Savings update: Tesco takes easy-access top spot as RCI cuts rate
French-owned RCI Bank has cut the rate on its easy-access Freedom Account to 1% before tax (0.8% after tax) down from 1.2% (0.96%).
The top easy-access rate now comes from Tesco Bank at 1.07% (0.86%) but this comes with a bonus payable for one year. After that the rate drops to 0.4% (0.32%).
Others paying 1% (0.8%) without a bonus include Virgin Money Man United Red Devil Saver, Shawbrook Bank Easy Access 5, Coventry Building Society Easy Access 3, Kent Reliance Easy Access 16 and Aldermore Bank Easy Access 10.
On fixed rate deals the best one-year rate comes from internet-based Charter Savings Bank at 1.38% (1.1%). The bank pays a higher 1.46% (1.17%) if you are willing to tie your money up for 18 months.
Tax free cash Isa rates
On easy-access tax-free cash Isas top rates include 1.1% from Coventry Building Society but you can't transfer your existing Isa savings into this account.
Family Building Society Market Tracker Nisa pays 1.09% and accepts transfers.
The best one-year fixed rate cash Isa from Shawbrook, Aldermore and Kent Reliance banks at 1.1% give you no extra for tying your money up for a year - but at least you will avoid any further falls in easy-access variable rate accounts.
For two years Aldermore and Shawbrook pay 1.2%.
This story was originally written for our sister magazine, 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.