Looking for easy access to your savings? Well, we've got some great news – the average easy access rate is on the rise, so much so that it's hit its highest level in almost three years! And that's just the average, with intense competition between providers seeing individual rates soar to multi-year highs, giving hard-pressed savers a welcome boost.
According to the latest data from Moneyfacts.co.uk, the average no notice rate now stands at 0.63%, a rise of 0.03% in a single week and 0.04% in a month, making it the highest seen since February 2016 (when it was also at 0.63%). It also marks a rise of 0.23% in a year – up from just 0.40% last October – which means savers can now get far more from their accessible cash.
The news is hot on the heels of last week's flurry of activity in the sector, with new bank Marcus by Goldman Sachs launching with a bang. It instantly shot to the top of the easy access chart with a market-leading rate of 1.50%, the highest seen since March 2016, which seems to have had a significant impact on the overall average. But this isn't the only bank to have made a splash in the easy access sector in recent weeks, with providers beginning to ramp up their competitiveness across the board – which can only mean good things for savers.
Find out more about the new market-leading savings rate from Marcus
In the last month, several providers in the easy access market have launched new accounts and increased rates, with some doing so in the immediate aftermath of Marcus' launch, arguably in an attempt to compete with the new bank and offer savers a competitive alternative from a better-known brand.
This includes Tesco Bank, who increased the rate on its Internet Saver to 1.36% (including a 0.81% bonus for 12 months) on Monday, while Charter Savings Bank increased the rate on its Easy Access deal by an impressive 0.90% last Friday (to 1.40%), resulting in both accounts heading further up the Best Buy charts.
Others were upping the ante earlier in the month, too, such as Bank of Cyprus UK, whose Online Easy Access Account was the top-payer in the bonus market at 1.36% – with AA's Easy Saver not far behind – before Marcus stole its crown, and Yorkshire Building Society, who increased the rate on its Single Access Saver to 1.41% to see it sit proudly at the top of the bonus-free charts.
"The recent activity in the easy access market will be music to the ears of many savers looking for a decent return on their cash but who also desire some flexibility," said Rachel Springall, finance expert at Moneyfacts.co.uk. "Challenger banks in particular have been making all the moves they can to grab the attention of savers, and the Best Buys have improved as a result."
This all shows how rapidly things are improving in the easy access market, and it's hoped the pattern will continue for the foreseeable future. Just one word of caution: savers may want to bear in mind that "many of the best deals are only available to those who apply online," said Rachel, which means some may need to become accustomed to banking online if they want to get the top rates.
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.