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Raising rates this week and sitting just below the market leaders of the easy access market as a result is RCI Bank UK. From a minimum opening investment of £100, Freedom Savings Account now pays 1.42% yearly, free from the complications of a short-term bonus, and has no restrictions on further deposits or withdrawals. This online-only account also offers a monthly option paying a slightly reduced rate for those looking to supplement their income.

It should be noted that RCI Bank UK operates in the UK under the European Economic Area (EEA) passport scheme and deposits
of up to €100,000 per person
are protected under the French Depositor Compensation
Scheme.

Robin Squirrel

Cash ISAs near top

Increasing rates across its range of fixed rate cash ISAs resulting in all taking the near-top positions of their respective markets is Aldermore. 1 Year Fixed Rate Cash ISA now pays 1.65% on maturity, while the 2 Year pays 1.85% yearly and 3 Year pays 2.00%, all from a minimum investment of £1,000.

Further deposits are allowed for 14 days from account opening, and earlier access is also allowed, albeit with a penalty of 90 days’ loss of interest on the one-year account and 180 days’ loss on the two and three-year, with the same penalties applying for those who wish to transfer the ISA to another provider. These online-only ISAs also offer monthly interest options paying slightly reduced rates.

Bonds climb charts

Raising rates this week and seeing its fixed rate bonds become more competitive as a result is Axis Bank UK. From a minimum deposit of £1,000, the one-year Fixed Deposit Account now pays 1.85% on maturity, while the two-year version pays 2.26% yearly, the three-year pays 2.31% yearly and the five-year pays 2.35%. No further deposits can be made on these bonds, which can be opened in branch or online before becoming branch or postal-operated, and there is no access to funds prior to maturity. However, for income-seekers, all bonds offer monthly and quarterly options paying slightly reduced rates.

Easy access rate rise

Raising rates and heading further up the easy access charts as a result is Investec Bank plc. From a minimum investment £10,000, E-asy Access Account pays a rate of 1.39% on a monthly basis, with further additions and withdrawals allowed at any time. This straightforward account must be opened online, but can then be operated by phone as well.

Notice this top deal

Raising rates and now paying the top rate among 60-day notice accounts is Charter Savings Bank. The online-operated 60 Day Notice Issue 8 pays 1.61% yearly, the market-leading rate for its notice period, with further deposits allowed at any time. Although there are no restrictions on withdrawals, there is no early access facility, with 60 days’ notice always having to be served. For income-seekers, a version of the account paying a reduced rate of interest on a monthly basis is also available.

Market-leading ISAs

Raising rates this week and resulting in all cash ISAs going top for their respective terms

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

Business Savings

If you run a business and are looking for a home for spare funds, many providers offer accounts that are open to non-personal customers.

The top-paying variable rate business account on the market this week is from Cambridge & Counties Bank. 180 Day Notice Business Savings Issue 2, which has to be opened by post but can be managed by phone and online as well, pays 1.55% yearly from a minimum investment of £10,000, with further deposits allowed at any time via a nominated business current account. Although there are no restrictions on withdrawals, there is no early access facility, and 180 days’ notice must always be served.

is Shawbrook Bank. From a minimum deposit of £5,000, the one-year version of Fixed Rate Cash ISA Bond (Issue 27) pays 1.66% on maturity, while the two-year (Issue 26) pays 1.86% yearly, the three-year (Issue 11) pays 2.01% yearly and the five-year version (Issue 13) pays 2.27% yearly. Further deposits are welcome and transfers in are also accepted, while earlier access and transfers out are possible on the loss of up to 360 days’ interest, depending on the term chosen. All ISAs must be opened online but can then be operated by phone as well, and for those looking to supplement their income, monthly options are available paying slightly reduced rates.

Bonds get a boost

As well as boosting the rate on its easy access account this week – as seen in Stop Press – RCI Bank UK also increased rates on selected fixed rate bonds, with both accounts becoming more competitive for their respective terms. The one-year Fixed Term Savings Account now pays 1.71% yearly, while the three-year version pays 2.36%. These internet-operated bonds can be opened with a minimum deposit of £1,000, with further deposits allowed for 30 days from account opening. There is no access to funds prior to maturity, though monthly interest versions of each account are available for those looking to supplement their income.

New ISA gets noticed

New this week and offering the top rate among 90-day notice cash ISAs is Chorley Building Society. The branch and postal-operated 90 Day Cash ISA pays 1.35% yearly, the market-leading return for an account of this notice period with no opening restrictions, and permits transfers in and further additions. Unlimited penalty-free withdrawals are allowed, provided the notice period is observed, though earlier access is also possible on the loss of 90 days’ interest. Transfers out are subject to the same rules.

