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This week, Dudley Building Society launched a one-year regular savings account . One Year Regular Saver Issue 6 pays 1.00% gross on maturity on a £50 minimum opening deposit. This account allows monthly deposits of up to £250 to a maximum investment of £3,000. Withdrawals are not permitted. The account
can be both opened and
managed in branch and by
post.

Robin Squirrel

Bonds rates rise

Paragon Bank increased the rate on its one, two, three, and five-year fixed rate bonds this week. 1 Year Fixed Rate Savings Account pays 0.55% gross, 2 Year Fixed Rate Savings Account pays 0.70% gross, 3 Year Fixed Rate Savings Account pays 0.85% gross, and 5 Year Fixed Rate Savings Account pays 1.00% gross. All bonds pay interest on anniversary and require a £1,000 minimum deposit to open. These bonds allow further additions for five working days from initial funding. Withdrawals are not permitted. The bonds can be both opened and managed by post and online.

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

Fixed rate ISAs launched

Tipton & Coseley Building Society launched a one and two-year fixed rate ISA this week. Fixed Rate ISA to 31.05.22 and Fixed Rate ISA to 31.05.22 (App) both pay 0.50% gross, and Fixed Rate ISA to 30.06.23 and Fixed Rate ISA to 30.06.23 (App) pay 0.60% gross. All the ISAs pay interest yearly and require a £1,000 minimum deposit to open. The ISAs do not permit further additions. Earlier access is allowed subject to 90 days’ loss of interest on the one-year options and 180 days’ loss of interest on the two-year options. Transfers in are accepted. Full transfers out are allowed subject to the same interest-loss penalty as earlier access. Fixed Rate ISA to 31.05.22 and Fixed Rate ISA to 30.06.23 must be opened in branch but can then be managed in branch and by post, while the App versions can only be opened and managed via mobile app.

At the same time, Tipton & Coseley Building Society launched a 30-day notice ISA. 30 Day Notice ISA (Issue 2) pays 0.45% gross yearly on a £100 opening minimum deposit. This ISA is only available to locals within the B, DY, WS, or WV postcode areas. It allows further additions via cash, cheque or standing order. Withdrawals are permitted subject to 30 days’ notice, or if notice is not given, earlier access is allowed subject to 30 days’ loss of interest. Transfers in are accepted. Transfers out are subject to 30 days’ notice or loss of interest. This ISA can be both opened and managed in branch and by post.

Be ScamSmart

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 that is open to all currently on the market comes from HSBC. MySavings is an instant access account for those aged between seven and 17 years and pays a variable rate of 2.47% gross monthly, although it should be noted that a lower rate of 0.25% gross is paid on balances of £3,001 and over.

This account requires an opening minimum deposit of £10. It must be opened in branch but can then be managed in branch, by phone, online and via mobile app. Unlimited further additions are allowed. Withdrawals are permitted but a parent/guardian’s signature is required for withdrawals of £50 or over for under 11s.

As an extra incentive, a free moneybox is available when you open this account and a MyAccount current account is opened on the child’s 11th birthday.

New two-year bond

This week, Saffron Building Society launched a two-year fixed rate bond. Two Year Fixed Rate Bond pays 0.45% gross on anniversary on a £500 opening minimum deposit. This bond does not permit further additions. Earlier access is allowed on closure only and subject to 180 days’ loss of interest. The bond can be both opened and managed in branch, by post and online.

At the same time, Saffron Building Society launched a two-year fixed rate ISA. Two Year Fixed Rate ISA pays 0.45% gross on anniversary and requires a £500 minimum deposit to open. Further additions are not allowed but earlier access is permitted on closure only and subject to 180 days’ loss of interest. Transfers in are not accepted and transfers out are subject to the same interest-loss penalty as earlier access. This ISA can be both opened and managed in branch, by post and online.

Competitive regular saver launched

Yorkshire Building Society launched a competitive regular savings account this week. Loyalty Regular Saver pays 3.50% gross on anniversary on a £10 opening minimum deposit but the account is only available to existing customers who have had continuous membership with Yorkshire Building Society from or before the 1.1.20. Savers should also be aware that after one year the account reverts to a Six Access Saver account. The account allows monthly deposits of up to £500 to a maximum investment of £6,000. One withdrawal is permitted. The account can be opened in branch or by post and then managed in branch, by post and online.

