the apps in the following comparison table. More information about the apps can be found in our reviews:

Tandem Monzo Starling Bank Chip Plum
Automatic Saving cross
Roundups cross
Current bank account
Savings Account *
Opportunity to earn interest *
Investing account tick
Loans via Oplo cross
Overdraft
FSCS protection

*Monzo does not offer its own savings account but there are options to save with partner banks through the app

Is Tandem safe to use?

Tandem is a registered bank which means that your money is protected up to £85,000 with the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). This limit applies to all money you may have with Tandem across different accounts, therefore if your savings exceed the value of £85,000, anything over the threshold will not be protected.

Tandem also advises that your bank details are safe with them as they use encryption software to keep your personal information safe.

Tandem Bank customer reviews

Tandem Bank has a score of 4.0 out of 5.0 stars on Trustpilot from over 1,600 reviews. 54% of users rate the bank as 'Excellent' citing 'great service' and a 'good company ethos'. Some customers also comment on the ease of making changes to personal account details such as a change of address or telephone number.

26% of users rate Tandem as 'Bad' with users claiming 'bad support'. Some users also express dissatisfaction with the bank relating to lost transactions and problems with ID verification. Some customers have also recently commented on their accounts being locked due to Tandem being unable to contact them to review the account.

Pros and cons of Tandem Bank

Pros of Tandem Bank

  • Free
  • Easy to set up
  • Committed to green banking and helping customers reduce their carbon footprint
  • FSCS protected
  • Chat to customer services 8am-6pm Mon - Fri

Cons of Tandem Bank

  • The only way to access it is via an app on your mobile
  • Hard to navigate website
  • Only offers fixed and instant savings accounts

Summary

Overall, Tandem's appeal has diminished since it no longer offers credit cards or autosaving features to customers. Tandem says it is currently working on something new and hopes to reintroduce a spend feature at a later date. For now, the Tandem savings accounts offer competitive rates (although not market-leading) and your money is protected up to £85,000 by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

Tandem will no doubt be a good fit for some but for now, there is a little way to go to rival other app-only banks and savings apps such as Starling Bank, Monzo, Chip and Plum.