Savings update: cash Isa rates improve despite NS&I blow

14 February 2017

Savers suffered another blow last week when National Savings & Investments announced it will cut its rates from 1 May. Its near top-paying Direct Isa will fall from its current 1% to 0.75% while Direct Saver falls from 0.8% to 0.7%.

Its Income Bonds, popular with monthly income seekers, go down to 0.75% from 1%. The Premium Bond prize pot also falls from 1.25% to 1.15%.

But rates on cash Isas are edging up. Paragon Bond has launched its top-paying Limited Edition Easy Access Cash Isa at 1.05%.

Saga has also raised the rate for new savers on its Isa Saver to 0.95% although it includes a bonus of 0.9 percentage points for the first 18 months you are in the account.


Fixed-rate and easy-access deals

Virgin Money Defined Access Isa pays 1.01% but limits you to making three withdrawals a year. All accept transfers from other providers.

On fixed-rate cash Isas, the best one-year deal is Virgin Money's 1.05%. Aldermore Bank and Leeds Building Society both pay 1.2% for two years.

On easy-access taxable accounts, RCI Bank at 1.1% on its internet-based Freedom Account is the best you can do. With this bank your money is covered up to €100,000 (just under £85,000 at current exchange rates).

Next best is Leeds Building Society Limited Issue Online Access account at 1.05%.

New banks continue to dominate the best buy tables on taxable fixed-rate deals. Atom Bank pays 1.5% for one and Charter Savings Bank 1.38%.

With Leeds Building Society 15-month Access Bond you earn 1.2% fixed until 2 May next year and have access to half your money during the term without paying a penalty.

For two years Atom Bank pays 1.65%, Masthaven 1.58%, while OakNorth and Paragon banks pay 1.56%. With Atom Bank, you open your account via an app on your mobile or tablet.

This story was originally written for our sister magazine, Money Observer.


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