Savings update: Tesco Bank ups Online Saver rate but RCI still top
Tesco Bank has raised the rate on its Online Saver to 1.27% before tax (1.02% after tax) for new savers. The rate includes a bonus payable for the first year after which it drops to 0.75% (0.6%).
French-owned RCI Bank pays a higher 1.45% (1.16%) with no bonus, while Shawbrook Bank pays 1.25% (1%). Both accounts are only available online.
At Virgin Money the rate is 1.26% (1.01%) on its Defined Access Saver, available online, through the post or in its branches. But you are limited to making three withdrawals a year on it.
On fixed rate bonds Charter Savings Bank pays a top one-year rate at 1.66% (1.33%), available online. At French-owned RCI Bank the rate is a whisker less at 1.65% (1.32%).
Other top rates
The top rate on the high street is 1.25% (1%) from Leeds Building Society while Tesco pays 1.4% (1.12%) and United Trust 1.5% (1.2%) on telephone or postal accounts.
If you are willing to tie your money up for 18 months, Charter Savings Bank pays 1.7% (1.36%) while for two years you can earn 1.9% (1.52%) from RCI Bank, 1.85% (1.48%) at United Trust Bank or 1.8% (1.44%) with Tesco Bank.
The top fixed-rate cash Isas include Leeds Building Society at 1.25% tax-free for one year while Shawbrook Bank, Kent Reliance and Aldermore Bank all pay 1.2%. For two years the best deal is 1.4% from Shawbrook Bank, Leeds Building Society and Virgin Money.
On easy-access cash Isas Virgin Defined Access Isa pays 1.26% but you are limited to making three withdrawals a year.
Coventry Building Society's Easy Access Isa 3 pays 1.3% but you can't transfer your existing cash Isas into this account.
This article was originally written for our sister publication, 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.