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Five minute finance: Savings

Five minute finance: Savings

Category: Savings

Updated: 27/01/2010
First Published: 30/11/2009

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 It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

Over the last few weeks the savings market has continued to be a hive of activity.

However, unlike previous months, where demand for savers' money has driven rates higher, this month has seen large numbers of products withdrawn.

While in most instances these products have been replaced, this time many new products are paying less competitive rates.

The main focus for these withdrawals have been fixed rate bonds and ISAs, where many savers have headed to take advantage of the higher rates on offer.

Competitive deals that are launched are fully subscribed quickly and are subsequently withdrawn, as seen recently by the quick withdrawal of the market leading bonds from NS&I.

It appears that for now the rise in fixed rates has hit its peak, with only one way to go from here.

Savers looking to fix the rate on their money need to act fast or else they could find the most competitive deals have gone.

Market leading bond

Savers looking to commit funds for three years are being offered a market leading rate of 5.00 per cent from the Co-operative Bank and Britannia. The bond is the first simultaneous product launch from the providers since their merger earlier this year. Savers can invest between £5,000 and £1m into the bond. Savers are given a 30 day window at the end of each 12 months where they can access their funds, but an interest penalty will apply.

Chelsea launches bonds with access

Chelsea Building Society has just launched new issues of its Autumn Bonds, which unlike many other short term bonds allow access during the term of the bond. Savers can invest between £1,000 and £500,000 into the bonds, which are operated in branch or by post. Savers can opt for a penalty access version, where all withdrawals are subject to 90 days' loss of interest, which pays 3.00 per cent for a one year commitment or 3.60 per cent for two years. An easy access one year bond is also available, paying 2.80 per cent.

Northern Rock steps up the pace

Northern Rock has just launched two issues of its Stepped Fixed Rate ISA. The first ISA matures on 15th December 2012 and pays 3.75 per cent in year one, 4.00 per cent in year two and 4.50 per cent in year three. The second matures on 15th December 2014 and pays 3.75 per cent in year one, 4.00 per cent in year two, 4.50 per cent in year three, 4.75 per cent in year four and 5.00 per cent in year five. Savers can invest upwards of £500 into the ISAs, which accepts transfers in. On maturity all funds are transferred to Northern Rock's 30 Day Cash ISA, which will allow penalty free access for 30 days.

Morgan Stanley launches a range of structured bonds

Morgan Stanley has this week launched four new six year structured bonds. All plans track the FTSE 100 Index and investors can invest over £3,000. The Best Entry Growth Plan allows investors to enter the market at the lowest monthly index level during the first quarter, while the Capital Accumulator Plan offers the potential for competitive returns regardless of the market direction. The Kick Out Growth Plan offers investors the opportunity to leave the plan early if the FTSE 100 rises 15 per cent over three years, while the Protected Growth Plan offers full capital protection. All applications must be made via an IFA.

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.