January's Rates Rundown

19th January 2017

The breaking news from the Post Office, brought to you in our last Rates Rundown, appears to have sparked a flurry of movement amongst easy access accounts, with a number of positive changes happening over the last couple of weeks.

RCI Bank reacted to the change from the Post Office almost straight away, increasing the interest rate on its Freedom Savings Account to join it at the top of our best buy table.

The following week saw a new market leader launched by Hanley Economic Building Society and a new best buy from Nottingham Building Society.

Then the very next day, Nottingham Building Society moved above both RCI Bank and the Post Office, an improvement that benefited both new and existing account holders.

Not to be outdone, RCI Bank increased the rate on its Freedom Savings Account for the second time in less than a week, matching Nottingham Building Society at the top of our table.

Elsewhere, Atom Bank expanded its range of accounts by adding new 3 and 5 year fixed rate bonds, with both going straight into our respective best buy tables.

The Freedom Savings Account from RCI Bank now pays 1.02% gross/AER and can be opened online with a minimum of £100. Interest can be paid annually or monthly.

It is worth noting that deposits held with RCI Bank are covered up to the value of €100,000 by the FGDR, which is the French equivalent of the UK Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). If you would like more information on this, please call 0800 321 3581 to talk to one of our advisers.

To see a provider determined to match others in the savings market, not once but twice in the space of a week is good news for savers, as it is this jostling for positioning between providers that will push rates back in the right direction. Good news as well for those who already hold the account, as the increases will benefit them, as well as new customers.

Hanley Economic Building Society launched its Monthly Income Saver paying 1.05% gross/AER. Accounts can be opened in branch or by post, with a minimum of £25,000. Interest is paid on a monthly basis only, to a nominated account and there is no notice or penalties for withdrawals, provided £25,000 remains in the account.

A market leading easy access account and a rare, but welcome, appearance from this provider in our best buy tables. The account has a comparatively high minimum opening balance requirement and having to have interest paid monthly to a separate account may not appeal to every saver, however the account could be ideal for those who have larger sums to invest and want to have easy access to their money.

Nottingham Building Society launched its eSaver Instant Issue 6 at 1.00% gross/AER and then increased the rate to 1.02% gross/AER the next day for both new and existing account holders. Accounts can be opened online with a minimum of £1,000.

Whilst this provider is not a common sight in our best buy tables, it has certainly grabbed our attention by launching a best buy account and then reacted to other changes in the market by improving the rate the very next day. The more providers that make moves like this the better, as it will lead to improved interest rates for savers.

Atom Bank has expanded its fixed rate bond range with the addition of 3 and 5 year bonds to complement its 1 and 2 year bonds. The 3 Year Fixed Saver pays 1.70% gross/AER and the 5 Year Fixed Saver pays 2.05% gross/AER. Accounts are available to open with a minimum of £50 through the provider’s app, which is available through the Apple App store or Google Play Store.

These new bonds went straight into our best buy tables, meaning that Atom Bank now features in all four of the respective tables, with the 1, 2 and 5 year bonds market leading and the 3 year bond just behind the market leader.

As is often the case, it is the newer providers that are leading the way and offering some of the top rates on the market. Atom Bank will not be familiar to all savers and applying for an account through an app may not be for everyone. However, the provider is fully covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), so as long as you keep within the limit, the accounts may be worth considering.

If you would like to discuss further options or would like any help with your savings, please get in touch. Our Bath-based savings experts would love to hear from you, so call us on 0800 321 3581. 

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