🔔 Rates Rundown - rate hikes slow

Author: Anna Bowes
15th March 2024

Rates have continued to gently rise in some of our Best Buy tables over the last couple of weeks, but things have definitely slowed.  

There is a base rate decision next week, and we're expecting it to remain static for a bit longer. This is keeping a little competition alive for now, but how long will this continue?

RATES ARE CORRECT AS AT THE TIME OF PUBLICATION (15/03/2024). All up to date rates can be found on our Best Buy tables.

Easy Access

The easy access market has continued to slow down over the last couple of weeks and in fact the top rate on offer has dropped slightly.

That said, there are plenty of accounts available that are paying more than 5% gross/AER, so that’s good news. Even after basic rate tax has been deducted, the net rate of a 5% account is 4%, so keeping up with and even beating inflation.

The Beehive Limited Issue Easy Access Account Issue 4 paying 5.12% was the first account withdrawn from the top five, bringing Cynergy Bank back into the table again, paying 5.10% AER – an account launched at the end of November last year. It’s been in and out of our tables multiple times this year!

In fact, with the withdrawal of the next top two accounts from Paragon (Double Access Account Issue 6 – 5.16% AER) and Close Brothers (Easy Access Account Issue 2 – 5.12% AER) it actually moved up to mid table, leaving Virgin Money’s Defined Access eSaver Issue 21 and Monument’s app-only Easy Access Savings account at the top, both paying 5.11% AER.

However, with the withdrawal of the account from Virgin Money, this left Monument at the top with Cynergy offering the highest paying online account, for those who are not happy with app-only accounts. And as we end the week, Monument too has withdrawn from the market – so Cynergy is back at the top, along with Secure Trust Bank, paying the same rate of 5.10% on its Online Easy Access Account Issue 19.

Fixed Rate Bonds

We’ve seen yet more positive activity in the fixed rate bond tables, although the momentum has slowed.

1 Year

SmartSave has managed to hang onto the top spot, although it did have to increase the rate on offer from 5.26%, to 5.28% due to the introduction of a new provider to the savings market.

MBNA, which is part of Lloyds Bank, and probably better known as a credit card provider, has decided to get into the savings market, launching a 1-year bond paying 5.27%, which at the time put it at the top. But SmartSave was quick to put the newcomer in its place, knocking it down into the 2nd spot.

The other bits of activity took place mid-table. Relative newcomer, StreamBank launched a 1-year bond paying 5.25% putting it into 3rd spot and Charter Savings Bank launched a new bond paying 5.21% AER. All in all, this activity has helped to push the average of the top five from 5.20% to 5.24% AER.

2 Years

In the 2-year table, the news has also been good, and for a while all of the top five were paying 5%.

Hampshire Trust Bank (HTB) was the first to make a move, launching a bond paying 5%, meaning it joined Atom, Hodge Bank and State Bank of India at the top.

But Close Brothers wanted to join the 5% gang too, meaning that all of our top five were paying the same rate, although not for long, as Atom Bank withdrew its 5% bond, replacing it with one paying 4.75% which saw it drop out of the table altogether.

This allowed SmartSave back in with its bond paying 4.97%, however a few days later this bond was withdrawn too, putting DF Capital into the last spot with a bond paying 4.96% AER, which was launched on 5th Feb this year.

There was one more move of note, which was from Close Brothers again, who this time actually launched an account paying 5.05% - so breaking through the 5% ceiling and taking the top spot.

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!

HTB was the first to make a move again, launching a bond paying 4.65% and taking it to the top spot, pipping Smart Save by 0.01%.

Close Brothers was the next to make a move, upping the rate on offer to 4.63% moving it into 5th position – but on the table nevertheless. However, it was Skipton Building Society that has made the most meaningful move, launching a 30 month bond (which we’ve added to our 3-year table although it is a 2½ year bond. But with a rate of 4.75%, it takes the top spot.

The only other move was a further increase from Close Brothers, increasing the rate to 4.65% elevating itself to mid table – especially as SmartSave withdrew from this table as well as the 2-year table.

But as we end the week, the average of the top five has increased to 4.66% from 4.63%.

5 Years

The 5-year table has been quieter too, but as with the other tables, what has happened has largely been positive.

HTB was again active, launching a market leading bond paying 4.54% and Close Brothers new 5-year bond paying 4.53% saw it take 3rd place. SmartSave seems to have decided to focus on 1-year bonds, as it has withdrawn its 5-year offering, as well as 2-year and 3-year.

But Close Brothers wasn’t finished yet and as we end the week has jumped to the top with its latest bond offering 4.55% - nudging the average of the top five up from 4.52% to 4.53% AER.

Fixed Rate Cash ISAs

The activity in the Fixed Rate ISA tables has also continued although far more muted; disappointing as we get closer to the end of the tax year.   


The members of the ‘more than 5%’ gang continue to swell as Kent Reliance, Castle Trust, OakNorth, Aldermore and Close Brothers have all increased rates in the last couple of weeks.

Kent Reliance and Castle Trust were the first to move, launching ISAs paying 5.03% and 5.05% respectively. But OakNorth then launched a higher paying ISA paying 5.06%, slotting into 2nd place behind Virgin Money with that 5.25% account that is only available to those who have or open a current account with Virgin.

Aldermore and Close Brothers were the next to increase their offering, both paying 5.05%, nudging the average of the top five up from 5.06% to 5.09% AER.


There’s hardly anything to report in the 2-year table. The top spot is still occupied by the Skipton Building Society 18 month ISA paying 4.75%. Other than that, Close Brothers launched a new ISA paying 4.70% to join OakNorth and UBL in joint second place, with Shawbrook taking up the last slot paying 4.69%


It’s an almost identical situation in the 3-year table, with the top spot with Aldermore paying 4.50% remaining unchallenged. But an increase from Close Brothers, offering an ISA paying 4.40% puts them into second place and increasing the average from 4.39% to 4.41%.


The story is the same in the 5-year table too. UBL remains at the top paying 4.16% with the only increase coming from Secure Trust Bank, launching a mid-table ISA paying 4.05%.

If feels like we may have hit the peak now, so anyone looking to open an ISA for this tax year, might want to get a move on.

Easy Access Cash ISAs

In my last Rates Rundown report, Chip had stolen the thunder from moneybox, by upping the rate on its Chip Cash ISA* to 5.10%, nudging moneybox out of the way by the smallest of margins.

However, moneybox refused to be beaten and fought back, increasing its rate to 5.11%. Interestingly, this means that the highest paying easy access ISA is actually now paying more than the highest paying easy access non ISA account! Great news for those still looking to use their ISA allowance.

*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 (*).