Nationwide and Virgin Money slash cash Isa rates
Easy-access cash Isa rates continue to fall for new savers, with the latest cuts coming from Nationwide and Virgin Money. Nationwide has cut its rate to 1.25% and Virgin to 1.4%.
The top deal comes from BM Savings at 1.55% including a bonus for the first year, at which point the rate tumbles to 0.5%.
The top rate without an initial bonus is on offer from National Savings & Investments at 1.5%, but you cannot transfer your existing cash Isas into this account. GE Capital and West Bromwich Building Society also pay 1.5% and accept transfers.
On fixed-rate deals you can earn marginally more, at 1.65% for one year with Tesco and Aldermore banks. For two years Aldermore Bank, Barclays and AA Savings (part of Halifax) all pay 2%. Barclays lets you take money out three times during the term.
On taxable accounts, AA Savings has introduced a new version of its easy-access Internet Extra account paying 1.4% before tax (1.12% after) to new savers. The rate is boosted by a 0.9 (0.72) percentage point bonus for a year.
It joins other top payers - all of which either come with a short-term bonus or restrict the number of times you take money out of your account each year.
These include Coventry BS PostSave Easy Access, Britannia Select Saver Issue 6, along with two accounts, Easy Saver Plus and WebSaver Limited Access, from West Bromwich Building Society. The top easy-access account with no bonus or withdrawal restrictions is Sainsbury's Bank eSaver Special at 1.35% (1.08%).
The best rate on one-year fixed rate bonds comes from Investec Bank at 1.95% (1.56%), followed by Kent Reliance at 1.85% (1.48%).
For two years you can earn 2.35% (1.84%) with Investec or, for three years, 2.75% (2.2%) with Shawbrook Bank.
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.