Derin Clark

Derin Clark

Online Reporter
Published: 15/09/2019

The mortgage charts continue to be highly competitive this week and those looking to borrow will find attractive rates available across the charts. There was good news this week for homeowners planning to remortgage onto a long-term rate, as the top rate in the five year fixed remortgage chart has dropped by 0.02%, while the top five-year fixed rate in the home-movers chart has also fallen. While there has been no movement at the top of the first-time buyer charts, the rates available still remain highly competitive.   

At a time when we are seeing savings rates being cut, especially in the easy access charts, this week Al Rayan Bank surprisingly launched an easy access savings account that offers a rate that is 0.15% above the previous chart-topping rate. Meanwhile, those looking for a fixed rate bond will be pleased to know that none of the top rates have been reduced this week, but the notice account chart has seen a drop in the top rate being offered on a 90-day notice account.

August saw a lot of ISA providers reduce rates on their products or withdraw them entirely. Saying this, it wasn’t the worst month for savers looking to open an ISA, with several well-known banks and building societies launching new products and rates. Savers wanting to get the top rates had to act quickly though, as new products could quickly be withdrawn or have their rates reduced – this happened towards the end of August when within a week of Charter Savings Bank launching its chart-topping 1 Year Fixed Rate Cash ISA the product was withdrawn.

Some products that were launched in August are still available, these are:

  • Nationwide Building Society’s 3 Year Fixed Rate ISA, which pays 1.00% on a £1 deposit. This ISA has a three-year term during which further additions are not allowed, while earlier access is only permitted on closure and subject to 270 days’ loss of interest. Transfers in are accepted, while transfers out are allowed subject to 270 days’ loss of interest. This ISA can be both opened and managed online, in branch and via its mobile app.
  • Cambridge Building Society’s 1 Year Fixed Rate ISA (Issue 25) pays 1.40% on a one-year term and 5 Year Fixed Rate ISA (Issue 11) pays 1.85% on a five-year term. Both these ISAs require a £500 deposit and allow further additions during the 2019/20 tax year only. Earlier access on the one-year version is permitted on 120 days’ loss of interest, while on the five-year version earlier access is subject to 240 days’ loss of interest. The building society also launched a Member’s 2 Year Fixed Rate ISA (Issue 1) that pays 1.55% on a two-year term, however this ISA is restricted to existing members only. It has the same terms and conditions as the fixed rate ISAs, with earlier access being subject to 180 days’ loss of interest. All these ISAs allow transfers in until the 5 April 2020, while transfers out on the one-year incur a 120 days’ loss of interest penalty, the two-year and five-year versions have 180 days’ and 240 days’ loss of interest penalty respectively. These ISAs can be opened in branch, by post or phone and then managed online, in branch, by post, by phone and via its mobile app.
  • Nottingham Building Society’s Fixed Rate ISA – Issue 45 pays 1.15% until 30 November 2020, its Fixed Rate ISA – Issue 46 pays 1.25% until 30 November 2021 and its Fixed Rate ISA – Issue 47 pays 1.35% until 30 November 2022. All these ISAs require a £500 deposit and allow further additions while the issues remain open, but earlier access is only allowed on transfers only and are subject to 180 days’ loss of interest. Transfers in are allowed while the issues remain open. These ISAs can only be opened and managed in branch.
  • Principality Building Society’s 5 Year Fixed Rate Cash ISA Issue 213 pays 1.90% on a £500 deposit. This ISA has a five-year term that allows further additions while the issue remains open, but earlier access is only permitted on closure and subject to 360 days’ loss of interest. Transfers in are allowed, while transfers out are subject to a 360 days’ loss of interest penalty. It must be opened online or in branch but can then be managed by post as well.

While all these ISA were launched during August, none offer a top rate in their respective charts. The top rates currently on offer are:

  • Metro Bank is paying 2.10% on its 5 Year Fixed Rate Cash ISA (Issue 7), which is the top rate in the five year fixed rate ISA chart. The bank is also offering the top rate without any opening restrictions in the three year fixed rate ISA chart with its 3 Year Fixed Rate Cash ISA (Issue 7) paying 1.85%. Both ISAs require a deposit of just £1 and allow further deposits within 30 days of account opening, while earlier access is allowed on closure only and subject to 180 days’ loss of interest. They allow transfers in within 30 days of account opening, while transfers out have the penalty of 180 days’ loss of interest. The ISAs can be only opened in branch but then managed online and by phone as well.
  • Al Rayan Bank tops the two year fixed rate ISA chart with its Fixed Term Deposit Cash ISA paying an expected profit rate of 1.81%. This ISA requires a £1,000 deposit and allows further additions within 30 days of account opening, but earlier access is not permitted. Transfers in are accepted for up to 30 days from account opening, while transfers out have the penalty of reduced profit rate for up to 90 days. It can be both opened and managed online, in branch, by post, by phone and via its mobile app.
  • Cynergy Bank’s Fixed Rate Cash ISA tops the one-year fixed rate ISA chart paying 1.63% on a £500 deposit. This ISA allows further additions but a variable rate will be paid, while earlier access is subject to 180 days’ loss of interest. Transfers in are allowed, while transfers out have a 180 days’ loss of interest penalty This ISA can only be opened online, but then managed in branch, by post and by phone as well.
  • Charter Savings Bank and Coventry Building Society both offer the top rate of 1.44% within the easy access ISA chart. Charter Savings Bank pays this rate on its Easy Access Cash ISA – Issue 12, which is an online-only account that requires a £5,000 deposit. This ISA allows further additions and withdrawals, as well as accepting transfers in. Coventry Building Society pays this rate, which includes a 0.29% bonus until 31 January 2021, on its Limited Access ISA. requires a £1 deposit and allows further additions but withdrawals are restricted to three penalty-free withdrawals per annum, while further withdrawals are subject to 50 days’ loss of interest. Transfers in are accepted, but all transferred in funds (with the exception of cash ISAs) must be sent by cheque with transfer history form. It can be opened and managed online, in branch, by post and phone.

