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Increasing rates this week to sit at the top of the easy access market as a result is Virgin Money. From a minimum deposit of just £1, the internet-operated Double Take E-Saver Issue 10 now pays 1.50% yearly, with further additions permitted at any time. Withdrawals are also possible, though it should be noted that only two will be permitted per year including closure, making careful planning a must. A version of the account that pays interest on a monthly basis is also available, while for football fans, the Man Utd Double Take E-Saver Issue 5 has the same features as its standard counterpart with the addition of entries into
the regular Manchester United
prize draw.

Robin Squirrel

To order your copy, click here...

Easy access nears top

Increasing rates on selected tiers of its easy access account and cash ISA is Sainsbury’s Bank. Defined Access Saver – Issue 11 now pays 0.75% yearly at the opening deposit of £1, but this rises to 1.47% at £1,000, seeing it sit just behind the market-leader of its sector (though it should be noted that the rate falls to 0.50% on balances of £500,001 and above). Further additions into this phone and internet-operated account are permitted via online banking, phone or SaveBack in store, and while withdrawals are possible, only three will be allowed each year, with a lower rate paid if this limit is exceeded.

Meanwhile, Cash ISA now pays the same rate of 0.75% yearly at £1 or 1.45% at £500, with transfers in welcome and further additions permitted at any time. Withdrawals are also allowed without restriction, as are transfers away from this phone and internet-operated account, offering penalty-free access to funds.

Fixed rate review

Reviewing rates but still offering highly competitive choices across the fixed rate ISA and bond markets is Skipton Building Society. Offering tiered rates of interest depending on the amount invested, the online-only 1 Year Online Fixed Rate ISA Issue 86 pays 1.30% yearly from an opening deposit of £500, rising to 1.50% at £20,000, while the two-year version pays 1.50% and 1.65% respectively, the three-year pays from 1.70% to 1.90% and the five-year pays from 1.90% to 2.00%.

Transfers in are welcome and further additions are allowed within seven days of account opening or while the issue remains open, and earlier access is also possible, albeit on closure of the account and the loss of up to 365 days’ interest depending on the term. All ISAs are available as monthly interest versions paying slightly reduced rates, and for those who would prefer to bank offline, versions of each account that can be managed in branch or by post are also on offer.

Meanwhile, fixed rate bonds are also available paying the same rates as their ISA counterparts across all terms, albeit with slightly different access rules – further additions are again allowed for a limited period, though withdrawals won’t be possible, with the full term always having to be served. Again, monthly options are available paying slightly reduced rates, and all bonds are on offer as either internet-only or branch, post and phone-operated versions.

Rate rise bonds

Raising rates on selected fixed bonds this week and rising further up the charts as a

Looking for an Easy Access Cash ISA? See Latest Top Rates in left hand column
Savers Friend In Focus

Offshore accounts

For those who don’t mind banking offshore, many providers offer a range of variable and fixed rate accounts that are open to all.

The top-paying variable rate offshore account open to all this week is from Skipton International Ltd. Individual 120, which can be opened and operated in branch, by post or over the phone, is a 120-day notice account pays 1.15% yearly from a minimum deposit of £10,000. Further additions are permitted, though it should be noted that no cash transactions are allowed, and there is a minimum transaction amount of £1,000. Unlimited withdrawals are also allowed (again of at least £1,000) but there is no early access facility, and 120 days’ notice must be given for all withdrawals.

result is Secure Trust Bank. 4 Year Fixed Rate Bond now pays 2.50% yearly, the joint-top rate in the four-year bond sector, while the five-year version now pays 2.60% and the seven-year pays 2.70%, all from a minimum deposit of £1,000. Further additions of at least £1,000 are permitted while the issues remain open, though withdrawals won’t be possible before the end of the respective term. The bonds must be opened online but can then be operated by phone as well, and for income-seekers, versions that pay interest on a monthly basis are also available.

At the same time, Secure Trust Bank also launched three new short and medium-term bonds to the market, all of which are highly competitive for their terms. 18 Month Fixed Rate Bond pays 2.15% yearly, while the two-year pays 2.27% and the three-year pays 2.40%, with all finer details mirroring those of the accounts mentioned above.

New fixed rates launched

New this week and offering competitive choices in both the long-term bond and ISA market is Yorkshire Building Society. Fixed Rate Bond to 31.7.24 pays 1.95% yearly (or 1.93% on a monthly basis) from a minimum initial deposit of £1,000. Further additions are permitted while the issue remains open, however there is no early access prior to maturity. The bond can be opened in branch or by post and can then be operated online as well, or for those who would prefer a purely internet-operated deal, the mutual has also launched Fixed Rate e-Bond to 31.7.24, with all finer details mirroring that of its branch and postal-opening counterpart.

Meanwhile, Fixed ISA to 31.7.24 pays a slightly higher rate of 2.00% yearly (or 1.98% monthly) from a lower minimum deposit of £100, with further additions again permitted while the issue remains open. Transfers in are welcome, and earlier access is also possible, albeit on the loss of 180 days’ interest. The account has the same opening and management options as its non-ISA counterpart, but again, an online-only version is also available, albeit without a monthly interest option.

