🔔 Rates Rundown - spring into action

Author: Anna Bowes
16th April 2021

As we head into the new Tax Year, there has been a little bit of action in both the Cash ISA and standard savings account Best Buys - plus a new type of green bond from Oxbury Bank.

RATES ARE CORRECT AS AT THE TIME OF PUBLICATION (16/04/2021). All up-to-date rates can be found on our Best Buy tables.

Easy Access 

Not much to report in the Easy Access arena, although Paragon did launch a new issue of its Limited Edition Easy Access account. Issue 8 is paying 0.41% AER, to make it the best paying unlimited easy access account available.

It is beaten only by the Yorkshire Building Society’s Annual Access Account Issue 7 paying 0.50% AER, which as the name suggests, allows you access to your money only one day each year, which won’t be appropriate for everyone.

Fixed Rate Bonds

Well, it’s been a hive of activity in the fixed rate bond tables over the last week or so.

Firstly, earlier this week ZOPA launched a new bond paying 0.61% AER to take it to the top of the table where it reigned until Friday when Charter Savings Bank also launched a 1 Year Fixed Term Saver paying 0.61% AER but exclusively through the Raisin UK platform.* As well as a market-leading rate, new savers to the Raisin platform can be eligible to receive a welcome bonus of up to £50 which could further increase the effective interest rate you earn. For more information, check the details on the Raisin UK website.

And with Shawbrook Bank increasing the rate it has on offer to 0.60% AER, this has been a good week for short term fixed rate bonds.

And now for something a little bit different. 

Earlier this month, Oxbury Bank launched a carbon-mitigation and biodiversity promoting savings account – the Forest Saver.*

In a nutshell this account that will see a donation equivalent to 0.70% AER of the amount deposited, directed to fund tree-planting projects on British farm sites, run by Oxbury Bank’s sustainability partner, Forest Carbon. So, Oxbury uses the 0.70% AER to calculate your return, but rather than you taking that interest home, it is donated to reduce the impact of CO2 emissions.

The term of the bond is 12 months, the minimum deposit is £1,000 and the maximum is £85,000. Your deposit is protected by the UK Financial Services Compensation Scheme in the usual way, as this is a savings account, just one where you effectively donate the interest you would have earned.

This won’t appear on the Best Buy tables as it is not a standard Fixed Rate Bond so for more information take a look here.

Back to the rest of the Fixed Rate Bond tables

ZOPA and Shawbrook Bank have also been active in the 2-year table.

ZOPA’s new bond launched earlier this week is now in the top spot paying 0.77% AER, while Shawbrook has joined DF Capital in second place paying 0.76% AER.

In the 3-year table, it has been Hodge Bank stirring things up by launching a market leading 3 Year Fixed Rate Account paying 0.95% AER, pushing ZOPA down into the second spot with its bond paying 0.91%

Finally, in the 5-year table, it has been Hodge again leapfrogging the competition to take the top spot with its new bond paying 1.35% AER.

Let’s hope this competition continues – we’ll keep you up to date.

Cash ISAs 

It’s been a bit of a mixed bag with the ISAs – and quite frankly a bit disappointing not to have seen some more positive action in the Fixed Rate ISA tables – but alas, things have been pretty static – in fact we’ve lost more than we’ve gained.

That said, Shawbrook Bank re-launched its 5-year fixed rate ISA paying 1.10% AER , taking it back to the top spot.

However, there has been a little bit of action in the Variable Rate ISA table.

Marcus by Goldman Sachs launched its first cash ISA paying 0.40% AER to new customers (it was open to existing customers before this) – which put it mid table sitting behind Paragon’s new Limited Edition Easy Access ISA Issue 6 paying 0.41% AER and Yorkshire Building Society’s limited access Annual Access Account ISA Issue 4 paying 0.45% AER.

Although disappointed by the Marcus rate, it was interesting to see Kent Reliance, who is often competitive in the ISA market, launch a new Easy Access cash ISA Issue 28 paying 0.45% AER too. So matching the Yorkshire Building Society rate but with unlimited access if needed. Perhaps this is a mini ‘Marcus effect’ after all? We’ll have to keep our fingers crossed.

We will of course keep you up to date with the ongoing activity, but in the meantime, keep checking in on the Best Buy tables.

*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 (*).