The start of the year has seen competition ramp up in the easy access market, as providers clamour to make it to the top of the Best Buys and give Marcus by Goldman Sachs a run for its money. The latter has been sitting at the top of the charts almost constantly since its launch in September, but now, its crown has been taken, and activity is showing no sign of slowing down.
Last week, ICICI Bank UK launched a new HiSAVE Bonus Saver Account paying 1.54% on a monthly basis (1.55% AER), the highest easy access rate seen since October, when Nottingham Building Society had an account paying the same rate that was withdrawn from sale after just two days. Excluding this blip, it's the highest easy access rate seen since March 2016, according to our records at Moneyfacts.co.uk.
Not only that, but it sits comfortably above Marcus' 1.50% deal, meaning it's rightly grabbing the headlines. The rate includes a bonus of 0.30% for 12 months, but the fact that interest is paid monthly could make it ideal for those looking to supplement their income.
The offer is a true easy access account, too, allowing savers to open one with just £1 and allowing unlimited further additions and withdrawals, provided all access is via a nominated account. For this reason, not to mention the great rate, it could easily give Marcus a run for its money, though savers will need to make sure they reconsider the deal in a year's time when the bonus expires.
This account isn't the only one to get in on the accessible action, either. Earlier this month, Cynergy Bank upped the rate on its Online Easy Access Account by 0.09% to see it match Marcus' 1.50%, and just this morning, Family Building Society launched a new issue of its Premium Saver account paying an increased rate of 1.51% yearly, seeing it become the market leader of the bonus-free sector.
Paragon Bank, meanwhile, relaunched its Limited Edition Easy Access account last week with a rate of 1.45% yearly – not far from the top spot – while Britannia increased the rate on its Select Access Saver by 0.20% to see it pay a chart-worthy 1.40%.
While not all of the recent launches and rate hikes can compete with the table-topping rate of ICICI Bank UK, it's clear that providers want to make their presence felt in the easy access market, and by all accounts, the trend is set to continue. However, savers wanting to make the most of the competition probably shouldn't hang around too long, as there's just no telling how long these deals will be around for.
"I would imagine more providers adjusting their rates and attempting to leapfrog to the top, though we just don't know when that might be," said Rachel Springall, finance expert at Moneyfacts.co.uk. "As we have seen before, a great deal doesn't last very long; the last time we had an easy access deal paying 1.55% was when Nottingham Building Society had their eSaver priced at 1.55%, available between just 29 and 31 October 2018.
"Savers would be wise not to sit around too long to apply for table-topping deals as they could get withdrawn with little notice."
If you're looking for the best easy access savings rate, all you have to do is head to our charts. Our Best Buys cover the top easy access accounts with a bonus
and those without, helping you make an informed decision to find the ideal account for your accessible cash.
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.