Latest savings rate rundown of the best rates in today's market

21st April 2016

With the 2016/17 tax year now fully underway and the Personal Savings Allowance beginning to bed in, you would be forgiven for thinking that good news in the form of new best buy accounts has fallen rather flat in recent weeks.

Whilst there are few new entrants to the best buy tables, the unfortunate trend of providers taking themselves out of the tables by lowering the rates on offer shows no sign of abating. However, there have been a small group of positive changes made by providers in the last few weeks.

Punjab National Bank now allows customers to apply for its range of market leading cash ISAs by post, rather than just in branch, making them available to far more savers in the UK as a result.

Coventry Building Society has increased the rate on offer on its Easy Access Saver, pushing the account to 2nd position in our Best Buy Table. Contrary to the general trend of providers cutting rates for existing account holders, those already holding the account benefitted from this change as well.

Finally, Saga has made a rare appearance in our Best Buy Tables, launching a 3 year fixed rate ISA that went straight into the top five accounts for the term. It may not be the best rate on the market, but nonetheless it is good to see a provider bucking the general trend.

Punjab National Bank now accepts postal applications on its cash ISA range, having previously restricted account opening to branch only. The rates on offer are market leading with the Variable Rate Cash ISA paying 1.65% tax free/AER, available to open with a minimum balance of £1. The Fixed Rate ISAs pay 1.75% tax free/AER for 1 year, 1.90% tax free/AER for 2 years, 2.30% tax free/AER for 3 years, 2.35% tax free/AER for 4 years and 2.50% tax free/AER for 5 years and can be opened with a minimum of £1,000. Each of the cash ISAs accept transfers in of previous cash ISAs.

Many savers were previously unable to apply for these accounts, with just seven branches, covering a limited area of the UK. With rates significantly higher than the competition, this is good news for those savers that are not near to a branch. To apply for an account, download an application form from the following link -  

Coventry Building Society increased the interest rate on its Easy Access Saver from 1.15% to 1.30% gross/AER for both new and existing account holders. The account can be opened in branch, online, by post or by telephone, with a minimum of £1. There are no introductory bonuses or withdrawal restrictions.

As a result of the increase in interest rate, the account now sits in 2nd position in our Best Buy Table, behind RCI Bank’s Freedom Savings Account, paying 1.45% gross/AER. It is also worth noting that at a time when many providers are cutting rates for existing accounts holders, Coventry Building Society has done the opposite, with those already holding the account benefiting from an increase that puts the rate at a more competitive level.

SAGA has launched a new 3 Year Fixed Rate ISA paying 1.80% tax free/AER that is only available to savers over 50 years old. Accounts can be opened online with a minimum of £1 and you are able to transfer previous ISAs into the account. Withdrawals from the account are allowed, subject to a penalty of 270 days’ loss of interest in the first year, 180 days’ loss of interest in the second year and 90 days’ loss of interest in the final year.  

Whilst you can get a better rate from Punjab National Bank (2.30% tax free/AER), it is good to see a well-known company enter the best buy tables. Whilst the account is restricted to those over 50 years old, this account could be a suitable alternative for this group of savers.

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