🔔 Rates Rundown - rates start to fall

Author: Anna Bowes
29th March 2024

I’m afraid that although the base rate remained at 5.25% following the latest Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting, a welcome drop in inflation means that it feels like the savings party has ended. That said, as the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) for the 12 months to February 2024 dropped to 3.4% from 4% in January, this means that there are many more savings accounts available that can keep up with the cost of living.

RATES ARE CORRECT AS AT THE TIME OF PUBLICATION (29/03/2024). 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 once again the top rates on offer have dropped.

That said, there are still a number of accounts available that are paying 5% gross/AER or more, 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.

Cynergy Bank’s Online Easy Access Account Issue 69 paying 5.10% AER remained in the top spot until just a couple of days ago, when it was withdrawn and replaced by Issue 70, paying 5.06% AER. This left Charter Savings Bank at the top, paying 5.08%. But Cynergy withdrew that account after just a day, replacing it with issue 71 paying 5.01%. This seemed to trigger a flurry of withdrawals as Charter Savings Bank and Kent Reliance also withdrew their easy access accounts too.

As we end the week, Paragon is now in the top spot with its restricted withdrawal account - Double Access Account Issue 7 – paying 5.05%, followed by Cynergy, Virgin Money and Skipton Building Society all paying 5.01% and HTB in the final spot paying 5%.

Fixed Rate Bonds

It’s been a bit of a mixed bag in the fixed rate bond tables, with some cuts and some increases.

1 Year

Unfortunately, the 1-year table has seen a raft of withdrawals over the last couple of weeks, starting with SmartSave which withdrew its 1-year bond paying 5.28% - replacing it with a lower paying 5.23%, moving it down to 4th place. This left MBNA back in 1st place with its bond paying 5.27%.

StreamBank was the next to withdraw its bond paying 5.25% although simultaneously Close Brothers introduced a new bond paying 5.26% and Oxbury followed suit the next day, also launching a bond paying 5.26%.

MBNA was the next to fall, launching a lower paying bond of 5.20% taking it from 1st place to last in one fell swoop and bringing the average of the top five from 5.25% to 5.23%

The activity was not over yet though. Allica launched a new 1-year bond paying 5.23% which at that time put it mid table. But Oxbury, Close Brothers and SmartSave all withdrew their bonds the next day, which catapulted Allica to the top, a position they clearly didn’t want to be in, as two days later this bond was also gone. This activity brought MBNA back into the table with its 5.20% 1-year bond, but it also saw the introduction of some 6-month term bonds that had been launched a little earlier in the month - HTB and Allica’s offerings both paying 5.18%.

Secure Trust Bank was the next provider to bring a little cheer, launching a market leading 12-month bond paying 5.25% and a market leading 6-month bond paying 5.20% AER.

So, as we end the week, a late withdrawal by Charter Savings Bank means that the average of the top five is now just 5.20% and three of our top five are 6-month term bonds.

2 Years

It was a bit quieter in our 2-year table, but the good news is that the top rate on offer is slightly higher than it was two weeks ago, although it had been even a little higher.

Two weeks ago, the top 2-year bond was paying 5.05% with Close Brothers, but Oxbury launched a new bond paying 5.11% - a big improvement. This stimulated a little competition as HTB then launched a bond paying 5.06%, and Beehive Money launched a bond paying 5.01%, bringing the average up to 5.05% from 5%.

Unfortunately, that rate from Oxbury was too good to last long and it was withdrawn, to be replaced with a lower paying offering of 5.07% - but as we end the week, this is still at the top of the table. HTB was also withdrawn, bringing Close Brothers back up into 2nd place.

3 Years

Again, this table has been fairly quiet, and the top rate remains at 4.75% - the Skipton 30-month bond. But underneath that, there were a few additions to the table. Oxbury launched a 3-year bond paying 4.66% and Zenith too launched a bond paying 4.65%, although that was withdrawn just a few days later to be replaced with a new bond paying a higher rate of 4.67%. Secure Trust Bank was the only other provider to launch a new bond – another of the 4.65% gang – but all in all this combined activity has seen the average of the top five increase to 4.68%, from 4.66% a couple of weeks ago.

5 Years

The 5-year table has been the quietest of the lot and once more the top rate on offer remains unchanged at 4.55%. However, rather than just one bond available paying that rate, there are now two as Secure Trust Bank has launched a new bond paying this joint market-leading rate, joining Close Brothers at the top.

Fixed Rate Cash ISAs

The activity in the Fixed Rate ISA tables has also been far more muted; disappointing as we close in on the end of the tax year. Of course, if you’ve not already used your ISA allowance for the current tax year, you only have a few days left.


As with the top fixed rate bonds, there is very little good news to report I’m afraid.

The only positive activity was a new 1-year ISA from Castle Trust Bank paying 5.09%, which took it into 2nd place behind the Virgin Money 5.25% ISA account that is only available to those who have or open a current account with Virgin.

As a result, it was clearly popular and it was withdrawn just a few days later, as was the aforementioned Virgin account, leaving OakNorth and Kent Reliance in joint first place, both paying 5.07% tax free/AER.

Aldermore was the next to retreat, closing its 5.05% ISA. And then, as we ended the week both OakNorth and Kent Reliance closed their top paying ISAs, replacing them with new accounts paying 5.04%.

All in all – pretty disappointing.


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, OakNorth launched a new ISA paying 4.71%, leapfrogging UBL and Close Brothers who are both paying 4.70%, to go into second place, with Zopa taking up the last slot paying 4.67%


In the 3-year table we have a new leader – although the top rate on offer is still the same.

Unfortunately, Aldermore replaced it’s market leading 3-year ISA paying 4.50% with a lower one paying 4.40%. But, as in the 3-year fixed rate bond table, Skipton Building Society launched a 30 Month ISA paying 4.50% - so replacing Aldermore, albeit fixed for a shorter term.


This table has been very quiet too. UBL remains at the top paying 4.16% with the only increase coming from Nottingham Building Society, launching a mid-table ISA paying 4.05%.

Easy Access Cash ISAs

It’s a bit more interesting in the easy access cash ISA table, with the introduction of a new provider - shaking things up a bit and pushing the top rates higher.

In my last Rates Rundown report, app-only ISAs moneybox and Chip had been battling it out together, striving to be at the top of the table. But both have had their noses put out of joint with the arrival of ANOTHER app-only ISA from a company called Plum, paying 5.17%

Like these other two, Plum is not a bank in its own right, although it is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority as an Electronic Money Institution. Instead, the account is powered by the provider's partner, CitiBank. CitiBank is covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, so funds deposited are protected up to £85,000 subject to eligibility. Be aware that any funds that you already hold with CitiBank will also count towards this limit.

And the account is a bit complicated, so read the small print to make sure you earn what you are expecting if you choose this account. The rate of 5.17% AER includes a bonus of 0.88% for the first 12 months, providing the following conditions are met; the account balance is kept at £100 or more and you have no more than 3 withdrawals in a single year. Should you make a 4th withdrawal or your balance drops below £100, the interest rate will drop to 3.00% AER. Transfers of existing ISA funds are allowed, but these receive the basic rate of 4.29% AER. The basic rate of interest of 4.29% is paid monthly, and the Plum bonus rate of 0.88% will be added at the end of the first year. Phew!

For those who would prefer to open a more traditional ISA, Kent Reliance’s Easy Access Cash ISA Issue 47 is paying 5.03%AER and can be opened online or in branch.

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