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Providers raise easy access rates in chart battle

Providers raise easy access rates in chart battle

Category: Savings
09/11/2017

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 It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

The instant access savings market hasn't exactly been boasting the greatest of rates in recent years, but happily, there are signs of improvement, with our data showing that providers appear to be locked in an ongoing battle to secure the top spot of the Best Buys!

Best easy access savings accounts

Check out the best easy access savings accounts and you'll see what we mean. There are now not one but two accounts that offer the top rate of 1.30%, a rate that was unheard of just a few weeks ago, with BM Savings boosting the rate on its BM Internet Saver account just last week. It now pays the joint-top rate of 1.30% and requires a minimum investment of just £1, and although it's technically a 12-month bond, it permits unlimited further additions and withdrawals to offer the height of easy access.

However, this means that RCI Bank UK has had to lose its crown, being relegated into second place due to its higher minimum investment requirement. Its Freedom Savings Account has long been a force to be reckoned with in the easy access sector with it regularly nabbing the top spot, and although it's recently been overtaken in terms of chart position, it still boasts the joint-best instant access rate of 1.30%.

Then there's the bonus market. Easy access accounts with a bonus tend to pay slightly lower rates than their bonus-free counterparts, but they come with the advantage of having a fixed rate element, with the bonus – and therefore at least a portion of your return – typically being guaranteed.

This sector has seen a lot of activity in recent weeks, too, resulting in Bank of Cyprus UK securing the top spot with a rate of 1.28% (including a 0.68% bonus for 12 months). However, Post Office Money isn't far behind, with its Online Saver paying a rate of 1.27%, including a significant 1.02% bonus for 12 months.

Why are providers competing so heavily?

Take a close look at the Best Buys and you'll see that the bulk of the best rates available come from challenger banks. They're the ones competing for your business for the simple reason that they still need your money to fund their lending activities and boost their balance sheets, unlike the big high street banks, who have access to cheap funds through Government initiatives.

This means that challengers will raise their rates when they need to turn on their funding stream – a simple option is to enter the easy access market, with consumers of all kinds ideally having one of these accounts for an emergency or rainy day fund – as the closer they are to the top of the charts, the more likely it is they'll snap up your business, which means you get to benefit from higher rates!

Activity is likely to remain on hold for the next week until the Bank of England makes its base rate announcement on 2 November, but if you want to make the most of the recent competition, don't delay – there's no telling how long these top deals will be around for, so now's the time to see if you can switch to a better deal.

Remember, the beauty of this sector is that even if savings interest rates do rise, due to a base rate hike or otherwise, you're not tied into the deal, so you've got nothing to lose! Start comparing the best instant access rates, either with a bonus or without, to see if you can give your emergency fund a boost.

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.

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