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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.
If you can afford not to have instant access to your money, a notice savings account can usually earn you more interest than an easy access account.
Notice accounts work by you having to give prior warning of your intention to make a withdrawal. Because the bank or building society has this prior warning, rather than a sudden withdrawal, it means that it can pay you a higher interest rate. Sometimes an account will allow you to bypass the notice period, but this will be at the expense of you losing an amount of interest equivalent to the notice period. So a 60 day notice account might let you access your money by giving 60 days’ notice, or losing 60 days’ interest.
Notice periods tend to start at 30 days and can range up to six months. Best buy rates don’t always correlate with the amount of notice you have to give – so a 60 day notice account could pay more than a 90 day version. That means it’s always best to compare interest rates as well as the length of the notice period to find the best deal.
Although not common, some notice savings accounts can include an introductory bonus in their rate – if this is the case it means you’ll need to review your rate when the bonus ends, to check your account is still competitive.
Remember that notice accounts are variable interest rates. So your interest rate could drop if rates – particularly the Bank of England Base Rate – decrease.
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