Skipton launches top-paying easy-access cash Isa
Skipton Building Society has launched a top-paying easy-access cash Isa that is unlikely to be around long. Its Limited Edition Cash Isa pays 1.6% and you can transfer your existing cash Isas into the account. Available online only, it has no bonus and no withdrawal restrictions.
West Bromwich Building Society has raised the rate on its Websaver Limited Access Isa to 1.55%. There is no bonus but you are limited to three withdrawals a year.
Other top deals include National Savings & Investment Direct Isa at 1.5%, available over the phone or internet, but you cannot transfer your existing cash Isas into this account. The Post Office Premier Isa, available in the high street only, also pays 1.5%. The account comes with a bonus for the first 18 months, after which the rate drops to 0.65%.
With Virgin Money you earn 1.41% with no bonus, but you are restricted to three withdrawals a year on its Defined Access account. It’s available in the high street and over the internet.
On fixed rate deals, Shawbrook Bank pays a top 1.7%, followed by Virgin Money at 1.65% for one year.
For two-year deals, Shawbrook pays 1.95%, while with Leeds Building Society you can earn 2.1% fixed until 31 May 2007 if you put in a minimum £15,000. Leeds Building Society also pays the top three-year rate, at 2.2% on £100 or more.
On taxable easy-access accounts, the top rate at 1.41% before tax (1.13% after tax) comes from Virgin Money Defined Access account, but you are limited to making three withdrawals a year.
You can earn 1.25% (1%) with no withdrawal restrictions from Kent Reliance, Skipton Building Society, Charter Savings Bank and State Bank of India. Virgin Money pays a slightly lower 1.21% (0.97%) with no withdrawal restrictions.
Best deals on fixed rate bonds come from Charter Savings Bank at 2% (1.6%) for one year.
Hinckley and Rugby BS pays a top 3% (2.4%) for one year, but the account is only available to those who became members of the society before 30 November last year and the maximum you can put in is £5,000.
For two years you can earn 2.2% (1.76%) with both Shawbrook Bank and Charter Savings Bank, while for three years 2.4% (1.92%) is on offer from Paragon, Close Brothers and Shawbrook banks.
Those aged 65 or more can earn 2.8% (2.24%) for one year and a top 4% (3.2%) for three years with National Savings & Investments. The maximum you can put into each bond is £10,000 and they are on sale until 15 May.
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.