By Max Clarke

Northern Rock has launched a new issue of its instant access savings account designed for savers who wish to operate their account via a branch.

The Branch Saver (Issue 4) savings accounts will pay a market-leading annual interest rate of 2.05% gross /AER pa variable. Alternatively, customers may wish to opt for the monthly interest rate of 2.03% gross variable (2.05% AER).

The account can be opened and operated through Northern Rock branches with a minimum opening balance of £1. Additional deposits can be made up to the maximum balance of £250,000. Only one account per customer per issue is allowed.

Interest can be paid annually on 31 July. Alternatively, interest can be paid monthly on the last day of the month (available first business day of the following month or three days following this if the funds are sent via BACS to an external account).

Unlimited, charge-free withdrawals and transfers are permitted (there is a £35 fee for transfers and withdrawals by CHAPS).

Northern Rock has a network of 74 branches across the UK. A branch locator is available on Northern Rock's website.