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Yorkshire Building Society launched a competitive one-year fixed rate ISA and e-ISA this week. Fixed Rate ISA to 30.11.21 and Fixed Rate e-ISA to 30.11.21 both pay 0.75% gross on maturity. A £100 minimum deposit is needed to open these ISAs. They allow further additions while the issue remains open. Earlier access is permitted on closure only and subject to 60 days’ loss of interest. Transfers in are accepted. Transfers out are subject to the same interest-loss penalty as earlier access. Fixed Rate ISA to 30.11.21 can be opened in branch or by post and then managed in branch, by post and online,
the e-ISA option can only be
opened and managed online.

Robin Squirrel

Fixed rate ISA rates rise

Ford Money increased the rates on its one, two and three-year fixed rate ISAs this week resulting in the three-year option paying a highly competitive rate for its term. Fixed Cash ISA 1 Year pays 0.70% gross, Fixed Cash ISA 2 Year pays 0.80% gross and Fixed Cash ISA 3 Year pays 1.00% gross. All ISAs pay interest on anniversary and require a £500 minimum deposit to open. Further additions are allowed for 14 days from account opening. Earlier access is permitted via a nominated account but subject to 90 days’ loss of interest on the one-year option, 180 days’ loss of interest on the two-year version and 270 days’ loss of interest on the three-year option. Transfers in are accepted. Transfers out are permitted but subject to the same interest-loss penalty as earlier access. These ISAs can be opened by phone or online but can then only be managed online.

For those looking to supplement their income, there are versions of these ISAs that pay interest monthly at the same gross rate.

Short-term bonds rates increase

This week, Tandem Bank increased the rates on its two and three-year fixed rate bonds resulting in both paying competitive rates for their terms. Tandem 2 Year Fixed Saver pays 1.23% gross and Tandem 3 Year Fixed Saver pays 1.30% gross. Both bonds pay interest on anniversary and require a £1,000 minimum deposit to open. Further additions and withdrawals are not permitted. These bonds must be opened online and then can then only be managed by phone.

New regular saver

This week, Saffron Building Society launched a 12-month regular saver. 12 Month Fixed Rate Regular Saver (Issue 7) pays 1.50% gross on maturity on a £50 opening minimum deposit. This account is only available those living within the AL, CB, CM, CO, EN, IG, RM, SG and SS postcodes. Savers should be aware that after the 12-month term has ended, the account reverts to a Maturity Easy Access Account. 12 monthly deposits between £50 to £500 must be made. Unlimited withdrawals are permitted. This account can be both opened and managed in branch, by post and online.

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Business bonds

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

The top-paying fixed rate business bond on the market this week is from Al Rayan Bank. The 36-month option of its Fixed Term Deposit pays an expected profit rate of 1.45% gross quarterly on an opening balance of £5,000. Once opened, no further deposits can be made. Withdrawals are also not permitted.

This bond can be both opened and managed in branch, by phone, online and via mobile app.

Bonds rates rise

Atom Bank increased the rates on its two, three and five-year fixed rate bonds this week. 2 Year Fixed Saver, 3 Year Fixed Saver, and 5 Year Fixed Saver all pay 0.92% gross on anniversary. These bonds require a £50 minimum deposit to open. They allow further additions for one week from account opening. Withdrawals are not permitted. The bonds can only be opened and managed via mobile app. For those looking to supplement their income, there are versions of all these bonds that pay interest monthly at the same gross rate.

Short-term ISAs issue numbers changed

NatWest changed the issue numbers and moved the end dates on its one and two-year fixed rate ISAs this week. 1 Year Fixed Rate ISA Issue 256 and 2 Year Fixed Rate ISA Issue 257 both pay 0.15% gross yearly. Both ISAs require a £1,000 minimum deposit to open. The one-year version now has an end date of 07.12.21 and the two-year version has an end date of 07.12.22. Further additions are allowed until 4.12.20. Withdrawals are permitted until 4.12.20 and then earlier access is allowed on closure only and subject to an early closure charge of the lower amount of interest earned or 90 days’ loss of interest. Transfers in are allowed, however, external ISA transfers requests must be made by 16.11.20 and internal ISA transfer requests must be made by 30.11.20. Transfers out are permitted subject to up to 90 days’ loss of interest. Both ISAs can be opened and managed in branch, by phone, online and via mobile app.

Easy access account launched

This week, Investec Bank plc launched an online-based easy access savings account. Online Flexi Saver pays 0.55% gross monthly on a £5,000 minimum opening deposit. This account allows unlimited further additions and withdrawals can be made at any time. This account must be opened and managed online.

