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Eligible deposits with UK institutions are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. The maximum level of protection will be reducing from £85,000 to £75,000 from 1 January 2016.
An easy or instant access savings account is a type of account where you can get to your cash quickly if you need to make a withdrawal. However, depending on how your account is managed, the length of time it takes from requesting the withdrawal, to actually having the money in your hand or bank account can vary.
Particularly where an account is managed by post, there will be a time lag because the length of time it takes for you to post in your withdrawal request, and then for the transaction to be processed. In contrast, accounts that are managed online, over the phone or in branch can give you instant or very quick access to your cash.
The best easy access savings rates usually benefit from an introductory bonus. While these accounts tend to offer higher rates, remember that the initial bonus boost is temporary, and in most cases only lasts 12 months. That means that in order to continue getting the best rate on your savings, you’ll need to review your account again after a year. Easy and instant access accounts are available without introductory bonuses, if you’d rather not make changing accounts an annual job!
Some easy and instant access savings accounts put certain restrictions on withdrawals, limiting you to a certain number of ‘free’ withdrawals in a 12 month period. After this your interest rate may suffer if you need to access your money again.
If you think you’re going to need to make several withdrawals over a yearly period (perhaps to pay university tuition fees for instance), be sure to check the small print of the account before opening it.
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