Savings update: top rates being cut or withdrawn
Banks and building societies are cutting the rates they pay to new savers.
Charter Savings Bank has cut the rates on its fixed rate bonds, Shawbrook has withdrawn its top-paying one-year fixed-rate Isa while Paragon Bank has withdrawn its easy-access account which paid 1.46 per cent before tax (1.16 per cent after tax).
Metro Bank and Tesco Bank have also cut rates to new savers taking out their bonds.
Top fixed rate bond deals for one year include Shawbrook Bank at 2.15 per cent (1.72 per cent) and FirstSave at 2.12 per cent (1.7 per cent).
United Trust Bank has a new 15-month bond paying 2.15 per cent (1.72 per cent) while Shawbrook pays a top 2.35 per cent (1.88 per cent) for 18 months and 2.45 per cent (1.96 per cent) for two years.
On easy-access taxable accounts the best rate is still at 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 (around £70,000).
The next best rate is Virgin Money Defined Access Saver at 1.51 per cent (1.21 per cent) but the bank restricts you to making three withdrawals a year at most from your account. Skipton Limited Edition eSaver pays 1.4 per cent (1.12 per cent) with no withdrawal restrictions.
On tax-free cash Isas, the top easy-access deal with no bonus and no withdrawal restrictions comes from Coventry Building Society at 1.5 per cent.
You can earn slightly more with Virgin Money Defined Access Isa rate is 1.51 per cent but it limits you to making three withdrawals a year.
The best fixed-rate cash Isa deals for one year come from AA Savings, where the deposit taker is Bank of Ireland, at 1.76 per cent followed by Tesco Bank at 1.75 per cent.
For two years AA Savings pays 2.01 per cent while Shawbrook Bank, Principality Building Society and Virgin Money all offer 2 per cent.
Yorkshire Building Society’s 2.3 per cent fixed until December 2018 is the top three-year deal. It’s also available from its offshoots Barnsley, Chelsea and Norwich & Peterborough building societies.
All 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.