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Paying the top rate among easy access accounts with no opening restrictions this week is Aldermore. Its Double Access Account Issue 1 now pays 0.75% gross on anniversary or monthly if no more than two withdrawals are made in a year. The account can be opened with a minimum deposit of £1,000 and further additions are permitted at any time. Withdrawals are allowed, however, a lower rate of 0.10% gross is paid if three or more withdrawals are made per annum. This
account can be opened and
managed online.

Robin Squirrel

Bonds get a boost

Bank of London and The Middle East (BLME) increased the rates on its four, five and seven-year fixed rate bonds this week. The four-year Premier Deposit Account pays an expected profit rate of 1.70% gross, the five-year Premier Deposit Account pays an expected profit rate of 1.75% gross and the seven-year Premier Deposit Account pays an expected profit rate of 1.80% gross. All of these bonds pay expected profit on anniversary and require a £1,000 minimum deposit to open. As is the case with many fixed bonds, further additions and earlier access are not permitted. The account can be opened online and can then be managed via post. Savers should note that to open one of these accounts they must either have or open a BLME transfer account to hold funds pending investment.

Fixed bonds top charts

United Trust Bank has increased the rates on its three and five-year fixed rate bonds this week, resulting in both accounts topping the chart for their terms. UTB 3 Year Bond pays 1.87% gross on anniversary and UTB 5 Year Bond pays 2.06% gross on anniversary. Both bonds can be opened online with a minimum deposit of £5,000. Further additions and earlier access are not permitted during the term. Once opened, these accounts can be managed online, by phone and via post.

Green saver rate rise

This week, Gatehouse Bank increased the rates on its one-year and 18-month fixed rate bonds. 1 Year Fixed Term Woodland Saver pays an expected profit rate of 1.35% gross on maturity and the 18-month version pays an expected profit rate of 1.51% gross on anniversary. Both bonds require a £1,000 deposit to open and do not allow earlier access or additions. These bonds can be opened and managed online. When one of these Woodland Savers is opened and funded, Gatehouse Bank will plant a tree in a UK woodland project that is certified by the UK Government’s Woodland Carbon Code.

One-year bond increases

Investec Bank plc increased the rate on its one-year fixed rate bond this week. Its one-year Fixed Rate Saver now pays 1.36% gross on maturity. To open this account a £5,000

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Savers Friend In Focus

Children’s accounts

Encouraging children to save from an early age is a good idea and most providers offer accounts aimed specifically at children.

The top-paying children’s account in our children’s variable accounts chart comes from HSBC. MySavings pays 2.47% gross monthly on a minimum opening deposit of £10. On balances over £3,000 a rate of 0.25% gross is paid. The account is open to children aged between 7 and 17 and will revert to a Flexible Saver on the child’s 18th birthday.

Both further additions and withdrawals are permitted, however, for children under 11 a parent or guardian’s signature is required for withdrawals of £50 or over. The account can be opened in branch, or if the child’s parent banks with HSBC, the account can be opened online. The account comes with a free money box on account opening. Once opened, the account can be managed in branch, by phone, online and via mobile app.

minimum deposit is needed. While this bond does not allow earlier access, further additions can be made for seven days from the account opening. This bond must be opened and managed online.

Notice account rate rise

This week, Moneycorp Bank increased the rate on its 90-day notice account. From a minimum investment of £10,000, the 90 Day Notice Account pays 1.00% gross monthly. Further additions from a minimum of £10,000 are permitted while the issue remains open. Withdrawals are permitted subject to providing 90 days’ notice. To open this account, savers must either have or open a Deposit Account with Moneycorp Bank for transactional purposes. This account can only be opened and managed online.

Regular saver enters chart

Nationwide Building Society launched a new variable rate regular savings account onto the market this week. Flex Regular Saver pays 2.00% gross on anniversary, provided no more than three withdrawals are made in a 12-month period (a rate of 0.35% will be paid for the rest of the term if four or more withdrawals are made). The account can be opened online or via mobile app with a minimum investment of just £1.

Once opened, the account can also be managed via mobile app or online. There is no minimum that needs to be paid in each month, but the maximum monthly deposit is £200. After 12 months, the account will revert into an instant access savings account. Savers must either have or open a current account with Nationwide Building Society to be eligible for this account.

