As we expected in the run up to Christmas, with savers attention away from the market and focused on preparing for the big day, there has been little activity recently from providers.
Several providers have withdrawn accounts from our best buy tables and we can but hope that we will see them come back into the running as we move into 2016. So, watch this space and we will keep you up to date.
There has been a small group of providers that have taken advantage of the general Christmas slowdown to enter the best buys, using the positive publicity to encourage savers to place funds with them.
ICICI Bank has re-launched its HiSave SuperSaver Savings Account – Issue One, paying 1.64% gross/1.65% AER. Accounts can be opened online with a minimum of £1 and interest is paid on a monthly basis.
At a time when several providers have taken themselves out of our easy access best buy table, including Tesco Bank and Harrods Bank, it is good to see a provider doing the opposite. The account matches the AER of the current market leader from RCI Bank, with a slightly lower gross rate due to the fact that interest is paid monthly. The provider closed the account to new applications back in October 2015, so it is good to see the account back in our table, giving those savers looking for easy access to their cash more options. However, we would caveat this as our experience of ICICI admin process hasn't always run smoothly and it's been tricky to speak to someone who can help. Let's hope ICICI has improved on its admin as well as its rates.
Shawbrook Bank has launched a new account, the Easy Access – Issue 2 paying 1.45% gross/AER. Accounts can be opened online with a minimum of £1,000, up to a maximum of £50,000 and can only be accessed online. It is worth noting that the minimum withdrawal you can make from the account is £500.
Shawbrook Bank, better known for its competitive notice accounts and fixed rate bonds has now dipped its toes into the easy access market, following up its move into cash ISAs earlier in the year. The account is competitive and when launched, the next best after RCI Bank (1.65% gross/AER) and ICICI Bank (1.64% gross/1.65% AER), so has gone straight in near the top of our table.
Finally, hot off the press today, Paragon Bank has re-launched its Limited Edition Easy Access (Issue 2) account paying 1.46% gross/AER. Accounts can be opened online with a minimum of £1, up to a maximum of £75,000.
Perhaps a reaction to Shawbrook Bank's entry into the easy access best buy table, Paragon has pipped its rate by the smallest of margins. Whilst still behind the market leading rates from RCI Bank (1.65% gross/AER) and ICICI Bank (1.64% gross/1.65% AER), the account is now the next best on the market. It is good to see the provider back in the market for savers looking for easy access to their savings, having withdrawn the account to new business earlier in December, especially as the rate remains at the same competitive level.
With more providers competing for easy access cash, interest rates will hopefully get even better and the new entrants to the best buy tables in the last few weeks gives some encouragement that we may see more providers doing the same as we move into 2016.