Despite all the doom and gloom surrounding the savings market at present, there are a few rays of sunshine to be found if you look closely enough, with our data showing that several providers have boosted savings rates in the last few weeks – could the tide be starting to turn?
A measure of competition appears to be returning to the sector, with several new products launched so far this year, as well as many others having their rates increased. Much of this competition is confined to challenger banks, many of whom still need to secure funds and increase their balance sheets, and those improvements haven't gone unnoticed.
One of the most recent improvements was in the no notice sector, where RCI Bank UK boosted its Freedom Savings Account last week by 0.08%, seeing it soar to the top of the easy access Best Buys by paying a market-leading rate of 1.10%. This is the highest easy access rate seen in months, and means savers who don't want to lock their money away can now get a far better deal. And that's just for starters.
RCI Bank also boosted the rates of its two and three-year fixed rate bonds, offering highly competitive rates of 1.55% and 1.70% respectively, the latter of which offers an inflation-beating deal for those who want the security of guaranteed returns.
Then there's Vanquis Bank, whose long-term bonds have been increased by as much as 0.20%, resulting in its four-year deal paying a market-leading 1.96% and its five-year equivalent being one of the few accounts available to breach the 2.00% barrier (now paying 2.02%).
Union Bank of India also increased its bond rates by up to 0.20%, which sees its two-year bond pay a joint market-leading 1.60% yearly and its three-year deal pay 1.70%. Then there's BLME, which has boosted rates across its range of fixed rate deals, resulting in several occupying the top of the Best Buys for their sector (such as the one-year and 18-month bonds which pay market-leading anticipated profit rates of 1.45% and 1.50% respectively, and the five-year account which comes in at 2.10%).
Axis Bank, too, has improved its fixed rate offerings – including its two-year Fixed Deposit Account which pays 1.54% – as has Masthaven, whose 3 Year Fixed Term Bond pays 1.70%, while its 30-month deal pays a market-leading 1.62% and several other terms sit comfortably in the charts.
It's hoped that this latest surge in activity will be a sign of things to come, ideally signifying a reversal of fortune in the savings sector. So could the days of record low rates be behind us?
Unfortunately, we can't get that carried away just yet! While the signs of improvement are welcome, it doesn't change the fact that the market as a whole remains lacklustre, which is why it's so important to be proactive if you want to secure the best rates possible.
If your money is languishing in a poor-paying deal, one of the above accounts could be well worth considering, or check out our savings Best Buys to see what else is out there. These top rates may not be around for long, so whether you're after a fixed rate deal or something with a bit more flexibility, do your research and get switching to get as much as you can from your hard-earned cash.
Take advantage of the boost in activity and compare the top savings deals
Don't forget about cash ISAs – the current tax year is rapidly drawing to a close, so make the most of it while you can
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.