Top-paying savings accounts continue to close
Top-paying easy access accounts continue to disappear. Sainsbury's Bank closed its eSaver Special at 1.55% before tax (1.24% after tax) on Monday (16 Dec).
It was the best deal for savers wanting an online account with no initial bonus and no withdrawal restrictions.
Coventry Online Saver is still on offer at 1.6% (1.28%) with no initial bonus to boost the rate, but you are restricted to four withdrawals a year.
The top deal with no restrictions now comes from Virgin Money at 1.51% (1.21%).
On fixed rate deals the best rate comes from Shawbrook Bank at 1.95% (1.56%) followed by Tesco Bank, Investec and FirstSave all at 1.9% (1.52%).
Tesco pays 2.05% (1.64%) for eighteen months. For two years you can earn 2.35% (1.88%) with FirstSave and National Counties Building Society. The top three year rate at 2.65% (2.12%) comes from Shawbrook Bank.
On tax-free cash Isas the top easy-access rate at 1.75% comes from Virgin Money Cash Isa Issue 5 and Britannia Select Cash Isa 2. Both accept transfers from other providers but Britannia limits you to two withdrawals a year.
On fixed-rate cash Isas, the best one-year deal comes from Bath Building Society at 1.9% followed by Britannia where the rate is fixed until 30 October next year at 1.85%.
On longer term deals National Counties pays 2.1% fixed until May 2016 while at Britannia the rate is 2.05% fixed until 30 October 2015.
On three-year deals the best rate at 2.75% comes from Coventry Building Society fixed until 31 May 2017 although you can't transfer your existing cash Isas into this account. Virgin Money pays 2.4% fixed until 24 November 2016 and accepts transfers.
This article was written for our sister website Money Observer
Invidivual Savings Accounts were introduced on 6 April 1999 to replace personal equity plans (PEPs) and tax-exempt special savings accounts (TESSAs) with one plan that covered both stockmarket and savings products, the returns from which are tax-exempt. The ISA is not in itself an investment product. Rather, it’s a tax-free “wrapper” in which you place investments and savings up to a specified annual allowance where the returns (capital growth, dividends, interest) are tax-exempt (you don’t have to declare ISAs and their contents on your tax return). However, any dividends are taxed within the investment, and that can’t be reclaimed.
This is a mutual organisation owned by its members and not by shareholders. These societies offer a range of financial services but have historically concentrated on taking deposits from savers and lending the money to borrowers as mortgages, hence the name. In the mid-1990s many societies “demutualised” and became banks. One academic study (Heffernan, 2003) found demutualised societies’ pricing on deposits and mortgages was more favourable to shareholders than to customers, with the remaining mutual building societies offering consistently better rates. In 1900, there were 2,286 building societies in the UK; in 2011, there are just 51.