It's been a few weeks since our last Rates Rundown and during that time we’ve experienced the expectation of a base rate rise but then the disappointment of inaction on the part of the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC). The MPC has once again chosen to leave the base rate at its record low level of 0.10%, even though inflation is continuing to rise.
The better news is that a number of best buy rates have improved, despite the Bank of England's decision.
RATES ARE CORRECT AS AT THE TIME OF PUBLICATION (12/11/2021). All up-to-date rates can be found on our Best Buy tables.
There’s not been a lot of activity over the last few weeks, although it’s always good to be able to report a new market-leading account.
At the beginning of the week, Shawbrook Bank knocked Cynergy Bank off the top spot by launching Easy Access Issue 28 which is paying 0.67% AER on deposits of £1,000 or more – and the highest rate we have seen for almost a year.
For those with less than £1,000, Cynergy Bank is only paying 0.01% less and the minimum of that account is just £1. However, you should be aware that the latter comes with a 12 month bonus of 0.36%, so the rate will drop by this much after you’ve held the account for a year.
Last time, I lamented the withdrawal of the 95 Day account from Recognise Bank paying 1.10% which was withdrawn after just five days.
This left the best rate of 1.06% from OakNorth Bank and Oxbury Bank on their 120-day notice accounts.
These too have now been withdrawn unfortunately but there is some good news with the launch of Secure Trust Bank’s latest 120 Day Notice Account.
Although the notice period required to access your money is one month longer than the Recognise Bank notice account, the rate is also 1.10% AER, so a real step up from the best easy access accounts, but with better access than tying your money up for 12 months.
Perhaps worth a look?
There have been a few ups and downs in each of the fixed rate bond tables over the last month, but overall the top rate for each term is higher than it was a month ago!
In the 1-year table Zopa held onto its top spot, seeing off Investec and Smart Save, with the latter withdrawing it’s slightly lower paying bond at the end of the week.
Zopa is also a force to be reckoned with over two years after taking the lead from United Trust Bank in a last minute dash for 1st place on Friday, launching its 2 years Fixed Term Savings bond paying 1.61% AER.
Over three years, United Trust Bank has maintained joint top spot with UBL paying 1.82% AER – but the UBL bond is also available via the Raisin UK cash platform*. If you are new to Raisin, you could add a £50 bonus to the interest you earn on the account, which edges it into 1st place.
While this top rate of 1.82% is only 0.01% higher than the top rate available a month ago, as other providers such as Wesleyan Bank and Hoist Finance and Zenith Bank (the latter two also available via the Raisin UK website) have launched better paying bonds, the average of the top five has increased from 1.75% a month ago, to 1.80% today.
Finally, over five years, UBL is leading the way, either directly or via Raisin UK* with a bond paying 2.05%, the highest 5-year rate since February 2020!
There was also an interesting move from Secure Trust Bank who increased the rate on their current 5 Year Fixed Rate Bond (01.Dec.2026) from 1.90% to 2.01% - but this increase is for all customers that opened this particular issue that was launched on 21st October 2021 – as well as new. A very unusual and generous move from the provider.
Fixed Rate ISAs have been the real star of the show over the last few weeks – with the best buys increasing across the board.
There have been a few contenders jostling for the top spot in the 1-year Fixed Rate ISA table with Paragon, Shawbook Bank and Hampshire Trust Bank battling it out, but Hampshire Trust Bank was the victor with its ISA paying 0.95% AER.
Over two years the increase in the best rate has been a little better and once again Hampshire Trust Bank was right up there. However, over this term they have been beaten by Close Brothers Bank with its latest offering of 1.20% tax free/AER. Only three months ago all of the top five 2-year ISAs were paying less than 1% - now the average is 1.16% AER.
The positive story continues over three years with Secure Trust Bank taking 1st place by once more increasing the rate for both new and existing customers of its 3 Year Fixed Rate Cash ISA (02.Dec.2024). The rate was increased from 1.25% to its current level of 1.35%, knocking UBL from its long-standing top spot.
Secure Trust Bank has made the same move on its 5 Year Fixed Rate Cash ISA (01.Dec.2026) increasing the rate on offer for all customers who have opened this ISA from 1.45% to 1.65% - and again knocking UBL down a peg.
All in all, it’s been an active and positive few weeks in the fixed rate ISA tables.
The same can’t really be said for variable rate cash ISAs although as in the easy access table, Shawbrook Bank has pipped the top spot by launching its Easy Access Cash ISA Account Issue 18 paying 0.67% AER – the same rate it is paying on its market leading non ISA easy access account.
So those who are trying to decide whether or not to use their cash ISA allowance don’t need to feel that they are missing out if they decide to do so, as they couldn’t earn any more elsewhere if they go down the easy access route.
That’s it for this week – I hope to bring you a bit more in the way of good news next time. Let’s hope the competition continues. In the meantime keep an eye on our 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 (*).