🔔 Rates Rundown - carry on rising!

Author: Anna Bowes
01st March 2024

Rates have continued to gently rise in the majority of our Best Buy tables over the last couple of weeks.  A number of the tables have even got new leaders paying higher rates. There is still some economic data that continues to indicate that the base rate could remain static for a little while longer. In particular services inflation which appears to be sticking stubbornly at 5%, in the main caused by ongoing wage gains.

So, it’s keeping a little competition alive for now, but how long will this continue?

RATES ARE CORRECT AS AT THE TIME OF PUBLICATION (01/03/2024). All up to date rates can be found on our Best Buy tables.

Easy Access

There’s been a little toing and froing over the last couple of weeks, but unfortunately things have certainly slowed down a great deal – a few new accounts and a few withdrawals. However, the average of the top five and the top rate on offer has remained the same.

The first move was from Virgin Money, launching Issue 21 of it’s Defined Access eSaver, paying 5.11%, pushing Close Brothers out of the top five. But Close Brothers were not happy, so retaliated by increasing the rate on the Easy Access Account (Issue 2) from 5.10% to 5.12% - pipping the newcomer and slotting into 2nd place behind Paragon Bank Double Access Account Issue 6 paying 5.16%. Although in 2nd place, it’s actually the best paying unrestricted account – as the Paragon account name suggests, you can make just two penalty free withdrawals a year.

Monument Bank also increased the rate on its unrestricted Easy Access Savings Account to 5.11%, from 5.08% AER.

Leeds was the next to withdraw its top five easy access account which was paying 5.10% which allowed Cynergy Bank back into the table paying the same rate on its Online Easy Access Account Issue 69 – an account launched at the end of November last year.

But it didn’t remain there for long as Beehive Money by Nottingham Building Society, launched a new issue of its Limited Issue Easy Access account (Issue 4) matching Close Brothers with a rate of 5.12% AER, so taking 2nd place as the minimum deposit is lower - £1,000 as opposed to £10,000.

Fixed Rate Bonds

It’s also a bit of a mixed bag in the fixed rate bond tables, but once again the activity has generally slowed down.

1 Year

SmartSave managed to hang onto the top spot for a couple of weeks as the activity all but stopped for a while. In fact, Allica Bank reduced what it was offering from 5.20% on Issue 56, to 5.16% on Issue 57, its current offering.

But Atom Bank decided to disrupt SmartSave’s rule, launching a bond paying 5.25% AER. Of course, SmartSave was not happy about this and predictably increased the rate on offer to 5.26%

The last bit of activity took place mid-table, with Beehive Money once again getting involved. It launched a six month bond paying 5.17% putting it into 3rd spot and helping to push the average of the top five from 5.15% to 5.20% AER.

2 Years

In the 2-year table, the news has also been good, although for a while it was better! Everything started out well, as after a few weeks of stalemate with State Bank of India (SBI) sitting pretty paying 5%, Hodge Bank decided to make a move and increased the rate it was paying to 5.11%, leaping into 1st place. But with no other challengers, Hodge withdrew the bond a week later and replaced it with a 5% bond – matching State Bank of India.

But they were soon to be joined by Atom Bank meaning that the top three are all now paying 5%, whereas just two weeks ago, it was just SBI.

3 Years

It’s good to see some activity in the 3-year table continue, although there’s not a great deal to write about. That said, the little there is, is good!

Investec was the first to make a move, upping the rate it was offering to 4.62% pipping SmartSave by 0.01%. But UBL then did the same, launching a new bond paying 4.63% pushing ahead of the others.

Things then went a little quiet, but Shawbrook launched a couple of bonds, including a 3-year, matching UBL paying 4.63% on Issue 68.

And of course, SmartSave was waiting in the wings for its chance to pip them all, increasing its rate to 4.64% - putting them back in their favourite position.

5 Years

The 5-year table has seen the most impressive increases, seeing the average of the top five increase from 4.48% to 4.52%.

And once again the top rate on offer has increased.

Hodge Bank was the first to move, joining Hampshire Trust Bank in the top spot paying 4.51%. But, as in the 3-year table, UBL pipped them both paying 4.52% and then SmartSave joined UBL at the top offering the same rate.

But Shawbrook is another provider to have launched a few new competitive bonds and leapfrogged these providers with Issue 48 of its 5-year bond paying 4.53%.

The top five are now all paying 4.51% or more! And as we’ve said, although these longer term rates are lower than the shorter term, you may be wise not to totally dismiss them if you have some cash you could tie up for longer.

Fixed Rate Cash ISAs

The activity in the Fixed Rate ISA tables has also continued as we get closer to the end of the tax year.   


