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Reissued this week and paying the joint-top rate among easy access ISAs with no opening restrictions is Leeds Building Society. Maturing on 5 January 2020, the online-operated Limited Issue Online Access ISA (Issue 8) pays a variable rate of 1.38% on maturity from a minimum deposit of £1,000.

Transfers in are accepted, and further additions are welcome while the issue remains open. Transfers out can also be made penalty-free and there are no restrictions on withdrawals, either, making it a
true easy access deal. On
maturity, the ISA will become
an Instant Access Cash ISA
maturity account.

Robin Squirrel

Poppy Bonds relaunched

This week, Coventry Building Society launched centenary issues of its popular Poppy accounts, which since 2008 have donated £16m to The Royal British Legion. From a minimum deposit of £1, Centenary Poppy Bond (2) 31.12.23 is a five-year bond that pays 2.10% yearly, with further additions permitted while the issue remains open or within 14 days after account opening, whichever is longer. The account can be opened in branch, by post, over the phone or online and then operated by the same channels except in branch, and unusually for a fixed account, earlier access is permitted on the loss of 180 days’ interest.

In the long-term ISA sector, Centenary Poppy Fixed ISA 30.11.2023 also pays 2.10% yearly from £1 and allows transfers in, with additions again permitted for a limited period. Although withdrawals are not allowed, the ISA can be closed early or transferred to another provider on the loss of 180 days’ interest. The account can be managed in branch, by post, over the phone and online. A donation equal to 0.15% of the total balance invested in either account as at the end of business on 31 December 2018 will be paid to the Royal British Legion.

Notice these top accounts

Raising rates across its range of notice accounts this week resulting in several going to the top of their respective markets is Secure Trust Bank. From a minimum investment of £1,000, 14 Day Notice Account pays 1.10% on a quarterly basis, while 30 Day pays 1.19%, 45 Day pays 1.29%, 60 Day pays 1.59%, 90 Day pays 1.81%, 120 Day pays 1.83% and 180 Day pays 1.85%. Further additions are permitted at any time, and while withdrawals are allowed, it should be noted that only four interest withdrawals are permitted per year (with no notice required) and only three capital withdrawals, subject to the full notice period being observed.

At the same time, Secure Trust Bank launched a range of highly competitive fixed rate bonds, which sees several become the market-leaders for their terms. Also from a minimum of £1,000, 1 Year Fixed Rate Bond pays 2.03% yearly, while the two-year version pays 2.31%, the three-year pays 2.41%, the four-year pays 2.42%, five-year pays 2.71%, the six-year pays 2.73% and the seven-year pays 2.75%. Further deposits are allowed as long as the relevant issue remains open, although there is no access to funds prior to maturity. For those looking to supplement their income, the five, six and seven-year bonds offer a monthly option paying slightly reduced rates. All bonds and notice accounts must be opened online but can then be operated by phone as well.

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

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 short-term bond on the market this week is from BFC Bank. 12 Month Fixed Term Deposit Account 1 pays 2.50% on maturity from an opening balance of £10,000, although it should be noted that once open no further deposits can be made, and there is no access to funds prior to maturity. The account, which can be opened by post and then operated by phone as well, is available to businesses with a maximum turnover of £50m. For those not willing to tie up their funds for so long, BFC Bank has a six-month and three-month version of the bond, too.

One-year bond competes

Reviewed this week but still paying a competitive rate among one-year bonds is Zenith Bank (UK) Ltd. From a minimum investment of £1,000, 1 Year Fixed Term Deposit pays 2.00% on maturity, though it should be noted that further additions aren’t allowed and there is no early access to funds. The account must be opened online before becoming postal-operated.

Easy access nears best

Increasing the rate on its easy access account this week to see it sit just below the current market leaders is Post Office Money. From a minimum deposit of just £1, Online Saver pays 1.45% yearly, including a 12-month bonus of 1.20%, making a review essential when the bonus element expires. There are no restrictions on withdrawals from this internet-operated deal, and likewise further deposits can be made at any time. For income-seekers, a version of the account paying a slightly reduced rate of interest on a monthly basis is also available. The account is operated by Bank of Ireland UK and funds of up to £85,000 per person are covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

New short-term notice

New this week and taking a place in the short-term notice market is Saffron Building Society. The branch and postal-operated 30 Day Notice Saver (Issue 1) pays 1.10% yearly from a minimum of £5,000, with further deposits allowed at any time. Unlimited penalty-free withdrawals are permitted provided the notice period is observed, but earlier access is also possible, subject to the loss of 30 days’ interest.