New one-year regular savings account

This week, Ipswich Building Society launched a one-year regular savings account. 1 Year Regular Saver (31.05.2022) pays 1.00% gross yearly on a £10 minimum opening deposit. This account is only available to existing members, locals within certain postcodes and/or new money to the institution. It requires 11 monthly deposits of between £10 to £250, up to a maximum investment of £3,750. Withdrawals can be made at any time. This account can be both opened and managed in branch and by post.

Easy access ISA relaunched

Harpenden Building Society relaunched its easy access ISA this week. Cash ISA pays 0.20% gross yearly on a £1 opening minimum deposit. This ISA allows further additions and withdrawals. Transfers in are not accepted. There is no penalty for transfers out. The ISA can be opened in branch or by post and then managed in branch, by post, and online.

App-based bonds launched

This week, Tipton & Coseley Building Society launched two and three-year fixed rate app-based bonds. Fixed Rate Bond until 31.05.23 (App) pays 0.60% gross yearly and Fixed Rate Bond until 30.04.24 (App) pays 0.75% gross yearly. Both bonds require a £1,000 minimum deposit to open. Further additions and withdrawals are not permitted. The bonds can only be opened and managed via mobile app.

New easy access account

Saffron Building Society launched an easy access savings account this week. Enviro Saver Account (Issue 2) pays 0.15% gross yearly on a £10 opening minimum deposit. This account allows further additions and withdrawals. It must be opened online but can then be managed online and via mobile app. There is also a version of this account that pays interest monthly at the same gross rate.

Bank and Building Society Reviews

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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.

Now the pandemic is hopefully ending soon, do you think there may be a slightly more competitive market for ISAs for the new tax year or do you expect no movement in rate as the economy could take years to recover?

As you know, the interest rates for cash ISAs have been declining and are now at very low levels. Sadly, we don’t have a crystal ball about what will happen to ISA rates in the future, but it is not likely that rates will increase rapidly any time soon.

New banks help to stimulate better rates for savers, but most focus on launching savings accounts that are not in an ISA wrapper, due to operational reasons. As these organisations mature some do choose to offer ISAs, Paragon Bank is a recent example. We will need to wait and see if more challenger banks decide to offer ISAs.

Finally, please do not take any of the information above as financial advice or a recommendation.

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 0.17%
Notice 0.38%
Cash ISA 0.41%
1 Year Fixed Rate Bond 0.44%
2 Year Fixed Rate Bond 0.50%
3 Year Fixed Rate Bond 0.64%
4 Year Fixed Rate Bond 0.74%
5 Year Fixed Rate Bond 0.83%
02 March 2021

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Wizard Squirrel

Alternative sources of income

Rise in BTL mortgage choice for first-time landlords

A buy-to-Let (BTL) property has often been a popular investment for those looking to boost their income or who are investing towards their retirement. Although, as with most investments, there are risks with BTL properties and those considering this option should speak to an independent financial adviser first, there was some good news for first-time landlords this week as the choice in BTL mortgage deals for new landlords has increased year-on-year.

Research carried out by Moneyfacts.co.uk found that the percentage of deals available to first-time landlords in the BTL market has increased from 61% during February 2020 to 65% in February 2021. Saying this, the number of BTL deals available to first-time landlords year-on-year has actually fallen, from 1,635 in February 2020 to 1,311 a year later. However, the number of deals available in the BTL market overall also fell significantly during this 12-month period, resulting in an increase in the percentage of the market available to first-time landlords. This suggests that, despite the economic uncertainty caused by the pandemic, many mortgage providers are still willing to lend to new property investors.

As Eleanor Williams, finance expert at Moneyfacts.co.uk, explained: “Overall availability contracted sharply last year, which makes it even more positive to note that at 65%, the proportion of the market that is available to first-time landlords has grown by 4% year-on-year, meaning that would-be investors have plenty of choice, and is also an indication that providers are committed to servicing this demographic of borrowers.”

Although this is good news for first-time landlords, average rates over this period show that the market has not remained unscathed from the current economic uncertainty. For example, the average first-time landlord two-year fixed rate on 1 February 2020 was 2.80%, which increased to 3.10% on the 1 February 2021. Meanwhile, the average first-time landlord five-year fixed rate increased from 3.31% to 3.66% during this same period.

First-time landlords should, however, keep in mind that there are rates available in the first-time landlord chart significantly lower than average rates. To find the best deal available for their circumstances, new landlords may want to consider speaking to a mortgage broker who will be able to provide advice on the best deals available.

“Those who are considering whether this is the right time to invest would be wise to secure professional, qualified advice to help support and navigate through their choices,” Williams added.

For more information about investing in BTL, read our 5 steps to becoming a buy-to-let landlord.

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