Savings update: RCI and Post Office latest banks to slash rates
Savings rates continue to fall this week, with internet RCI Bank lowering its rate on its easy-access Freedom account. It now pays new and existing savers 1.55% before tax (1.24% after tax), down from a previous 1.65% (1.32%).
Post Office has also cut its rate on its Online Saver for new savers to 1.2% (0.96%). The RCI account still remains the best deal on offer. Virgin Money pays 1.41% (1.13%), but you are limited to three withdrawals a year.
On fixed rate bonds the top one-year deal comes from RCI Bank at 2.01% before tax (1.61% after), with Charter Savings Bank offering 1.81% (1.45%) for new savers.
For two years, the best rate is 2.25% (1.8%) from RCI Bank or 2.2% (1.76%) from State Bank of India (UK).
Read our article Set yourself a savings goal.
Cash Isa rates
On easy-access cash Isas Coventry Building Society Easy Access Isa pays 1.4% tax-free. It is only bettered by Virgin Money's 1.41% on its Defined Access Isa, which limits you to three withdrawals a year. Kent Reliance and Yorkshire Building Society both pay 1.35%.
Rates on fixed-rate cash Isas have also been cut, with the best one-year rate now 1.5% from Aldermore, Kent Reliance and Shawbrook banks.
On two-year deals you can earn 2% with State Bank of India (UK) or 1.85% with Kent Reliance or Shawbrook.
All these top cash Isa accounts bar Coventry Building Society let you transfer your existing cash Isas into them.
Remember that High street banks don't deserve your loyality.
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.