Rates Rundown: higher levels of best buy activity continue…

06th July 2018

Following a significant increase in best buy activity in the previous week, the last seven days have seen this encouraging development continue, with a number of new best buys hitting the market.

This week saw not one but two providers taking the leading position in our easy access best buy table from Post Office Money, the previous incumbent.

First National Counties Building Society and then Coventry Building Society upped their game and improved rates – now matching each other at the top of our table.

At the end of the week, Bank of Cyprus UK* got in on the act, launching a new version of its Online Easy Access Account with a higher rate, to sit just shy of the leaders.

Each of the leading accounts has elements of its terms and conditions that may not suit everyone, so RCI Bank* and Shawbrook Bank still offer the next best options for those looking for easy access to their money.

Elsewhere Charter Savings Bank has been active this week, launching a competitive 95 day notice account and a market-leading three year fixed rate bond.

We have also seen new best buy notice accounts and a one year fixed rate bond from OakNorth and Investec launched a market-leading two year fixed rate bond.

Finally, we have seen a new entrant in the fixed rate cash ISA market in the form of Wesleyan Bank. The provider’s new range includes a market-leading one year fixed rate cash ISA.

Hopefully this level of activity becomes the norm over the next few weeks and beyond – watch this space and we will keep you up to date with all the latest news.

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Easy Access Accounts

This week saw two providers launched table-topping new rates – this highest we have seen in the easy access best buy table since before Christmas.

National Counties Building Society was the first provider to make a move – improving the rate on offer on its 4th Issue Classic Saver to 1.35% gross/AER.

It is worth noting that the account requires a minimum balance of £5,000 and once we reach 31 July 2018, no further funds can be added to the account. So, the account may not suit those with larger sums to deposit or who want to add to the account after the end of the month.

Joining National Counties at the top of the table was Coventry Building Society – also improving the rate on its Limited Access Saver to 1.35% gross/AER.

This account also has a number of terms and conditions to get your head around – you are able to make three easy access withdrawals per year, any withdrawals after that are subject to a penalty equivalent to 50 days’ interest on the amount withdrawn. In addition, the rate includes a 0.35% bonus for the first 12 months, so the rate will drop after the first year.

Also making improvements was Bank of Cyprus UK, launching a new version of its Online Easy Access Account, with a higher rate of 1.34% gross/AER*.

Like the previous table-topper from Post Office Money (1.33% gross/AER), the account from Bank of Cyprus UK does have an introductory bonus, so the rate will fall after the first year and you may need to look at an alternative at that point.

You may prefer to avoid accounts with an introductory bonus or indeed accounts that restrict the number of withdrawals you can make in a year or have other restrictions.

If this is the case, sitting just behind the leaders are RCI Bank* and Shawbrook Bank, both paying 1.30% gross/AER.

For more information on these accounts and for other leading rates, please refer to our easy access best buy table.


Notice Accounts

An unusually high level of activity this week in this area of the savings market – with two providers aiming to break Secure Trust Bank’s stranglehold on the best buys.

Early in the week, OakNorth launched new versions of its 35 day (1.36% gross/AER), 90 day (1.69% gross/AER) and 120 day (1.74% gross/AER) notice accounts – each competitive for the respective notice periods.

Then Charter Savings Bank entered our best buy table, with its 95 day notice account paying 1.75% gross/AER - second only to Secure Trust Bank's 180 day notice account (1.77% gross/1.78% AER).

For further detail and other options, please visit our notice account best buy table.


Fixed Rate Bonds

This is often one of the busiest areas of the market for best buy changes and this week was no exception.

There was a new market leader in our two year table in the form of Investec – paying 2.20% gross/AER.

However, those looking to deposit smaller amounts may need to look elsewhere as the minimum deposit is £25,000. Secure Trust Bank is the next best at 2.18% gross/AER with a minimum of just £1,000.

Now market leading amongst three year bonds, albeit by the smallest of margins, is Charter Savings Bank. The new version of the bond is paying 1.33% gross/AER.

Also making an improvement this week was OakNorth, improving its 12 month fixed rate bond to 1.96% gross/AER, narrowing the gap to Atom Bank (2.05% gross/AER), which still leads the table.

For more information on each of these accounts and for other options, including longer terms of up to five years, please refer to our full fixed rate bond best buy tables.

Fixed Rate Cash ISAs

Providing the headlines this week was a new entrant to this area of the market – Wesleyan Bank.

The provider's new one year fixed rate cash ISA is paying a market-leading rate of 1.55% tax free/AER and its two year (1.65% tax free/AER) and three year (1.75% tax free/AER) accounts both make it into our top five for the respective terms.

It is worth noting that the accounts require a comparatively high minimum opening balance of £20,000 - so may not suit those with smaller amounts to save.

Meanwhile, improving the rate on its one year fixed rate cash ISA was Bank of Cyprus UK – now paying 1.52% tax free/AER* and sitting in joint-second place alongside Charter Savings Bank.

Shawbrook Bank still holds the leading positions in our two and three year tables, paying 1.70% tax free/AER and 1.85% tax free/AER respectively.

Charter Savings Bank’s five year fixed rate cash ISA is still leading the way for five years, paying 2.31% tax free/AER.

Further information on these accounts, along with other leading rates currently available, can be found in our fixed rate cash ISA best buy tables.


Our Bath based savings experts are on hand if you would like any help with your savings, so why not give us a call on 0800 011 9705, we’d love to hear from you.

Alternatively, if you want to keep up to date with best buy rates as they hit the market, follow us on Twitter and sign up to our Rate Alert emails.


*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 (*).

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