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The savings market has seen some welcome signs of life recently, with fixed rates in particular seeing notable increases. Happily, this trend is becoming apparent in the easy access sector, too, with several providers giving their accounts a boost in recent weeks, resulting in some of the best rates we've seen in ages.
Take a look at the best savings rates and you'll see that, in the easy access sector, Bank of Cyprus UK reigns supreme. Earlier this week it saw a rate boost of 0.15%, bringing it to a market-leading 1.30% – which also makes it the highest easy access rate seen in 12 months!
This time last year, the top rate stood at 1.45% (from RCI Bank UK), but it was cut to 1.20% on 12 August, arguably as a result of the base rate cut the previous week. Given that we still haven't seen a base rate rise, it's particularly welcome that savings rates have been increasing nonetheless, suggesting that competition is beginning to return to this sector of the market.
Bank of Cyprus UK certainly seems to be competing – the rate boost sees its Online Easy Access Account sit squarely at the top of the charts, but it's worth pointing out that the rate includes a 0.70% bonus for 12 months, which means you'll need to review it in a year's time to make sure you're still getting the best deal.
Regardless, the increase has certainly made people sit up and take notice, and it isn't the only improvement seen in recent weeks, either. Ulster Bank launched two brand new easy access accounts at the end of June, one designed for internet investors and the other for savers with a local branch, both of which pay 1.25%. Unlike the Bank of Cyprus deal, these accounts don't come with a bonus, making them the market-leaders in the bonus-free sector.
While it remains the case that the best savings rates can be found if you lock your money away – and rates of up to 5% can be achieved with high interest current accounts – for those who want simplicity and easy access to their cash, the latest rate-boosting trend will definitely be welcome.
Easy access deals are perfect for those who don't want the commitment of a fixed rate bond, and can be ideal for those getting into the savings habit. The vast majority allow further additions at will, which means you can add to your pot whenever you're able, and you can access your cash whenever you need it, too. Plus, most can be opened with as little as £1, the market-leading deals included, so there's no need to have a significant savings pot already.
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