🔔 Rates Rundown – best buy rates continue to climb

Author: Anna Bowes
14th May 2021

May has continued to see some more competitive behaviour from a number of the usual suspects, but not just the fixed rate bonds. This week we have also seen some action in the easy access and notice tables. Hotting up nicely for summer – but we’ll have to see if it lasts that long.

RATES ARE CORRECT AS AT THE TIME OF PUBLICATION (14/05/2021). All up-to-date rates can be found on our Best Buy tables.

Easy Access

Atom Bank has shaken things up a but in the Easy Access market by increasing the rate on its Instant Saver to 0.50% AER – this rate applies to both new and existing customers. This is the first increase to an existing variable rate account that we’ve seen since January. Will there be more changes to come – will anyone challenge Atom Bank?

While the account does need to be opened via the Atom Bank app, it does offer unlimited withdrawals and we haven’t seen an unrestricted easy access account paying 0.50% for a couple of months, when both Marcus by Goldman Sachs and Cynergy Bank were paying 0.50% AER.

Marcus has since dropped its rate to 0.40% AER but the Cynergy Online Easy Access Account Issue 35 has not changed, although the account is now closed to new customers.

Notice Accounts

After weeks of very little activity, Charter Savings Bank has spiced things up a bit by launching three notice accounts, all of which go into our best buy tables and finally break the 0.65% stalemate.

The Charter Savings Bank 120 Day Notice – Issue 21 is paying 0.67% AER and has gone straight to the top of the table and is the highest rate we’ve seen all year. In addition, they have launched the 95 Day Notice – Issue 37 paying 0.65% AER and the 60 Day Notice – Issue 19 paying 0.60% AER. The minimum for each is £5,000 and these accounts can be opened by post as well as online which is always a welcome feature.

Fixed Rate Bonds

Fixed Rate Bonds have continued to be the hotspot for competition over the last couple of weeks – especially over one, two and three years.

The normal jostling between the usual suspects such as Atom Bank, ZOPA, Shawbrook Bank and the Raisin stable means that the best 1-year rate available has increased by 30% since the beginning of April – from 0.59% to 0.85% AER today which is rate that Atom Bank is currently offering.

Over two years it’s a similar picture and competition has pushed all the top five in the table to 0.82% AER or more – with the top rate now from ZOPA who introduced a new market leading bond paying 0.90% AER just a couple of days ago.

Finally, the last couple of weeks has seen the top rates break the 1% level for the first time since mid-January.

How much longer we’re going to see these improvements is anyone’s guess – so keep a close eye on the best buy tables.

Sharia Fixed Term Accounts

After weeks of no change, there has been some positive action in this table. There was a sudden flurry of activity last week as BLME swooped in with a market leading 1-year bond, 18-month bond and 2-year bond paying 0.75% AER, 0.80% AER and 0.85% AER respectively.

These rates are still behind the leading standard Fixed Rate Bonds, especially after the recent activity, but it still means that things are on the up and means there is yet more choice.

Fixed Rate Cash ISAs

Once again it’s been quieter on the Fixed Rate Cash ISA front over the last couple of weeks – but there have been a few new market leading accounts launched.

Over 1-year, Secure Trust Bank launched its new 1 Year Fixed Rate Cash ISA (20.Jun.2022) paying 0.50% AER – the first time we’ve seen this level for a couple of months. Unfortunately it was withdrawn just a week later - so the best rate dropped once again 0.47% AER from Shawbrook Bank and Charter Savings Bank. However a last minute launch from Hampshire Trust Bank saw them leap to the top with their 1 Year ISA Bond paying 0.51% AER.

In the 2-year table, Aldermore is now in the top spot, having launched a market leading 2 Year Fixed Rate Cash ISA paying 0.60% AER. However, it has been joined by Close Brothers who has launched a 2-year Fixed Rate Cash  ISA also paying 0.60% - albeit with a higher minimum deposit of £10,000.

And finally, Charter Savings Bank had a bit of an impact in the 3-year table at the end of last week, launching a joint market leading 3 Year Fixed Rate Cash ISA paying 0.71% AER.

This means that the top five 3-year Fixed Rate Cash ISAs are now all paying 0.70% AER or more. At the beginning of April – so supposedly the height of the ISA season, the best rate was just 0.65% AER.

We will of course keep you up to date with the ongoing activity, but in the meantime, keep checking in on the Best Buy tables.