Savings update: Metro Bank's trio of bonds top this week's rates
Metro Bank has launched a one-year fixed-rate bond paying a top 2.1 per cent before tax (1.68 per cent after tax), available online or through its branches. Its new 18-month bond pays 2.4 per cent (1.92 per cent) and the three-year version 2.7 per cent (2.16 per cent).
Other top one-year deals include Charter Savings Bank at 2.07 per cent (1.66 per cent), Firstsave at 2.06 per cent (1.65 per cent) and Yorkshire Building Society at 2.05 per cent (1.64 per cent), available online and through its branches.
The latter deal is also available through Yorkshire's offshoots Barnsley, Chelsea and Norwich & Peterborough building societies.
On easy-access taxable accounts the best rate is 1.65 per cent (1.32 per cent) from RCI Bank Freedom Account. With this bank you are not covered by the UK compensation scheme. If the bank goes bust you claim from the European scheme, where the maximum amount is €100,000 (£71,389).
West Bromwich WebSave Easy Saver pays 1.55 per cent (1.25 per cent) and Virgin Money Defined Access Saver 1.51 per cent (1.21 per cent). With the Virgin account you are limited to three withdrawals a year.
Skipton Building Society's new Special Edition Tracker pays a lower 1.2 per cent (0.96 per cent), but it comes with a guarantee to pay 0.7 (0.56) percentage points over base rate until December next year.
On tax-free cash Isas, the top deal with no bonus and no withdrawal restrictions comes from Coventry Building Society at 1.5 per cent.
Post Office Online Cash Isa pays 1.51 per cent including a 0.86 percentage point bonus for the first 12 months. Virgin Money Defined Access Isa rate is 1.56 per cent, but it limits you to three withdrawals a year.
Top fixed-rate cash Isa deals come from Virgin Money at 1.81 per cent and Shawbrook Bank at 1.8 per cent fixed for a year. For two years Virgin Money pays 2.06 per cent and Coventry Building Society 2.05 per cent. All also accept transfers from other providers.
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.
Also referred to as the bank rate or the minimum lending rate, the Bank of England base rate is the lowest rate the Bank uses to discount bills of exchange. This affects consumers as it is used by mainstream lenders and banks as the basis for calculating interest rates on mortgages, loans and savings.