ISA season, which traditionally starts in December to catch any unused ISA allowance and runs through until about May, can normally be relied upon to liven up the savings market.
However, unfortunately for savers, Moneyfacts data has revealed a very slow and unoptimistic start to the 2014 ISA season.
Activity in the market has been largely subdued, with there being a distinct lack of new product launches and amended rates. Without new issues or accounts it means savers will have a much more limited choice, and limited choice means less competition in terms of rates.
This could all mean that savers are set for yet another disappointing year, perhaps a viewpoint that's confirmed by the fact that in January 2013 the average ISA rate was 1.87%, but it's fallen to just 1.64% today.
Sylvia Waycot, editor at Moneyfacts.co.uk, comments on the outlook:
"ISA season is the equivalent of Christmas for savers, with lots of competitive rates, fanfares and razzmatazz, but so far this year it is turning out to be a bit of a lame duck.
"As savings rates have been pretty dire of late, savers bank on ISA season to offer some respite from inflation and the taxman. But, unless we have more products, choice will be limited… unless things pick up soon, sadly, we have the makings of a damp squib."
However, all is not completely lost. Despite rates not setting the world on fire there are still a few accounts that can counter the effects of tax and inflation – albeit just 77 out of a possible 864 – and it's these accounts that will be able to give a more measurable return.
We've helped the process of finding the best rates along by giving you an overview of the top 6 inflation-beating cash ISAs available on the market today, so if you're looking for a last-minute home for your 2013/14 allowance make sure to have a look and see if they fit your needs.
Find a home for your 2013-14 cash ISA allowance
Use our Whole of Market Savings Comparison for more personal savings account information
Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.
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