Rates Rundown: As the great thaw out began, there was a steady trickle rather than a flood of new best buys…

10th March 2018

With more improved fixed rate products entering the savings market, it was little surprise to see further changes to our tables over the last week.

Perhaps the biggest news came in the longer term fixed rate bond market, with Vanquis Bank now leading the way for three years* and four years* and joint top for five years*.

Joining Vanquis at the top of the five year table is another provider that has improved rates this week; Secure Trust Bank - with new two, six and seven year bonds launched as well.

Elsewhere amongst fixed rate accounts, we have seen improvements from PCF Bank and on their fixed rate cash ISAs, United Trust Bank and Virgin Money.

Away from the fixed rate market, we have also seen Virgin Money launch an improved easy access cash ISA and shake up the easy access table with a joint market-leading rate – albeit one with a bit of a catch.

If you enjoy reading our Rates Rundown each week, make sure you also sign up to our Rate Alert emails, for a regular update on the latest best buy accounts, as they hit the market.

Fixed Rate Bonds

The first significant move of the week came from PCF Bank, launching an improved version of its five year fixed rate bond for the third time in less than a month.

The five year fixed rate bond pays 2.51% gross/AER and also launched at the same time was an improved seven year bond paying 2.60% gross/AER. A handy feature of these bonds for those who prefer not to use online applications, is the option to apply by post.

Later in the week, Vanquis Bank grabbed the headlines, hitting the top spot for three, four and five year terms and dominating our longer term best buy tables.

The new three year bond pays 2.30% gross/AER*, the four year bond is 2.47% gross/AER* and the five year bond pays 2.56% gross/AER*– the highest five year rate we have seen since June 2016.

Not to be outdone for five years, Secure Trust Bank matched the rate on offer from Vanquis Bank, joining them in joint first position.

At the same time, the provider launched an improved two year fixed rate bond paying 2.06% gross/AER, making it into the top five for the term.

Also launched was a unique six year bond paying 2.60% gross/AER and what is now the highest-paying fixed rate bond available on the market, its seven year option at 2.65% gross/AER.

For further information or to view other options that are currently available, including the current leading rates amongst shorter term bonds, click here for our fixed rate bond best buy tables.

Fixed Rate Cash ISAs

Considering we are now definitely entering the final countdown of the current tax year, there hasn’t been the flood of new fixed rate cash ISAs that we would’ve hoped for. But this is certainly something to watch out for over the next few weeks, as providers get their act together.

The first move of the week was made by United Trust Bank, improving the rates on its four year and five year fixed rate cash ISAs.

The improved four year fixed rate ISA pays 2.20% tax free/AER and the five year ISA pays 2.25% tax free/AER. It is worth noting that these accounts only accept transfers in from existing cash ISAs, so don’t accept new money.

Then, later in the week, Virgin Money improved its one, three and five year offerings, taking the lead in our one and three year tables and making it into the top five for five years.

The one year fixed rate cash ISA pays 1.50% tax free/AER, the three year ISA is 2.00% tax free/AER and the five year option pays 2.15% tax free/AER.

To view other top rates currently available, please visit our fixed rate cash ISA best buy tables.

Easy Access Accounts

There has been a distinct lack of activity in the easy access market over recent weeks leaving the consistent RCI Bank to rule the roost, paying 1.30% gross/AER on its Freedom Savings Account*.

However, Virgin Money this week came back into the running with its improved Double Take E-Saver Issue 4 – matching the rate on offer from RCI Bank.

However, there is a catch – you can only make two withdrawals per calendar year. Fine for those that won’t need more regular access to their money, but for others it may be a case of looking elsewhere.

For more information on these accounts and for other options, take a look at our easy access best buy table.

Variable Rate Cash ISA

Virgin Money was also active this week amongst easy access cash ISAs, improving its rate on offer to 1.21% tax free/AER, second only to Nationwide’s Single Access ISA (1.30% tax free/AER).

This time it’s Virgin that offers the less restrictive option, with only one withdrawal allowed per year on the Nationwide account.

For further information and to view other leading variable rate cash ISAs, including a market-leading notice ISA, please refer to our variable rate cash ISA best buy table.

For more information on any of the accounts above or for other options, call our Bath-based Savings Experts on 0800 011 9705. We’d love to hear from you.

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