We have seen further improvements across the savings market over the last two weeks. Interestingly, some of these came from the newest addition to the savings market, a provider which has upped the ante and pushed its way into our best buy tables.
Ford Money, within weeks of launching, increased rates across a range of its products and now appears in our Variable Rate ISA Best Buy Table.
Amongst easy access accounts, Tesco Bank has returned to our table, following the launch of a new version of its Internet Saver account, with an increased rate. This move came not long after the return of its Current Account, which perhaps shows a sign of intent from Tesco Bank.
Whilst we saw Tesco Bank return, we continue to see RCI Bank standing strong in the table, where it has been consistently placed since the launch of its Freedom Savings Account.
As always, we hope this will spur on other providers to improve rates and enter the battle at the top of the market.
Finally, we saw further changes in our Fixed Rate Cash ISA tables, with Virgin Money launching new versions of its 2 year and 5 year fixed rate cash ISAs, both with enhanced rates and making a return to the respective best buy tables. Along with Coventry Building Society returning to our table with a market-leading rate.
First we look at the recently established Ford Money and its bold move to increase its rates shortly after entering the savings market. Although the improvements did not see the provider take pole position in our tables, it has put it into a far more competitive position.
Its Flexible Cash ISA now pays 0.90% tax free/AER and can be opened online or via the telephone, with a minimum of £1. As the name suggests, this is a flexible cash ISA, so you can replace funds that are withdrawn from the account in the same tax year, without it counting against that year’s ISA allowance.
This move is also striking as the increased rates were also applied to existing account holders, as Ford Money operates its 'Best Rate Guarantee'. This means that existing customers will also benefit from any increased rates, which is not commonplace within the savings market.
It is worth noting that although there are better rates available, due to the simplicity of this account and its freedom from any bonuses or withdrawal restrictions, it could prove to be a viable option for many.
The new easy access best buy from Tesco Bank, its Internet Saver pays 1.06% gross/AER and is available to open, as the name implies… online, with a minimum of £1. Management of this account can be either online or via mobile banking, providing you have registered for this service.
It is important to note that, like many of the best easy access accounts of late, there is a bonus included within the rate. Tesco Bank offers a 0.66% bonus for the first 12 months, after which point the rate will drop significantly, so you may need to find a suitable account at this point.
Other options available such as Britannia and Yorkshire Building Society have a restriction on the number of withdrawals that can be made each year, after which the rate will fall drastically.
However RCI Bank, which offers the top rate on its Freedom Savings Account (1.10% gross/AER), is completely free from any of these restrictions or bonuses.
Virgin Money also launched new versions of its 2 year and 5 year fixed rate cash ISAs with improved rates.
Although the 2 year cash ISA does now feature in the relevant best buy table, paying 1.21% tax free/AER, the 5 year steals the spotlight, as it is placed in top spot, paying the top rate of 1.75% tax free/AER.
Both accounts can be opened and operated either online or in branch and by post, with a minimum of £1, along with both permitting transfers in of previously accrued ISA funds. Although withdrawals can be made, it is important to note that a substantial penalty will be applied.
Finally, Coventry Building Society re-emerged with its new Fixed Rate ISA (46) paying 1.40% tax free/AER which is now the market-leading rate for the term. This account can be opened and operated, online, by post, in branch or by telephone, with a minimum deposit of £1.
Although Coventry Building Society is offering the top rate for the term, it is essential to note that unlike the accounts from Virgin Money, you cannot transfer previously accrued ISA funds into this account. If you are looking to transfer existing ISA funds, please refer to our Fixed Rate ISA Best Buy Tables for suitable options available.
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.