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Disappointing year end for savers

Disappointing year end for savers

Category: Savings

Updated: 09/12/2009
First Published: 09/12/2009

MONEYFACTS ARCHIVE
This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

Savers are unlikely to shed a tear at the passing of 2009, a year in which the base rate of interest has been at a record low 0.5 per cent since March.

And despite it being the festive season, savers are unlikely to raise a glass to the rates of interest currently available on the High Street, with many of the top deals being withdrawn or replaced.

Since the beginning of November, 62 per cent of the product changes to Moneyfacts.co.uk have been product withdrawals. Many have been replaced, but in the majority of cases the replacements have offered lower returns.

Fixed rate products have been hardest hit, with many of November's top deals being withdrawn. The highest rate on a one year bond at the beginning of last month was 3.95 per cent; today it is 3.75 per cent.

The best rate on a two year fixed has dropped from 4.35 per cent to 4.25 per cent during the period, while the top paying five year product has fallen from 5.35 per cent to 5.15 per cent.

Savers looking for top paying variable rate deals have also been affected, with numerous Best Buy deals being withdrawn. These include:

  • West Bromwich BS – Branch Bonus 2 paying 3.35 per cent
  • Manchester BS – Premier Notice 5 paying 3.31 per cent
  • Chelsea BS – Bonus 60 paying 2.65 per cent
  • Chelsea BS – Rainy Day Savings Issue 4 paying 3.25 per cent
  • Citibank – Flexible Saver Issue 6 paying 3.25 per cent
  • ING Direct UK – Savings Account (new customers) paying 3.16 per cent
  • Leeds BS – Online Access paying 3.05 per cent.

Michelle Slade, spokesperson for Moneyfacts.co.uk, commented: "Legislation requiring providers to hold increased savings deposits and nervousness over the money markets had led to increasing competition amongst providers to attract savers' money.

"Despite no change in bank rate since March, savers have seen rates steadily increasing, particularly on fixed rate bonds. However, in the last few weeks the tide has turned and many top deals are being withdrawn.

"Providers appear to be returning to more traditional ways of raising funding, reducing reliance on savers' money.

"The decreasing availability of top rates means that when a market leading deal is launched, it is soon over subscribed. The recent launch of the top paying one year bond from Melton Mowbray BS lasted just one day.

"Savers need to keep a close eye on the savings market and act quickly when top deals are launched, otherwise they are likely to miss out."

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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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