BankWest is taking on the 'Big 4' banks in a battle for customers by launching a new savings account offering 8% interest per year.

The Regular Saver Account is reportedly the first in a new line of products being launched by the bank to coincide with its aggressive expansion plans. BankWest plans to open 160 new stores on Australia's east coast during the next three to four years.

Paul Vivian, head of deposits, BankWest, said: "It's time the Australian banking and finance industry took savings seriously and BankWest is reinvigorating this space and leading the charge once again."

Customers receive 8% interest on their savings when they deposit a minimum of $50 and a maximum of $500 in the account during that month and make no withdrawals. The account must also be linked to another eligible BankWest account. No interest will be paid if a withdrawal is made.

Vivian believes the account should be an incentive to all Australians, to get them back into the habit of saving.

"We know that Australians want to save, but many think that saving for a goal is just too hard. By offering 8% interest pa, it's our chance to show that we're committed to offering people a better deal. The foundation to building wealth is getting into a regular savings habit and Regular Saver provides people with the opportunity and incentive to save for a goal over a 12-month period."

The new product does not carry any account-keeping fees.

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