Savers disheartened by the continuing fall in easy access rates could consider a notice account, which are currently offering an average rate that’s 0.34% higher than the average rate being offered on easy access accounts.
The current average rate on notice accounts stands at 0.60% today, which compares to the average easy access rate of just 0.26%. In addition to potentially offering higher rates, notice accounts also enable savers to access their funds, albeit once notice has been given. “The notice account market may be overlooked for the greater convenience of an easy access account or the chance to earn a higher rate of interest on a fixed bond, however right now these could be the perfect bridge between the two,” explained Rachel Springall, finance expert at Moneyfacts.co.uk. “Savers may feel disheartened by the onslaught of rate cuts seen in the easy access market and could be looking for an alternative account to secure a better deal.
“Notice accounts are a more niche area of the savings market, but they can provide an attractive return compared to easy access accounts. Savers must give notice to access their money and this requirement enables providers to offer a higher return than on easy access accounts. In fact, over two-thirds of the notice account market will pay 0.50% or more, whereas only a quarter of the easy access market will do the same.”
While notice accounts are a potential alternative to easy access accounts, savers should be aware that rates on notice accounts have also been falling this year. In fact, since January, the average rate for notice accounts has fallen by 0.48%. Saying this, the average easy access account rate has more than halved since the start of the year, falling by 0.33%.
|Savings market analysis|
|January 2020||March 2020||May 2020||Today|
|Average easy access rate||0.59%||0.57%||0.41%||0.26%|
|Average notice account rate||1.08%||1.04%||0.92%||0.60%|
Savers should also be aware that as notice accounts require a notice period before money can be accessed, it means that if the provider reduces their rates, savers could find themselves stuck on the lower than expected rate and be unable to withdraw their money without incurring a penalty. Springall said: “As notice accounts pay a variable rate, this does mean that they can change at any point, so it is imperative savers keep an eye on their current deal and be prepared to switch elsewhere if appropriate. Signing up to alerts and monitoring the top rate tables is a good move to keep abreast of the ever-changing savings landscape.”
Currently, the best rate on a notice account without opening restrictions comes from ICICI Bank UK, which pays 1.39% gross monthly on its HiSAVE Notice Savings Account. This account requires a notice period of 95 days and savers should be aware that this rate is due to be reduced on the 1 September 2020.
|Top notice account rates|
|January 2020||March 2020||Today|
|BLME – 90 Day Notice – 1.70%*||ICICI Bank UK – 95 Day Notice – 1.59%||ICICI Bank UK – 95 Day Notice – 1.39%|
|Moneybox – 95 Day Notice – 1.65%||Shawbrook Bank – 120 Day Notice – 1.55%||The Melton BS – 100 Day Notice – 1.35%|
|ICICI Bank UK – 95 Day Notice – 1.59%||Al Rayan Bank – 90 Day Notice – 1.50%*||ICICI Bank UK – 45 Day Notice – 1.24%|
|Shawbrook Bank – 120 Day Notice – 1.55%||BLME – 90 Day Notice – 1.50%*||Manchester BS – 60 Day Notice – 1.10%|
|Close Brothers Savings – 95 Day Notice – 1.55%||Wyelands Bank – 95 Day Notice – 1.47%||BLME – 90 Day Notice – 1.10%*|
|Al Rayan Bank – 90 Day Notice – 1.50%*||Moneybox – 95 Day Notice – 1.45%||Family Building Society – 35 Day Notice – 1.10%|
Top deals at £10,000 gross. *An Islamic bank, pays an expected profit rate.
Although rate is important when considering a notice account, keeping in mind that rates can be reduced at any time means that savers should also consider the notice period when choosing an account.
Springall added: “Savers not quite convinced with a notice account would be wise to compare the notice periods, as some are for the short-term and may suit those hesitant to lock their money away over the longer-term. As an example, ICICI Bank UK offers an attractive rate of 1.24% on its 45 Day Notice Account, which is available through Raisin UK for savers who have a minimum of £1,000 to invest.”
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.