The members of the 5% gang continue to swell as first Shawbrook and OakNorth increased the ISA rates on offer to 5.01% and 5.02% respectively. But then Charter Savings Bank launched a new 1-year ISA paying 5% exactly, pushing Close Brothers with its ISA of 4.97% out of the table. But Shawbrook decided to take the top spot from OakNorth, launching another ISA paying 5.03% only for OakNorth to match it the next day.

One, more spectacular addition to our table is the Virgin Money 1 Year Fixed Rate Cash ISA Exclusive Issue 11 paying 5.25% AER, which has a maturity date of 31/03/2025. As the name suggests, you do need to have a current account with Virgin Money which was opened on or after 4 December 2019, or you originally opened your current account with Clydesdale Bank, Yorkshire Bank or B. But you can also open a current account now in order to be eligible for the ISA. You don’t need to transfer your existing current account over too and there is no need to make any regular payments into the current account but it does need to have an active balance, so you’ll need to put in at least £1. So, a few things to be aware of and a few hoops to jump through.


Over in the 2-year table there has been a little activity too – and its also been all positive.

Zopa was the first to make a move, pipping the previously market-leading ISA from UBL by 0.01% - launching a new ISA paying 4.67% AER. But UBL retaliated a few days later, again nudging past Zopa by the smallest of margins, paying 4.68% AER. Shawbrook was the next to join in this game, launching a 2-year ISA paying 4.69% but they were all blind-sided by Skipton Building Society, who launched an 18-month ISA paying 4.75% - so taking the top spot although it does have that shorter term.

The battle for the actual 2-year top spot was not quite over and it was UBL who made the next move, launching an ISA paying 4.70% so taking the lead for the full 2-year term. But OakNorth Bank came out of no-where to join UBL, also paying 4.70% AER.

Let’s see what happens next! We love a good battle.


There’s also been nothing but good news in the 3-year table and the top rate on offer has increased.

Hodge Bank was the first to make a move, taking the top spot with an ISA paying 4.36%, beating UBL by 0.01%. But UBL was not happy with this and fought back, paying 4.37% on its new ISA.

Shawbrook was the next to challenge UBL paying, you guessed it, 4.38% AER. But UBL seemed determined to dominate over this term and made another increase to 4.39% AER.

However, as we end the week, Aldermore got fed up with the game and simply blew the others out of the water by paying 4.50% on its now market-leading 3-year ISA. *


There’s even been positive news in this table, which has been pretty quiet of late. It’s the usual suspects, Hodge, UBL, SmartSave and Shawbrook who have been pushing rates up.

Hodge Bank was the first to move, matching the then market leader Hampshire Trust Bank paying 4.51%. But UBL was interested in taking the lead so launched a new ISA paying 4.52% which SmartSave quickly matched. Everything quietened down for a couple of days before Shawbrook swooped and knocked everyone down a peg offering the current market leading 5-year rate of 4.53%

So good news all round in the fixed rate ISA tables.

Easy Access Cash ISAs

We’ve not reviewed this table for a while, so I thought it would be a good idea to do so as we are well into the ISA season.

There’s not been loads of positive news over the last couple of weeks, but a new leader has made us perk up a little.

And it’s good to see that all of the top five are paying more than 5% - so pretty close to the top rates offered on the non ISA easy access accounts.

That said, a few withdrawals in the last two weeks by Principality Building Society, Coventry Building Society and the Marsden Building Society temporarily bought the average of the top five down to 5.05%, from 5.07%.

But, as we ended the week, moneybox, who has been dominating the top spot for a few weeks, has finally been toppled by Chip which upped the rate on its Chip Cash ISA* to 5.10%, nudging moneybox out of the way by the smallest of margins.

Both of these ISAs, and in fact the next one in line, Zopa, paying 5.08%, need to be opened via a mobile app, but there’s been a lot of demand for app-based accounts, so we don’t think it’s a problem for many of you. That said, if you’d prefer to open your ISA online, Virgin Money isn’t far behind, offering 5.06% on its Defined Access Cash E-ISA Issue 25 – although beware that access is restricted to three penalty free withdrawals a year!

Charter Savings Bank finishes off our top five with an ISA that you can open online and there are no restrictions on the number of withdrawals you can make. The rate is 5.03%.

So plenty to choose from and let’s hope that rates keep rising.

*We are occasionally paid by some providers if you click through from our Best Buy Tables and open a savings or current account with them. We will never accept a payment that compromises in any way our independent, whole of market approach to providing information on savings products. For clarity we will indicate those companies who remunerate us with an asterisk (*).