New branch-based bonds

New this week and offering competitive options for those wanting to bank in branch are these fixed rate bonds from Nottingham Building Society. From a minimum investment of £500, the two-year Fixed Rate Account – Issue 179 pays a rate of 1.70% yearly, while the three-year (Issue 180) pays 1.80% and the five-year version (Issue 181) pays 2.10%. Further additions are welcome into any bond while the respective issue remains open, though withdrawals won’t be possible before the end of the term. All bonds must be opened and operated in branch.

Save for airmiles

Launching a new issue of its airmiles-earning account this week is Virgin Money. Virgin Atlantic 1 Year Flying Club Savings Iss 11 is a one-year bond that pays 1.36% on maturity (20 June 2020), with the interest being automatically converted to Flying Club miles at this time. It can be opened with a minimum investment of £1 and accepts further additions while the issue remains open, though earlier access to funds won’t be possible. This purely internet-operated account is only open to those who have a valid Virgin Atlantic Flying Club membership, and it will revert to a Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Account on maturity.

At the same time, Virgin Money also launched a new issue of its standard one-year bond, with 1 Year Fixed Rate E-Bond Issue 382 paying 1.20% yearly until 20 June 2020. A minimum deposit of just £1 is again required to open this internet-operated account, with further additions permitted while the issue remains open but withdrawals again not possible before the end of the term. For income-seekers, a version of the account paying a slightly reduced rate of interest on a monthly basis is also available.

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Rachel Thrussell

Ask Rachel

Working in the financial industry for over 30 years, Rachel Thrussell is the leading independent expert on UK savings products. Her views are constantly in demand from both the industry and the press.

I have been advised that the children’s savings accounts I hold for my four grandchildren through Nationwide are having their rates reduced to 2%. Can I do better? The children are aged between seven and 13 and I have approximately £48,000 across all accounts. I don’t like to take risks!

There are several children’s savings accounts available that currently pay in excess of 2%, so it could definitely be a good time to see what else is out there. You mention that your grandchildren’s accounts are currently with Nationwide – the mutual also has a Future Saver account paying 2.50% yearly for children up to the age of 15, or if you hold a particular current account with them, the rate goes up to 3.50%. Alternatively, HSBC’s MySavings account is open to all and pays 3% AER (2.96% on a monthly basis) to children aged between seven and 17, the top rate for restriction-free variable rate child savings accounts.

Get your savings questions answered by Rachel by emailing rachel@saversfriend.co.uk We regret we cannot answer emails personally

This week's
average rates

How do your savings compare?
No Notice 0.61%
Notice 1.13%
Cash ISA 1.29%
1 Year Fixed Rate Bond 1.46%
2 Year Fixed Rate Bond 1.61%
3 Year Fixed Rate Bond 1.81%
4 Year Fixed Rate Bond 2.06%
5 Year Fixed Rate Bond 2.11%
21 May 2019

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Wizard Squirrel

Alternative sources of income

Future-proof your funds with a cash ISA

Opting for a cash ISA can be one of the best ways to future-proof your funds – all money will remain tax-free for as long as it remains in the ISA wrapper, regardless of how big a pot you accumulate, offering the ultimate in tax-efficiency. And, according to the latest data from Moneyfacts, the future-proofing trend appears to be on the rise.

The figures, taken from the latest Moneyfacts UK Savings Trends Treasury Report, show that not only have product numbers risen since the Personal Savings Allowance (PSA) was introduced in 2016, but consumer demand for cash ISAs is on the rise, as a growing number of savers look to shelter their money in this way.

Indeed, there are now 437 cash ISAs available, up from 301 in April 2016 (when the PSA was launched), while demand data from the Moneyfacts Web Service shows the proportion of users searching for ISAs is on the up: consumer demand for fixed cash ISAs increased from 17.46% to 22.74% in March, while the percentage of users searching for variable rate ISAs also increased on a monthly basis, rising by 3.57% to 16.07%.

Savings rates may not be rising that dramatically in return – indeed, very few ISAs pay a greater rate of interest than non-ISA products – but some average rates have now surpassed those seen in 2016, and for many savers, interest rates may not even be the sole motivator behind choosing such an account. After all, while the PSA will likely be more than adequate for most savers – basic rate taxpayers can earn £1,000 in interest each year before being taxed, while higher rate taxpayers get a £500 allowance – this may not be the case forever, and savers are becoming increasingly aware of that fact.

One reason for this increasing ISA activity could therefore be that savers are looking to invest in cash ISAs to protect their savings pots for future tax years, when there’s the chance the PSA may no longer be in force and savings rates may have increased. In this scenario, cash held within standard savings accounts will no longer be tax-free if the PSA is no longer applicable, and even if it is, rising savings rates mean that a smaller proportion of funds will remain tax-free.

Yet with a cash ISA this needn’t be a concern; as such, “with the current economic outlook remaining unpredictable, savers continue to seek future security for their savings,” said Darren Cook, finance expert at Moneyfacts.co.uk.

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