ISAs issue number changed

This week, Virgin Money changed the issue numbers and moved the end date by two months on its one and three-year fixed e-ISAs. 1 Year Fixed Rate Cash E-ISA Issue 446 pays 0.60% gross yearly and 3 Year Fixed Rate Cash E-ISA Issue 447 pays 0.75% gross yearly. Both ISAs require a £1 minimum deposit to open. The one-year version now has an end date of 24.11.21 and the three-year version has an end date of 24.11.23. Further additions are allowed within 30 days of account opening. Earlier access is permitted subject to 60 days’ loss of interest on the one-year option and 120 days’ loss of interest on the three-year option. Transfers in are accepted. Transfers out are permitted but are subject to the same interest-loss penalty as earlier access. These ISAs must be opened and managed online. For income-seekers, there are versions of both ISAs that pay interest monthly at the same gross rate.

Bond end dates moved

This week, Yorkshire Building Society moved the end dates on its one, two, and three-year bonds by one month. Fixed Rate Bond to 30.11.21 and Fixed Rate eBond to 30.11.21 pay 0.80% gross on maturity, Fixed Rate Bond to 30.11.22 and Fixed Rate eBond to 30.11.22 both pay 0.85% gross yearly and Fixed Rate Bond to 30.11.23 and Fixed Rate eBond to 30.11.23 both pay 0.85% gross yearly. All bonds require a £1,000 minimum deposit to open. The one-year versions now have an end date of 30.11.21, the two-year options have an end date of 30.11.22 and the three-year versions have an end date of 30.11.23. These bonds allow further additions while the issue remains open. Withdrawals are not permitted. The Fixed Rate Bond options can be opened in branch or by post and then managed in branch, by post and online. The eBond options can only be opened and managed online.

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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 looked at a comparison site that shows fixed term ISA rates paying a much higher rate than in your fixed rate ISA chart. They seem too good to be true. Have you any advice about these types of investment?

There are several fixed term ISAs available that claim to offer much higher rates than standard fixed rate ISAs, sometimes up to 8%, but you’re right in thinking that these rates seem too good to be true – they tend to be investment or innovative ISAs, rather than cash-based savings accounts, and the level of risk heightens accordingly. These accounts boast such high rates because they invest your savings in higher-risk enterprises, such as funding corporate loans, buy-to-let mortgages or peer-to-peer loans. Because of the higher risk involved, there’s no guarantee – if the end customer defaults on their loan and the company is unable to recover the funds, there’s the chance you could lose your investment. These firms aren’t covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme either, so if that were to happen, there wouldn’t be any recourse.

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 0.22%
Notice 0.52%
Cash ISA 0.56%
1 Year Fixed Rate Bond 0.63%
2 Year Fixed Rate Bond 0.75%
3 Year Fixed Rate Bond 0.88%
4 Year Fixed Rate Bond 0.98%
5 Year Fixed Rate Bond 1.06%
27 October 2020

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Wizard Squirrel

Alternative sources of income

Should you consider a commercial property conversion investment?

Changes to planning regulations last month mean that it is now easier to convert a commercial property into a residential one. This change, combined with the fact that many commercial landlords are struggling to find business tenants and the continuing residential housing crisis, means that buying a commercial property and converting it into a residential one could be a good investment opportunity.

The new rules have removed the need to gain planning permission to turn vacant commercial properties, such as shops, into residential properties. As well as this, builders will no longer need the normal planning application to demolish and rebuild vacant and redundant residential and commercial buildings if they are rebuilt as homes.

The next 12 months could be a great opportunity to buy commercial properties, as the Coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the trend that has seen shoppers move from high street shopping to online shopping. This has resulted in many city centre shops closing down and landlords struggling to find new businesses to lease the property. As a result of this, it is forecast that the price of commercial buildings will fall. For example, in its Fiscal sustainability report, the Office for Budget Responsibility, stated: “In our central scenario, commercial property prices are assumed to fall by 13.8% in 2020-21 and to rise slowly thereafter leaving them 5.5% lower at the scenario horizon than in our March forecast.”

For those considering investing in the conversion of a commercial property to a residential home, a bridging loan will likely be the best funding option as banks are unlikely to be willing to offer either a commercial or residential mortgage. In fact, the bridging industry is expecting this type of investment to be a huge growth area in the coming years.

Investors should be aware that converting a commercial property into a residential one comes with considerable risk. For example, investors will still need to gain approval from the local council to carry out the conversion. To get this approval, investors will need to contact a building control body (BCB), which can be done through the council, to ensure the work complies with building regulations. More information about building regulation approval can be found on the Government website.

Once the conversion has taken place, the investor also has the risk of not being able to sell the property or attracting tenants. In addition, this is a very hands-on investment, where the investor will need to oversee the project and will involve investing time as well as money.

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