Fixed rates on the rise

Increasing rates on selected fixed accounts and becoming more competitive as a result is Masthaven Bank. From an opening deposit of £500, 6 Month Flexible Term Saver pays 1.75% yearly, the joint-top rate for six-month bonds, while in the short-term sector, 1 Year Fixed Term Bond pays 2.02% on maturity and 18 Month Flexible Term Saver pays 2.11% yearly. Further deposits are allowed via a nominated account for seven days from account opening, though funds cannot be accessed prior to maturity. All bonds must be opened and operated online, and for those looking to supplement their income, monthly options are also available paying slightly reduced rates.

Access these accounts

Relaunching its highly competitive easy access accounts this week to see both products sit just below the market leaders in their respective sectors is Paragon Bank. The online-only Easy Access (Issue 5) pays 1.35% yearly, while in the cash ISA sector, Easy Access ISA (Issue 4) pays the same rate of 1.35%. Both accounts can be opened with a minimum deposit of just £1 and allow further additions via a nominated account, with the ISA also permitting transfers in. There are no restrictions on withdrawals, and the ISA can be transferred out without penalty.

New ISA appeals

New this week and offering a competitive choice among short-term cash ISAs is Coventry Building Society. From a minimum deposit of just £1, Fixed Rate ISA (76) 31.05.2020 pays 1.40% yearly, with transfers in permitted and further additions allowed while the issue remains open or within 14 days of account opening, whichever is longer. Withdrawals are not permitted, however the ISA can be closed early or transferred to another provider with the loss of 120 days’ interest. The ISA can be opened and operated in branch, by post, over the phone or online.


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How safe are your savings?

Our guide to Depositor Protection tells you what guarantees apply if your bank or building society goes bust, while our guide to Who Owns Whom? tells you where your bank or building society is licenced.

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’m about to sell my house and for a short amount of time I will have around £200,000 in my bank account. Should I split this between banks so that it’s all protected under the compensation rules?

As long as the funds remain in the account for less than six months, you won’t need to go through the hassle of splitting them up. Depositors with temporarily high balances are covered up to £1 million for six months from the date on which the money is transferred into their account, or the date on which they became entitled to the amount – whichever is later.

This rule is specifically designed to protect people in your situation. It’s for those who deposit funds over the Financial Services Compensation Scheme protection limit of £85,000 until they have the time to spread the funds between institutions, as a result of specified events. These include selling a house, a divorce settlement or inheritance.

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 0.64%
Notice 1.07%
Cash ISA 1.29%
1 Year Fixed Rate Bond 1.46%
2 Year Fixed Rate Bond 1.65%
3 Year Fixed Rate Bond 1.85%
4 Year Fixed Rate Bond 2.11%
5 Year Fixed Rate Bond 2.14%
11 December 2018

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Wizard Squirrel

Alternative sources of income

Advisers predict top asset class performers for next year

Whether you’re thinking of dipping your toes in the investment waters or are already a seasoned pro, knowing the asset classes that are predicted to come out on top could put you ahead of the game and potentially boost your investment returns in the process. Luckily, Aegon has researched the area and canvassed advisers, resulting in some key asset class performance predictions for the next 12 months.

The research revealed that the top-performing asset classes are predicted to be US equities (22%), emerging market equities (15%) and UK equities (14%). The prediction comes despite all sectors reporting recent falls, and UK equities in particular seeing record outflows since the EU referendum in 2016, suggesting that the tide could be starting to turn.

At the other end of the scale, cash is predicted to be the worst performer (24%) – despite cash traditionally being seen as a safe haven in times of volatility – followed by gilts (19%) and corporate bonds (8%). However, a high proportion of advisers (22%) are unsure of the asset class they’d predict to be the best performer over the next year, highlighting the political instability and market volatility currently facing the sector, so the jury may still be out.

Not only that, but views differ depending on the average size of clients’ portfolios: for advisers whose clients have an average pot of £200,000 or more, Asia Pacific assets are predicted to be the fourth highest performing asset at 11%, yet this falls to just 4% for advisers whose clients have investment pots that are, on average, under £100,000. It’s a similar story in terms of Japanese equities, as advisers whose clients have an average pot of under £100,000 are more likely (6%) than those whose clients’ have an average pot of over £200,000 (2%) to expect Japanese equities to perform well in the next year.

“In this highly volatile investment landscape, advisers are right to question whether the longest bull market in history could be coming to an end,” said Nick Dixon, Investment Director at Aegon. “When it comes to investment decisions, advisers and investors are having to face a number of concerns head-on. However, our research shows that advisers remain level-headed in the face of a very fickle market; they are right to remain focused on long-term returns, diversification, and avoid reacting to fast-moving market conditions.”

If you’re thinking of investing, the key is to make sure you get the right advice. Speak to a professional, independent adviser, and be prepared for the fact that you may end up with less than you put in, depending on the eventual performance of the funds you invest in. It’s all about being comfortable with risk, and making sure you have the right support at your side.

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