West Brom launches top fixed-rate bond

percent in the sun

West Brom Building Society has unveiled a new top-rate fixed rate one year bond paying 3.55% interest.

Launched today, the rate is fixed until 30 September 2012. Balances must be over £1,000 and can't exceed £250,000.

New as well as existing customers can apply for the bond through the building society's website.

The fixed–rate account is 0.05% higher than its nearest rival's offering: the one-year online bond from FirstSave, which pays 3.5%, and 0.1% higher than Yorkshire Building Society's 3.45%.

Strong demand
"We expect strong demand for this latest product, which offers savers a market leading rate," says Stephen Leonard, spokesperson for West Brom Building Society.

No further deposits or withdrawals are allowed within the year.


With the base rate at 0.5%, savers should take advantage of fixed rates where they can, says Patrick Connolly, spokesperson for AWD Chase de Vere.

"However, it is probably sensible to limit this to one or two year periods, because interest rates may be rising by then, and make sure you use your ISA allowance," he says.

Andrew Hagger, spokesperson for Moneynet, agrees and recommends always making a fixed-rate cash ISA "first port of call to take advantage of the tax benefits".

Hagger also advises swift action before the best deals dry up.

He explains: "Rates have fallen sharply in the last couple of weeks, meaning cheaper mortgage deals, the downside is that we're likely to see these cuts filter through to some fixed rate savings accounts very soon – so grab a good rate while you can."

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Think twice about trusting West Brom with any of your hard earned money! They have renaged on their last two dividend payments for one of their PIBS (Permanent Interest bearing shares) which are very similar to bonds. I wrote to their financial director and his response showed no understanding or empathy for the impact on investors, even adding that it was unlikely payments would be resumed in the near future.