Interest rates on savings accounts could increase as the UK battles its worsening mortgage crisis, Martin Lewis has said.
The consumer rights campaigner said on Monday that Jeremy Hunt had "hinted" at the move in discussions with him.
He said the Chancellor, with whom he met last week, still had the idea "on the agenda" as a way to reduce inflation and ease the current cost of living crisis.
"What should be discussed - and the chancellor hinted to me it's still very much on the agenda because when I met him I pushed quite strongly for this - is that we need to look at savings rates," he said.
"The banks have not been putting up savings rates commensurately with the borrowing rates they have put up."
Lewis told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that doing so would be a "less painful" way of helping to ease the mortgage crisis.
He said he welcomed the news that homeowners could now ask for a six-month interest-only period, or a six-month extension on their mortgage, but said an increase in savings rates should be the government's next move.
He said: "When you are trying to bring down inflation you're trying to squeeze borrowers. But also, to take money out of the economy, a much more palatable and less painful way to do that is increasing savings rates so that people are encouraged to save more."
Lewis accused banks of treating taxpayers unfairly, and said they had a duty to stop increasing their profit margins.
"The fact that the banks - who we bailed out in 2007 when they were in trouble - are now profiteering by increasing their margins when we the state, the taxpayer, is in trouble, seems a little beyond the pale for me," he said.
Downing Street has urged supermarkets to pass savings on to shoppers, and for banks to ensure savers benefit from higher interest rates.
Hunt will meet regulators on Wednesday to discuss “what actions the regulators are taking, what more we could do working together, are there any potential barriers to them going further”, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman told reporters on Monday.
The official said: “We absolutely expect banks to pass through higher rates to savers, as they are for mortgage holders, and we’re working closely with the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) who we know are monitoring it closely.
“It’s not only the right thing to do but it also has the potential to reduce inflation because people are encouraged to save rather than spend.”
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