Fixed ISA rate rise

This week, Hodge Bank increased the rate on its one-year fixed rate cash ISA. 1 Year Fixed Rate Cash ISA now pays a competitive rate of 0.90% gross, which can be paid either on maturity or monthly. Further additions and transfers in are permitted for 10 working days from the account opening, but the minimum transfer in accepted is £1,000. This ISA can be opened online with a minimum deposit of £1,000. Once opened, the account can then be managed online or by phone. Both earlier access and transfers out are permitted, however, this is subject to 90 days’ loss of interest.

Competitive bonds enter charts

SmartSave launched highly competitive two and three-year fixed rate bonds this week. Its 2 Year Fixed Rate Saver pays 1.61% gross on anniversary while the 3 Year Fixed Rate Saver pays 1.83% gross on anniversary. To open these bonds, an opening minimum deposit of £10,000 is needed. Although these bonds do not allow earlier access, further additions are permitted for 14 days from the account opening. They must be opened and managed online.

Easy access account launched

This week Chorley Building Society added a new easy access account to its product range. Easy Access Saver (6 Withdrawals) pays 0.60% gross yearly on a £500 minimum opening deposit. Six withdrawals are permitted per account year, which runs from 1 January to 31 December, if more than six withdrawals are made a lower rate of 0.10% gross will be paid for the remainder of the year. Further additions can be made while the issue remains open. This account can be opened and managed in branch, online and via post.

Bank and Building Society Reviews

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The reviews are the opinions of our readers and not of Savers Friend.

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.

Is it best to have interest paid yearly or monthly on a fixed rate bond?

In terms of overall returns, providers tend to pay a slightly lower gross rate on monthly payments than on annual payments. However, even though the advertised gross rates are different, the likelihood is that the annual equivalent rate (AER) will be broadly the same across both the monthly and annual interest options.

It may therefore be a good idea to consider why you are saving in the first place. If saving for the long-term is your main goal, then annual interest is likely to be the best option. But if you want your savings to provide you with a regular income, then having interest paid monthly will be the best option for you.

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 0.20%
Notice 0.54%
Cash ISA 0.63%
1 Year Fixed Rate Bond 0.81%
2 Year Fixed Rate Bond 0.93%
3 Year Fixed Rate Bond 1.15%
4 Year Fixed Rate Bond 1.38%
5 Year Fixed Rate Bond 1.41%
30 November 2021

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Wizard Squirrel

Alternative sources of income

Gold purchases increase due to lockdown and inflation fears

There has been a 278% increase in investors purchasing physical gold bars and coins from The Pure Gold Company this month when compared to the monthly average in 2021. The company believes that this rise in demand is being driven by fears that recent European lockdowns could spread to the UK, alongside the risks of rising inflation.

Josh Saul, CEO of The Pure Gold Company, said: “Over two thirds of investors purchasing in the last 4 weeks work in financial services and have reported concerns about the prospect of European lockdowns spreading to the UK. They fear the fall out among global businesses and markets over the coming weeks.”

“With the hindsight of having lived through previous lockdowns we are seeing investors making more considered decisions. Some have decided to sell equities while others are selling their house while demand is high and viewings are possible (for now). The most notable trend is that many of the current buyers remember how gold and silver fared during other lockdowns and are buying before it happens rather than in the middle or at the end. Brexit shortages and business inefficiencies are also driving demand for gold as our clients see the severe impact of the labour shortages. We have clients who are restaurant owners who have shut up shop over the Christmas period because, despite high demand, they cannot secure enough staff.”

“We are also hearing inflation fears repeatedly cited by gold investors. Inflation is already running at over 4% and is expected to rise even higher. A rate rise in December seems increasingly likely to try and curb inflation, which will impact on borrowing costs. Meanwhile, we’ve seen a notable increase in the amount of investors removing exposure to equities within their SIPPs/Pensions to purchase physical gold within the same vehicle. People are positioning themselves to avoid any potential equity losses, and also benefit from the gains they expect in the gold price.”

“Our clients do not purchase physical gold purely for growth. What they seek is safety and security in an asset class that tends to increase in times of uncertainty. The fact that it is capable of being liquidated instantly with no tax to pay (in some cases) makes physical gold and silver a very appealing asset class in today’s current climate.”

More information about investing in gold can be found in our how to invest in gold guide.

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