Martin Lewis discusses UK regulated savings accounts
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Savings rates are low at the moment but despite this, banks and financial providers are regularly launching and updating their deals in a bid to attract and retain customers. Today, a swathe of offers were launched across fixed bonds, savings accounts and ISAs.
Today, Moneyfacts released its latest “Pick of the Week” for savings products and a number of deals have emerged.
SmartSave’s two Year Fixed Rate Saver account has been drastically altered and Eleanor Williams reviewed the offer.
She said: “SmartSave has increased the rate payable on its two Year Fixed Rate Saver account this week. Rising by 0.07 percent to now pay 0.97 percent on anniversary, this update sees this account propelled further up the top rate table when compared to other bonds with similar terms currently on offer.
“This bond could be attractive to savers who are able to meet the £10,000 minimum investment amount due to the attractive return.
“As is common in the fixed bond market, early access is not permitted, however, some investors may wish to note that further additions can be made within 14-days of opening the account, which may be a plus for some. On assessment this account earns an Excellent Moneyfacts product rating.”
Additionally, UBL UK’s three Year Fixed Term Deposit account is now paying more than one percent.
Eleanor continued: “This week, UBL UK has increased the rates on a selection of its Fixed Term Deposits by up to 0.48 percent.
“One option which may be of particular interest to investors who are happy to lock their savings pot away for the medium-term is the three Year Fixed Term Deposit.
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“Now paying 1.11 percent gross on maturity, this deal also offers an interest paying option on anniversary of 1.10 percent gross, while savers looking to supplement their income may wish to note there is also a monthly option paying 1.09 percent.
“Investors should ensure they are comfortable with their initial investment though, as although early access is permitted, it is at the discretion of the bank and is subject to a 270-day loss of interest penalty.
“This update sees this account rise towards the top of our tables when compared to other bonds with similar terms and receives an Excellent Moneyfacts product rating.”
For those looking to set up a new ISA, Close Brothers are now offering a decent return.
Its five Year Fixed Rate Cash ISA has also been boosted and Eleanor concluded on this: “Amongst other updates to its range of savings products this week, Close Brothers Savings has increased the rate payable on its five-year ISA. Now paying 1.11 percent on anniversary, investors who are looking to utilise their tax-free savings allowance may be pleased to see that this account has improved on its position in the top 10 when compared against other similar products.
“Early access is only available on closure and is subject to a 365-day loss of interest penalty, so careful planning would be advised, however, further additions can be made within 10-days of account opening, which may be a benefit for some investors. This ISA secures an Excellent Moneyfacts product rating.”
On top of these changes, Paragon Bank announced today it will be increasing the rates across all of its fixed rate bonds and ISAs.
The new rates will be available to savers from tomorrow, Friday May 28.
The fixed rate bond changes will be as follows:
- One Year account (previous interest rate of 0.55 percent AER, increasing to 0.75 percent AER)
- Two Year account (previous interest rate of 0.70 percent AER, increasing to 0.85 percent AER)
- Three Year account (previous interest rate of 0.85 percent AER, increasing to 0.90 percent AER)
- Five Year account (previous interest rate of 1.00 percent AER, increasing to 1.09 percent AER)
The increases for fixed rate ISAs are as follows:
- One Year ISA (previous interest rate of 0.45 percent AER, increasing to 0.50 percent AER)
- Two Year ISA (previous interest rate of 0.55 percent AER, increasing to 0.60 percent AER)
- Three Year ISA (previous interest rate of 0.60 percent AER, increasing to 0.70 percent AER)
- Five Year ISA (previous interest rate of 0.70 percent AER, increasing to 0.80 percent AER)
Derek Sprawling, a Savings Director at Paragon Bank, commented on these changes: “Paragon has been supporting UK savers with consistently competitive products against a backdrop of falling market rates, in both the access and fixed rate space.
“Last week, we re-issued our Triple Access Savings Account at a rate of 0.41 percent AER*. We are now complementing our range by increasing the number of options available to savers looking for a fixed rate account or ISA by increasing rates across our entire range of fixed products.
“We offer a broad range of saving products to suit all requirements that are straightforward to open and manage, and we will continue to look at ways we can innovate to offer great saving solutions for our customers.
“People can choose to apply for those accounts online, by telephone or by post. Our 28-day rate guarantee ensures that any customers part way through the application process already, or with an imminent maturity with us, will also benefit from our new rates automatically.”
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