In answer to the question in the headline, it is mostly doom and gloom I’m afraid. As ever, there have been some accounts that have jumped to the top of the tables but few and far between and very brief – so you have to move quickly.
RATES ARE CORRECT AS AT THE TIME OF PUBLICATION (20/11/2020). All up-to-date rates can be found on our Best Buy tables.
Both Atom Bank and Gatehouse Bank reduced their market-leading rates last week, to leave Saga (via Marcus by Goldman Sachs) in the top spot paying 0.70%.
In the case of Gatehouse Bank customers, all existing customers as well as new customers are now receiving the new rate of 0.60% AER – but Atom Bank have so far left their previous customers to enjoy the previous rate of 0.75%.
One of the most exciting moves we saw this week was the West Brom Building Society launching its market-leading WeBSave Bonus Saver (Issue 5) paying 0.75% AER on Thursday. But it was gone early the next day - so once again you needed to be quick to take advantage.
Unfortunately rates across the board have been falling and now all but one of the best buy 12 month bonds is paying less than 1% - back to where we were at the beginning of the month. Hopefully the likes of ZOPA, OakNorth and Tandem will resurrect their battle soon.
Even United Bank UK (UBL) has dropped its market leading three and five year bonds that have been at the top of the tables for many weeks.
In the meantime, FirstSave is the one to beat over one, two and three years. While over five years the current best rate is available via the Raisin UK Platform, the AgriBank bond is paying 1.46% AER.
It is always worth keeping a close eye on the fixed rate bond tables as we have seen some good deals pop up over the last few weeks. However, these deals have often proven to have a very short shelf live, so don’t delay if you want to snap one up.
Continuing to offer consistently good returns are the options available in our Sharia Fixed Term table, with the best one year offering paying marginally more than the best fixed rate bond - 1.08% AER with Al Rayan Bank. And BLME is still paying a market leading 1.50% AER for five years. These accounts are certainly worth considering, offering higher returns across the board in comparison to their standard fixed rate counterparts.
The notice account market has been pretty flat over the last couple of weeks, with UBL still offering the best rate of 1% AER - but with a relatively short notice period of 35 days. Perhaps worth a look if you don't need immediate access to all your cash?
Very little action in the Variable Rate ISA table recently, although Paragon made an appearance with a new Triple Access Cash ISA – Issue 2 offering the best easy (although restricted to three penalty free withdrawals a year) access – at 0.65% AER - only slightly behind the best non ISA easy access rate.
It's been really disappointing to see the demise of the Fixed Rate ISA rates – as they have tumbled over the last couple of weeks. All five of the one year fixed rate cash ISAs in our table are now paying just 0.60% - less than the restricted easy access variable rate ISA from Paragon.
UBL has cut its long standing market-leading rates and even relinquished the top spot in the three year table to the Coventry Building Society’s Poppy ISA (3) paying 0.85% AER.
Over five years, while UBL is still in the top spot it has cut the current rate on offer to 1.15% AER, from 1.40%.
We can but hope that these recent slides are a direct result of the imminent NS&I rate cuts – and hopefully we will see some providers bringing forward some more competition soon, which I’m sure will be snapped up.
So, make sure you continue to keep a close eye on our best buy tables for any new options that enter the market – and be prepared to move quickly, as the top rates are not hanging around for long.