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Five minute finance: Savings

Five minute finance: Savings

Category: Savings

Updated: 30/11/2009
First Published: 26/10/2009

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 It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

In order to achieve the highest rate possible on your savings, you need to keep a very close eye on the market and the rates being paid on your accounts, as many best buy deals don't hang around for long.

Many savers have increasingly busy lives and just don't have the time to devote to such frequent switching. For these savers an account paying a consistent rate of interest is more appealing. They can invest their money and be confident that the rate of interest will be competitive in the current market conditions and won't be cut dramatically.

The latest Moneyfacts consistency survey shows that once again it is the building societies that dominate in offering the most consistent accounts, with 77% of the top returns, but it is Birmingham Midshires (part of the Lloyds Banking Group) that comes out top with the most consistent accounts.

Savers will be cheered that despite the turbulent market conditions that have seen their interest rate plummet, they can still find accounts paying competitive rates of interest.

Top rates from C&G

Cheltenham & Gloucester has just launched its Two Year Fixed Rate Bond paying 4.20pc. The rate sits just below the market leader and is one of the highest available for customers who don't want to operate their account online. Between £500 and £3m can be invested in the account, with further additions permitted whilst the account remains open. If savers require access to funds during the term, a 120 days' loss of interest penalty is payable.

Head online for best buy rates

New customers to Scottish Widows Bank are being offered a rate of 3.01pc, including 1.00pc bonus for 12 months, on its new Internet Saver account. Those looking for regular income can opt for interest to be paid monthly or quarterly. Up to £5m can be invested in the online operated account. No notice is required to make a withdrawal, but all transactions must be made via a nominated account.

Providers target regular savings

Savers looking to invest between £10 and £250 per month are being offered a rate of 4.00pc, including a conditional bonus of 3.50pc plus Bank of England Base Rate until 31st October 2010, from Cheshire, Derbyshire and Dunfermline Building Societies. To qualify for the bonus savers must make no more than one withdrawal or miss no more than one monthly payment. If these limits are exceeded and once the bonus period ends, the rate reverts to Bank of England Base Rate plus 1.50pc.

BoS rewards customers

Bank of Scotland has just launched its Instant Access Savings Reward Account paying 2.60pc from £500, 2.90pc from £100,000, including a variable bonus for 12 months. Providing no more than four withdrawals are made per annum, the account guarantees to pay these rates for a year. Savers can get instant access to their money as the account comes with a cash card, but if more than four withdrawals are made in the first year the Instant Access Saving Account rate is paid, currently 0.50% or 0.60% depending on the amount invested.

New bond from Hinckley & Rugby

Savers looking to commit funds for three years might consider the new 3 Year Fixed Rate Postal Bond from Hinckley & Rugby Building Society. The account pays 4.40pc from £5,000 and 4.65pc for investments of between £25,000 and £300,000. Once opened, further additions are not permitted. No access to funds is available during the first year, after which access will be available subject to 180 days' loss of interest.

Find the best savings account for you - compare savings accounts

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.