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Derin Clark

Derin Clark

Online Reporter
Published: 24/11/2021

In a year that has seen average easy access savings rates fall to their lowest levels on record, Cynergy Bank’s rate rise on its account this week has caught many savers’ attention, offering a chart-topping 0.70% AER.

Cynergy Bank pays 0.70% AER, which includes a 0.40% bonus for 12 months, on its Online Easy Access Account (Issue 43). This is 0.20% higher than the top easy access savings account rate that was available six months ago, when the top rate stood at 0.50% AER on 28 May 2021, which was offered by Atom Bank, ICICI Bank UK and Virgin Money.

Although the increase in the top easy access savings rate may be welcomed by savers, a year ago they could get a higher rate in the chart. On 27 November 2020 the top rate stood at 0.75% AER, which was available from ICICI Bank UK.

What is impacting top rates?

In the past 12 months the average rate on easy access savings accounts has remained stable.
The average rate in November 2020 stood at 0.22%, this fell to 0.17% in February 2021 and fell again to 0.16% in April where it remained until June. Since then, the average rate has risen slightly to stand at 0.19%.

Despite average rates rising, the increase has been only marginal, whereas the top rates available have risen and fallen significantly.

As well as this, since March 2020 base rate, which can have a direct impact on easy access savings rates, has remained at a historic low of 0.1%. Although there have been rumours that the Bank of England will increase base rate in the coming months to help control rising inflation, the increase has not yet materialised.

Easy access savings rates would normally rise and fall in-line with base rate, but with no base rate rise this cannot be having a direct impact on the increase in top rates during the past six months.

Instead, the rise in the top easy access savings account rate could be down to competition among challenger banks.

Challenger banks first began to appear in the market following the 2008/09 financial crisis, and their aim was to disrupt the industry by offering consumers a new banking option.

These banks often do not benefit from lending schemes introduced by the Bank of England and the Government to help boost the economy by encouraging banks to lend to consumers and businesses, but which resulted in many high street banks not needing to compete for saver’s deposits. As a result, challenger banks often top the savings charts, particularly the easy access savings charts, as they need to pay competitive rates to attract savers.

For example, of the top 10 highest paying easy access savings accounts available to new and existing customers, nine are challenger banks and one is a building society.

This means that, while the average easy access saving rate may not be increasing significantly, savers should regularly check comparison charts as the top rate available may be much more competitive than average rates suggest.

Rachel Springall, finance expert at, urges savers not to be put off by unfamiliar challenger banks when looking for the top rate. She says: “Savers searching for the best rates would be wise to check online in the first instance but also sign up to any rate alerts or newsletters to keep on top of the changing market. As we have seen over the years, loyalty doesn’t always pay and savers will typically find challenger banks offering the best rates, not their high-street bank. Savers should not be deterred by unfamiliar brands, so long as they are FSCS-protected there is little reason to overlook them. Brand awareness and trust is important, as is technology, so savers may sacrifice a top rate for a brand that has been running a longer time, offers a transparent mobile app or even other perks for existing customers.”

Compare the best easy access savings rates

Visit our easy access savings comparison chart to compare the best easy access savings account rates. 


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