Newcomer banks' rates continue to trump larger rivals
New banks are paying far higher rates than their well-established rivals on fixed-rate bonds.
Charter Savings Bank has raised the rate it pays new savers on its one-year fixed-rate bond to 2% before tax (1.6% after tax). Other good deals at 1.9% (1.52%) come from United Trust and Aldermore banks.
For 18 months you can earn 2% (1.6%) with United Trust new bond. Firstsave pays 2.15% (1.72%) and Vanquis Bank 2.11% (1.69%) for two years, and Vanquis Bank a leading 2.46% (1.97%) for three years.
On easy-access accounts, the top rate of 1.5% (1.2%) comes from both BM Savings and the new French-bank RCI Bank. The BM Savings Online Extra Issue 17 rate includes a bonus for the first year, after which the rate drops to 0.5% (0.4%).
There is no bonus with the RCI Freedom account, but you are covered by the European Deposit Protection scheme which gives you €100,000 (around £73,000) per individual if the bank goes bust rather than the UK version's higher £85,000.
The top rate with no bonus and covered by the UK scheme is GE Capital Direct GE Saver at 1.3% (1.04%), available over the internet. Kent Reliance pays a higher 1.45% on its Branch Saver, but this is only available through its limited branch network.
On cash Isas the best easy access rate is 1.5% tax-free from National Savings & Investments, but you can't transfer your existing cash Isas into this account. For transfers you can earn 1.49% with Barclays Instant Cash Isa Issue 1 on a minimum £30,000, or 1.4% with Nationwide Instant Isa Saver Issue 3 for smaller amounts.
Best fixed rate cash Isas at 1.65% for one year come from Nationwide and Shawbrook Bank. For two years you can earn 1.85% with Kent Reliance and Shawbrook banks.
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.