Accessible rate rise

Increasing the rate on its easy access account this week and heading further up the charts as a result is Tesco Bank. Internet Saver, which must be opened online but can then be operated by mobile app as well, now pays 1.42% yearly from an opening deposit of just £1. It should be noted that the rate includes a 0.87% bonus for 12 months, paid at the end of the bonus term, making a review essential when it expires. Further additions and withdrawals are both allowed without penalty, though there is a maximum daily withdrawal limit of £10,000 to non-Tesco Bank UK accounts and a £100,000 limit to Tesco Bank accounts in the customer’s own name.

Three-year ISA takes crown

Raising rates this week and now boasting the top return among three-year cash ISAs is Marsden Building Society. From a minimum deposit of £5,000, Fixed Rate Cash ISA (Issue 100) pays a market-leading 1.95% yearly, while the two-year version (Issue 99) pays 1.75%. Additional deposits are allowed within 14 days of account opening and transfers in of previous cash ISAs are accepted. While it is possible to access funds early, the ISAs will then be closed with the loss of 360 or 240 days’ interest respectively, with the same penalties applying should you wish to transfer to another provider. Both ISAs can be opened and operated in branch, by post and over the phone.

Deals get noticed

Raising rates on its 90-day notice account this week while at the same time launching a new 60-day option and relaunching its 120-day deal is Market Harborough Building Society. Requiring a significant deposit of £25,000, 90 Day Account now pays 1.45% yearly, while the new 60 Day Account pays 1.35% yearly from £5,000 and 120 Day Account – Issue 3 pays 1.60% monthly, also from £25,000. Further deposits can be made at any time and there are no restrictions on withdrawals, although it should be noted that there is no early access facility so 90, 60 or 120 days’ notice must be given for all withdrawals. All accounts can be opened and operated in branch, by post or online.

Bank and Building Society Reviews

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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.

What is the best rate on an ordinary bond/ISA for five years with monthly interest please?

If you’re looking to save a lump sum and are willing to lock it away for a number of years, a long-term bond could be the best solution to secure a guaranteed return. In this case, the best five-year bond that pays interest monthly comes from Secure Trust Bank, with its 5 Year Fixed Rate Bond paying 2.68% on a monthly basis from a minimum investment of £1,000.

Or, if you want to maximise your tax-efficiency, the top-paying five-year ISA comes from Shawbrook Bank, with its 5 Year Fixed Rate Cash ISA Bond Issue 12 paying an annual rate of 2.23% on a monthly basis, provided you have at least £5,000 to invest.

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 1.00%
Cash ISA 1.29%
1 Year Fixed Rate Bond 1.45%
2 Year Fixed Rate Bond 1.63%
3 Year Fixed Rate Bond 1.85%
4 Year Fixed Rate Bond 2.13%
5 Year Fixed Rate Bond 2.16%
13 November 2018

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Wizard Squirrel

Alternative sources of income

Equity release rates starting to rise

Equity release is becoming an increasingly mainstream funding option for later life, with it allowing older homeowners to release cash from their homes to boost their finances. Yet as the market continues to evolve, it has not been totally immune from the rate rises affecting the residential mortgage market – the latest data from Moneyfacts.co.uk shows that while the summer saw equity release rates hit record lows, the average has since gone up.

Lifetime mortgage rates in particular have seen an increase, with six of the 11 lenders currently operating in this market raising their rates over the last three months – some more than once. Unfortunately, it looks as though the competitive spirit that took hold of the market earlier this year is beginning to wane: the average lifetime mortgage rate hit a record low of 5.03% in July this year, yet this has now risen to 5.10%, as lenders begin to factor in the latest base rate rise.

They’re beginning to pare back their ranges, too; there are currently 128 fixed and variable rate lifetime mortgage deals available, down from 157 in July this year, as lenders reassess their offerings. However, while they have arguably had little choice but to increase rates and amend their portfolios, the continued popularity of equity release means they’re looking to enhance their products in other ways, as Rachel Springall, finance expert at Moneyfacts.co.uk, explains:

“82% of the lifetime mortgage market now provides a free valuation, and there are more deals without a product fee, too (41%). It’s also encouraging to see the market adapt to create more flexible products, such as those that provide a drawdown option to suit those looking to draw cash as and when they need it … The equity release market has listened to the consumer demand, and lifetime mortgages are becoming more popular as a result.”

All of this means that despite the recent rate increases, there are still plenty of reasons to consider equity release. “Beyond the rates, lifetime mortgages may well be attractive to those who had considered downsizing, but are looking to avoid the hassle of moving and the costs involved, such as paying stamp duty,” added Rachel. Yet it’s something that needs to be discussed fully with a professional financial adviser and anyone who may be impacted by this course of action – particularly those who may be affected by a decreased inheritance – and with rates on the rise, it’s more important than ever to make sure you’re getting a good deal. You can find the top lifetime mortgage rates here.

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