Stickier than expected inflation could mean that interest rates could stay higher for longer - but will they go much higher, or will they simply remain at the current level, Table Mountain like, for longer?
There's not been any immediate reactions indicating that fixed rates will do an about turn - the definite new direction still appears to be downwards, albeit gently. On the plus side, top variable rate accounts are still jostling for top spot, so there are some good rates to be found.
RATES ARE CORRECT AS AT THE TIME OF PUBLICATION (20/10/2023). All up-to-date rates can be found on our Best Buy tables.
Things have continued to be positive in the Easy Access table over the last couple of weeks, although at a slightly slower pace. But the good news is that the top rate on offer has increased from 5.20% to 5.30% AER – although the account in question has very limited access.
Cahoot was the first bank to make a move, although not dislodging Coventry Building Society’s Triple Access Saver (Online) paying 5.20% from the top spot. Launching a new issue of its Simple Saver Issue 2, paying 5.12% AER Cahoot went into 2nd place. Remember that Cahoot is part of Santander, so if you have cash with both providers, you need to add it together to check you are still within the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) limit of £85,000.
Cynergy Bank was the next to make a move, launching the latest issue of its Online Easy Access Account – Issue 68 is paying 5.15%, so sandwiching itself between Coventry and Cahoot, although Cahoot was and still is the best paying non restricted easy access account currently available.
Skipton then increased the rate on its Single Access Saver Issue 1, from 4.80% to 5.15% too – but going into 4th place due to the fact that you can only make one withdrawal per annum from this account.
The last move of the week was an increase to the Chorley Building Society’s Easy Access Saver (1 Withdrawal) account from 4.80% AER to a market leading 5.30% AER – although you should be aware that once again only one penalty free withdrawal is allowed.
So, as we end the week, the top easy access (albeit with severe restricted access) is paying 5.30% whilst the best unrestricted easy access account is the Cynergy Online Easy Access Account (Issue 68) paying 5.15%. This account does have bonus though, for 12 months, so remember to review it after 12 months at the very least, to make sure you are still earning a competitive rate.
I’m afraid we’ve continued to see a reduction to many of the accounts in the 1-year best buy table and the average of the top five has fallen from 6.06% AER to 6%. Two bonds are now paying less than 6%. It’s the first time we’ve seen an account in the top five paying less than 6% since early July!
On the plus side, Union Bank of India UK is still occupying the top spot paying 6.11% AER.
It’s a very similar story in the 18 months/2-year table – in fact three of the top five are now paying less than 6%. Only Union Bank of India UK is still paying more than this, 6.05% on both its 18 month and 2-year bonds.
Longer Term Bonds
There’s been even less activity in the 3-year and 5-year tables. We tend to ignore the 4-year tables as very few seem to be interested in this term, so please let us know if that’s not the case!
JN Bank is still in the top spot in both tables paying 5.97% for 3-years and 5.80% for 5 years. Other than that, there is little to report. After all the excitement of the last few months, all in all, it’s pretty disappointing.
Unfortunately the bad news seems to be leaching into the Fixed Rate ISA arena too, although less aggressively.
Virgin was a short-lived joint table topper in the 1-year cash ISA table, launching a new account paying 5.75%, joining Secure Trust Bank. However Secure Trust Bank then withdrew its ISA, leaving Kent Reliance in 2nd pace with an ISA paying 5.71%
Unfortunately, the new Virgin account was the next to withdraw but Charter Savings Bank took that opportunity to briefly top the table with a new ISA paying 5.72% - stopping the aforementioned Kent Reliance ISA from taking to top spot.
Castle Trust Bank was the next to make a move, heading straight to the top with an ISA paying 5.75% and as we end the week, it still reigns victorious. Unfortunately, underneath this rate there has been a plethora of withdrawals and re-releases at a lower rates, so it seems that if you are looking to lock into a 1-year cash ISA, you need to move pretty quickly.
Over 2-years, the news is much quieter, although a bit more positive. NatWest Bank has made a bit of a splash by launching a market leading ISA paying 5.65%, taking the top spot from Zopa, and as we end the week it is still in the same place – unfortunately no-one has made a counter challenge,
In the 3-year cash ISA table, unfortunately there is little positive to report! United Trust Bank withdrew its market leading ISA paying 5.45%, leaving Zopa back in the top spot paying 5.37% - and that is the top paying 3-year ISA as we head into the weekend.
Over in the 5-year table Zopa is still in the top spot paying 5,05% but the West Brom Building Society has joined them, paying the same rate. Unfortunately, that is the extent of the activity in this table.
Once again there’s better news in the Easy Access Cash ISA table with some good improvements over the last couple of weeks - the top rate on offer has increased from 5% with moneybox, to 5.15% AER today. This top rate is with Chorley Building Society and like its non-ISA easy access account, it only allows one withdrawal per year, so is inappropriate for those who might want to dip into their account more often.
The good news is that Zopa has also increased the rate it is paying to new and existing customers to 5.08% and this account allows unlimited withdrawals.
Cynergy Bank is another provider to step up in this table, launching Issue 43 of its Online ISA paying 5.07% - again with unlimited access. But there is a bonus for 12 months so it’s important to review in at least a years’ time, if not before. Incidentally, the rate on this new issue is higher than the rate on Issue 42 which is paying 4.70% - so if you have this or any other old account that may be paying less, it makes sense to contact your provider to switch to any better alternative they have available.
Whilst there has certainly been a slowdown in the competition on some of our tables, there are still some great rates to be found, especially if you have cash languishing in a poor paying account. So, take a look at our best buy tables, and vote with your feet if you are not earning as much as you can.