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December Savings Round Up

Another month of rate changes

November was another volatile month for savings rates with a number of changes in our best buy tables. Long term leader of many fixed rate bond categories, Al-Rayan Bank, cut pricing twice in the month and have dropped considerably outside our tables as a result.

Al-Rayan were outliers at the top of the tables and the good news is that, although there have been movements in the pricing of those banks in following pack, interest rates are holding steady and I don’t predict further falls from these levels ahead of the general election on 12 th December. After that, all bets are off! In January, I will update on what impact I think the election result will have for savers.

In last month’s column, I said that I couldn’t see value in locking up money in long term savings products at current rates. I maintain that opinion and the premium on interest rate from the best 1 Year to the best 5 Year is only 0.47%, which is not reward enough for me.

Bank of London & Middle East are now the new leader in the 1 Year category paying 1.90%. For those savers who don’t want to save with Sharia banks, Metro Bank pay 1.80% and United Trust Bank 1.76%. I’ll be amazed if either bank is still offering the same rate in January so move quickly if these appeal!

For those who do want to tie up for the long term, Solihull based Secure Trust Bank have just launched new top paying 3, 4 and 5 Year rates offering 2.21%, 2.29% and 2.37% respectively. For those who want the best long term rates, these rates are likely to last to Christmas so you should have a few weeks to secure them.

 

Children’s savings for Christmas

With Christmas looming, I often get asked which are the best savings accounts for children, from parents and relatives who want to gift money, either instead of a present or in addition to. The good news is there are some great options for children as banks are keen to attract them. Banks know that, statistically, we are more likely to leave our partners than our bank! Therefore, they are keen to attract children as customers, knowing there’s a high chance many will stay with them for decades! Consequently, they offer some very attractive rates to entice parents to open accounts for their children.

Children’s savings typically come in two options. Firstly, regular savings style accounts which look for a minimum monthly commitment and secondly, instant savings accounts, which can be accessed without any notice being required.

The regular savings versions offer the best rates with Halifax paying 4.5% on their ‘Kids Monthly Saver’ which can be opened online or in their network of branches. A minimum monthly commitment of £10 is required. This is the best savings rate in the market on any product.

Saffron Building Society, which has a network of branches across Essex, pays 4% on their Children’s Regular Saver, which has a lower monthly minimum commitment of £5 per month – a rate that they have paid since 2015 – and can also be opened and managed by post.

For parents looking for an account that doesn’t need a regular commitment, Nationwide pay 2% on their Future Saver account. If the parent also has a Nationwide account then that rate is boosted to 3%. However, the rate is reduced by 0.50% if you make more than one withdrawal a year.

Relatives looking for an account with no restrictions should look at HSBC’s MyMoney Account which can be opened with just £10 and, although they require a branch visit to open, once set up, they can be managed online, via the Bank’s mobile app, by phone and in branch. The account comes with a debit card and a savings account which pays 3%.

 

Fraser & Friends

A big thank you to everyone who came and visited our stall at the Billericay Christmas market. We raised £206 for Fraser & Friends and gave away 118 piggy banks to children!

 

And Finally!

All that remains is for me to wish all readers a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

 

What are the best rates currently?

As we have witnessed in the past couple of months, the savings market can change extremely quickly. We always recommend that you check our website for the latest rates. At time of print, our best personal savings rates are:

 Term

 Interest Rate

Provider

Instant Savings

1.45%

Marcus, Virgin Money

Notice

1.82%

Gatehouse Bank

1 Year

1.90%

Metro Bank and Bank of London & Middle East

18 Months

1.90%

Bank of London & Middle East

2 Year

2.10%

Bank of London & Middle East

3 Year

2.21%

Secure Trust Bank

4 Year

2.29%

Secure Trust Bank

5 Year

2.37%

Secure Trust Bank

About The Savings Guru

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