 

All rates are correct at time of publishing.

Throughout August, several providers dominated the savings account chart. Bank of London and The Middle East (BLME) for example was offering the top rate for all terms within the fixed rate bond charts, however towards the end of the month it reduced many of its top rates resulting in weakening of competition in these charts. Marcus by Goldman Sachs, Virgin Money and Cynergy Bank all offered the top rate in the easy access chart for the majority of the month, but all these providers have cut their rates since the start of August.

As well as this, August saw many new savings accounts being launched. Of the new accounts launched, these are the ones that are still available:

  • Darlington Building Society’s Autumn Bond Issue 3 paying 1.25% until 30 November 2020. This account requires a minimum opening deposit of just £1, although savers should be aware that it is restricted to existing customers who hold an Autumn Bond Issue 2 and/or live within certain postcodes. This account allows further additions, but withdrawals are not permitted. It can be both opened and managed in branch and by post.
  • The Melton Building Society’s Fixed Rate Savings pays 1.60% monthly, (AER 1.61%) until 24 September 2021 on a £1,000 deposit. This account allows further additions but does not permit withdrawals. It can be both opened both in branch and by post.
  • Nationwide Building Society’s 3 Year Fixed Rate Bond and 3 Year Fixed Rate e-Bond both pay 1.00% on a minimum opening deposit of just £1. Savers should be aware that the e-Bond is only available to those who already hold a Nationwide Current Account. These accounts have a three-year term during which time they do not allow further additions, while earlier access is permitted on closure only on 270 days’ loss of interest. The 3 Year Fixed Rate Bond can only be opened in branch, but then managed online, in branch and via mobile app. The 3 Year Fixed Rate e-Bond can be both opened and managed online and via mobile app. There are also versions of both accounts that pay interest monthly.
  • Principality Building Society’s Online Saver pays 1.43%, which includes a 0.25% bonus for 12 months, on a deposit of just £1. This online-only easy access savings account allows both further additions and withdrawals.  
  • Tesco Bank’s Fixed Rate Saver pays 1.30% on a deposit of £2,000 on the account’s anniversary. This account has an 18-month term, during which further additions and withdrawals are not allowed. It can be opened online or by phone and then only managed by phone. For income seekers, there is also a version of this account that pays interest monthly.
  • Nottingham Building Society’s Fixed Rate Account – Issue 182 pays 1.20% until 30 November 2020, its Fixed Rate Account – Issue 183 pays 1.25% until 30 November 2021, its Fixed Rate Account – Issue 184 pays 1.35% until the 30 November 2022 and its Fixed Rate Account – Issue 185 pays 1.45% until 30 November 2024. All these accounts require a minimum opening deposit of £500 and allow further additions while the issue is open to new savers, but do not permit withdrawals. They can only be opened and managed in branch.
  • Cumberland Building Society’s 1 Year Fixed Interest Fixed Term pays 0.80% until 31 July 2020, its 2 Year Fixed Interest Fixed Term pays 1.05% until 31 July 2021 and its 3 Year Fixed Interest Fixed Term pays 1.25% until 31 July 2022. All these accounts require an opening minimum deposit of £1,000 and allow further additions while the issue is open to new savers, but do not permit withdrawals. These accounts can only be opened in branch but then managed online and via its mobile app as well.

None of the accounts that were launched in August offer the current top rates in the savings charts. Savers looking for a top rate account should consider:

  • Gatehouse Bank’s Fixed Term Deposit, which tops the five year fixed rate bonds chart offering an expected rate of 2.45%. This online-only account requires a £1,000 minimum deposit and does not allow further additions or withdrawals.
  • Bank of London and The Middle East tops the three year, two year and one year fixed rate bond charts with its Premier Deposit Account. The three-year version pays an expected profit rate of 2.45%, the two-year version pays an expected profit rate of 2.35% and the one-year version pays an expected profit rate of 2.10%. All the accounts require a £1,000 minimum deposit and do not allow further additions or withdrawals. The accounts can only be opened online and then managed by post. As well as this, to open these accounts a BLME transfer account to hold funds pending investment is required.
  • PCF Bank 180 Day Notice Deposit Issue 1 currently tops the notice account chart paying 1.85% on a £1,000 deposit. This account allows further additions, while withdrawals are permitted but subject to 180 days’ notice. The account can be opened online or by post and then managed by phone as well.
  • Al Rayan Bank tops the easy access savings chart with its Everyday Saver paying an expected profit rate of 1.60% gross monthly (1.61% AER). This account requires a £500 opening deposit and allows unlimited further additions and withdrawals. It can be both opened and managed online, in branch, by post, by phone and via its mobile app.

 

All rates are correct at time of publishing.

Although summer might just be over, this Monday marks the 100-day countdown to Christmas and 24% of British consumers have already started their Christmas shopping, research from American Express reveals.

According to the research, the main reasons why people started their festive shopping early is because potential presents have caught their eye or because they want to avoid a big spending spree in the run-up to Christmas. In fact, two in five (41%) of shoppers buy gifts throughout the year to make the most of discounts and offers.

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