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Five minute finance: ISAs

Five minute finance: ISAs

Category: Savings

Updated: 12/10/2009
First Published: 12/10/2009

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

Last week saw the ISA allowance increase for savers aged 50 years and over, so it came as no surprise that the vast majority of new product launches seen in the last seven days were on fixed rate ISAs. All savers who have yet to invest this year's allowance are being targeted by banks and building societies offering increased rates. So much so that the highest rate on offer for a fixed rate ISA has increased from 3.50pc to 4.60pc in the last six months.

While providers continue to offer their most attractive rates on fixed rate accounts, they remain aware that the vast majority of savers prefer to keep at least part of their money in an easy access account in case the unexpected happens. In recent weeks a number of providers have made moves to increase the rates on offer on such accounts, with numerous providers now offering rates over 3.00pc, compared to none a few months ago.

Now more than ever, savers need to ensure that they read the terms and conditions of accounts in full before investing their money. All the top paying easy access accounts have a significant amount of the rate made up of a bonus and/or restrictions on making withdrawals. As providers continue to try and outdo their competitors to attract our money, these restrictions are likely to get more stringent.

Top ISA rates from Nationwide

Nationwide Building Society has just launched its Three Year 50+ Fixed Rate ISA paying 4.00pc. The account is open to savers aged 50 years, who are looking to invest up to their full increased cash ISA allowance of £5,100. Nationwide has also launched its Guaranteed Equity Bond ISA (GEB ISA) for those savers wishing to invest their additional £5,100 or the full £10,200 in a stocks and shares ISA.

Best buys ISA rates at the Post Office

The new Fixed Rate Cash ISA from the Post Office is paying a rate of 3.20pc, which sits just below the market leading rate for a one year term. Savers can invest between £500 and £43,200 into the ISA, which accepts transfers in. Access to funds during the one year term is available on closure only and will be subject to 90 days' loss of interest.

West Brom targets over 50s

West Bromwich Building Society has just launched its 30 Day Notice Over 50s Fixed Rate ISA paying 3.00pc. The account matures on 5 April 2011 and savers can invest up to £44,700 into the account as transfers in are permitted. Further additions are not allowed during the term, but access to funds is available subject to 30 days' notice or a loss of 30 days' interest for earlier access.

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.