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Competition shakes up easy access with new leader!

Competition shakes up easy access with new leader!

Category: Savings
Author: Leanne Macardle
Date: 30/10/2018

In yet more good news for savers, competition is ramping up in the easy access market, with providers regularly launching new accounts and raising rates in an attempt to compete for savers' accessible cash. Indeed, just weeks after Marcus by Goldman Sachs launched in the UK with a market-leading easy access account, someone else has come along and taken their crown – Nottingham Building Society has just launched a new issue of its own instant access deal, stealing the limelight with a chart-topping 1.55%!

Not only is this comfortably above Marcus' rate of 1.50% – and it doesn't include a short-term bonus, either – it's the highest easy access rate we've seen in more than two years. In fact, the last time we saw a rate this high was in March 2016, when RCI Bank had an easy access deal paying the same 1.55% (this particular deal now pays 1.37%, which is still a top-10 rate). This means savers can now get more from their accessible cash than they've been able to in years, and the best thing is that Nottingham's deal truly is easy access.

What's on offer?

eSaver Instant Issue 9 pays a market-leading rate of 1.55% to those who deposit at least £1,000. Interest is paid yearly and must be compounded, and savers can squirrel away up to £250,000 in this internet-operated deal. Not only are further additions allowed without restriction, but so are withdrawals, provided they're made through a nominated account.

All in all, it's a good-looking deal for those who want quick and easy access to their funds, without needing to worry about withdrawal restrictions or bonus periods, both of which are becoming increasingly common in this sector. Of course, as the rate is variable it's subject to change at any time, but as it stands, this deal could prove highly appealing to many savers.

Check out the best easy access savings accounts

"Unlike a few other easy access accounts, this new deal has no withdrawal restrictions and offers a straightforward interest rate as no bonus is applied," said Rachel Springall, finance expert at Moneyfacts.co.uk. "This will be enticing to savers looking for a simple account that allows them to dip in and out of their pot as frequently as they like."

What are the alternatives?

If you're looking for something a little different – perhaps you're not comfortable with solely banking online, or wouldn't mind locking your money away for the promise of a better rate – what else is out there? Let's take a look.

  • The top easy access deal with a bonus still comes from Marcus by Goldman Sachs. The rate of 1.50% includes a bonus of 0.15% for 12 months, but the advantage is that the bonus is fixed, so even if the variable part of the rate falls, there's a measure of security from the fixed rate element.

  • The best easy access deal that can be operated via channels other than the internet is the Premier Saver (1) account from Family Building Society. This deal pays a rate of 1.45%, free from bonuses or withdrawal restrictions, and it can be managed in branch and by post as well as online.
  • For a different kind of easy access, you can't go wrong with a high interest current account. These deals boast far higher rates of interest than can be achieved with a standard savings account and you can access your money whenever you wish, though you'll need to be prepared for certain restrictions (minimum monthly funding requirements, for example) and the fact that you'll usually only be able to earn interest on relatively low amounts. But, with in-credit interest rates of up to 5% on offer – such as from this Nationwide deal, which offers 5% on balances of up to £2,500 for the first year – they could be ideal.
  • Want to save a substantial sum of money and don't mind locking it away for a better rate? Then it's time to look to fixed rate bonds. These pay much better rates than their easy access counterparts on the provision that you leave your money untouched for the full length of the term, but with plenty of inflation-beating deals on offer – such as this one from Bank of London and the Middle East, or this four-year deal from OakNorth – they could be worth considering.

Of course, there's always the chance that competition could continue to flourish among easy access providers, so we could see plenty more leap-frogging going on in the coming months. Rachel concludes: "It's great to see more activity in the easy access market, and hopefully this will entice even more competition among other Best Buy providers. But, as always, savers must keep on top of the latest deals in the market to acquire the best rates on offer."

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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