Following last month’s base rate increase, as expected, the majority of changes from providers took place yesterday. While there have certainly been plenty of changes to existing accounts, not all accounts that are available to open have seen the changes we were hoping for.
However, there have been some increases in the best buy tables – with the most eye-catching amongst easy access accounts and variable rate cash ISAs – so there is some good news.
That said, as mentioned elsewhere in this newsletter, if rates are ahead of the pack, they have not always hung around for long, so it may well be a case of blink and you’ll miss these top deals.
Easy Access Accounts
Whilst it is fair to say that the 0.25% increase to the Bank of England base rate has not really translated in full to the accounts in our best buy tables, some providers have increased the rates on their already best buy accounts.
Perhaps most noteworthy of all is Birmingham Midshires’ easy access account, which prior to yesterday was paying an already joint market-leading 1.30% gross/AER. The provider has now increased the rate to 1.45% gross/AER, way ahead of the competition.
However, it remans important to note that whilst the rate on offer is good initially, after the first 12 months, the account reverts to an Internet Standard Saver, paying a much lower 0.20% gross/AER. This may well be the time to look for an alternative – Rate Tracker can remind you when this happens, so you can move to a better option.
Finally, it’s worth reiterating that recently rates that are ahead of the competition have not always lasted for long, so if you are interested, act quickly to secure the deal.
Variable Rate Cash ISAs
Following yesterday’s rate changes, we also have a new leader in the variable rate cash ISA table – Bath Building Society.
Paying 1.30% tax free/AER, the account can be opened by post or in branch, though it is important to note that the account does not accept transfers in from previous ISAs.
Elsewhere, there has been the usual jostling for position in the best buy tables and perhaps the biggest mover of the week has been Secure Trust Bank.
Firstly, the provider launched a new range of Notice Accounts – paying 1.66% AER for 180 days’ notice, 1.56% AER for 120 days’ notice and 1.46% AER for 90 days’ notice. The provider now occupies three out of the five available positions in our best buy table.
Accounts can be opened with a minimum of £1,000 and, unusually for notice accounts, there is also a restriction to the number of withdrawals you can make in a year, in addition to giving notice.
For more information, take a look at our Notice Account Best Buy Table.
Fixed Rate Bonds
Secure Trust Bank were certainly back with a bang this week following a brief absence from our best buy tables.
In addition to the aforementioned notice accounts, the provider also launched new best buy 2 year and 5 year fixed rate bonds. Then this week it increased the rates on offer to a market-leading 2.06% gross/AER and 2.51% gross/AER respectively.
The good news for those who already applied for the account prior to the increase is that the improved rates will apply to them as well. Often when providers improve the rates on offer, they do so by replacing them with higher-paying versions, so those already with the accounts miss out.
For more information and alternatives, please take a look at our Fixed Rate Bond Best Buy Tables.
Fixed Rate Cash ISAs
The main headline this week amongst fixed rate cash ISAs comes from United Trust Bank, launching a new version of its Cash ISA 5 Year Bond paying 2.20% tax free/AER and by doing so topping our best buy table.
Although leading the way, this account can only be opened with transfers in of previously accrued cash ISA funds, no new non-ISA money can be deposited.
If this does not suit you, there are a number of alternatives on our Fixed Rate Cash ISA Best Buy Tables.
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.