Savings rates haven't exactly been setting the world on fire over the last few years. If anything, they've seemed to go from bad to worse – but could there be a resurgence? Latest figures from Moneyfacts have revealed tentative signs of an ISA season emerging, with product numbers increasing and rates seeing marginal improvements.
The figures show that overall product numbers rose by 32 this month to stand at a two-year high of 1,608, the first time this figure has risen above 1,600 since March 2013. Within this figure, the total number of cash ISAs available now stands at 307, an increase of 10 products month-on-month and the highest number recorded since February 2014.
Happily, rates have also shown marginal improvement: in the non-ISA market, the no notice rate and one-year fixed rates both increased by 0.02% (to 0.66% and 1.42% respectively), while the notice rate witnessed a 0.03% rise (to 0.76%). The average long-term rate was the only one in the non-ISA sector to see a reduction, down by 0.01% to 1.98%.
A similar pattern can be seen in the ISA sector. The no notice cash ISA rate rose by 0.01% to stand at 1.12%, while the one-year ISA increased by the same amount (to 1.46%) and the long-term ISA rate posted a rise of 0.02%, now standing at 1.90%. The notice ISA rate saw a moderate reduction of 0.02% to 1.22%.
As the figures show, the ISA sector largely improved this month, which has got to be good news for savers – ISA providers are keen to attract your business as ISA season takes hold, and they're offering higher rates in order to do so.
The notice cash ISA rate was the only area to see a slight downturn, but this was arguably driven by a drop in the number of ISA providers – six providers withdrew from the sector in order to process applications before the end of tax year deadline – together with the fact that the majority of new ISA products being launched were in the no notice and fixed markets.
However, in recent years, providers have re-launched their withdrawn products at the start of the new tax year, and it's widely expected that this trend will be repeated. So, this means that there could be a further rise in product numbers during April – a fact that will need to be confirmed when Moneyfacts can fully analyse the figures at the end of the month – and it's hoped that the improvement in rates will follow suit.
So, why not take advantage of things? The start of the tax year is always the best time to compare rates, and with plenty of new products and higher rates to choose from, you could find just the thing. Check out our best buys to see just how much you could get from your money.
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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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