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The week in savings - w/e 21st November

 

Monday 15th November

Cambridge & Counties Bank made the first move of the week, increasing their 95 Day Notice Business account to 0.85% to move up to joint 2nd

 

Tuesday 16th November

Zenith Bank improved their 1 and 3 Year Fixed Rates – up to 1.26% (10th) and 1.82% (joint best buy)

RCI Bank launched their E-Volve Savings Accounts – a 14 Day Notice product paying 0.55% - where funds deposited will be solely lent to their sister company, RCI Financial Services, to provide finance on electric vehicles and electric vehicle infrastructure. 

Although the RCI account is beaten on rate by some of the best buy easy access accounts, and a few 30/35 Day Notice products, it has complied with widely recognised standards in green finance.  For those wishing to save in more environmentally sustainable ways, it offers a way of achieving this while still paying a very competitive rate in the current market.

 

Wednesday 17th November

Three new best buy ISAs are launched as a raft of providers change rates in the morning

Castle Trust Bank relaunched their 1 Year, increased their 2 Year and launched new 3 and 5 Year Fixed ISAs – their new rates are:

  • 1 Year ISA - 0.96% (new best buy)
  • 2 Year ISA - 1.17% (2nd)
  • 3 Year ISA - 1.27% (4th)
  • 5 Year ISA - 1.56% (4th)

United Trust Bank also boosted their rates:

  • 3 Year ISA - 1.35% (joint best buy)
  • 5 Year ISA - 1.65% (joint best buy)

Hampshire Trust bucked the trend by cutting their ISA rates:

  • 1 Year - 0.85% (joint 6th)
  • 2 Year - 1.06% (8th)
  • 3 Year - 1.16% (9th)

United Trust also improved their business fixed rates:

  • 1 Year Business – 1.15% (joint 2nd)
  • 2 Year Business – 1.50% (joint 2nd)

 

Thursday 18th November

NS&I increased the interest rate on their Income Bonds, up from 0.01% to 0.15%, almost a year on from the savage cut from 1.16% in November 2020.

Why has NS&I done this? Well it has a net financing target of £6bn for this financial year (although it is allowed to operate within a range of £3bn - £9bn) and, two quarters in, it stands at £0.6bn.  Although Premium Bonds have bought in £7.2bn, £6.6bn has left from other products, including Income Bonds. Where monthly growth on Premium Bonds was circa £1.5bn a month earlier this year, it's been £700m and £900m the past two months. NS&I is undershooting and that's why it has had to act.

I strongly doubt it will work. With the best easy access account paying 0.67% (Shawbrook Bank) and many paying 0.60% or more, it's not enough of an increase to stop the haemorrhaging at NS&I.  It also ignores that their customer service has been dreadful for over a year. For a company of the heritage and prestige of NS&I to have 86% of its 1661 reviews on Trustpilot as bad (the lowest rating) should be a source of shame.

This is a sticky plaster on a broken arm - expect more rate rises to come in an attempt to undo the damage, as this increase is unlikely to cut it for most NS&I savers.

Elsewhere, Wesleyan Bank launched a new 1 Year Fixed and improve 4 and 5 Year pricing:

  • 1 Year – 1.35% (joint best buy)
  • 4 Year - 1.85% (3rd)
  • 5 Year - 1.90% (7th)

Charter Savings Bank increased their 18 Month Fixed Rate Bond to 1.51% on the Raisin platform which makes it a best buy

Secure Trust Bank withdrew their 1, 2, 3 and 5 Year Fixed Rate ISAs from sale, with the 3 and 5 Year having been best buys. Their 5 Year Fixed Rate Bond is also withdrawn

 

Friday 19th November


UBL increased their 5 Year Fixed ISA to 1.66% - a new best buy

Close Brother Savings cut their 2 Year Fixed ISA to 1.15%, which was previously a best buy (at 1.20%), promoting Castle Trust Bank to top spot (1.17%).  Close also withdraw their 3 and 5 Year Fixed Rate Bonds from sale

Secure Trust Bank launched new fixed rate ISAs:

  • 1 Year - 0.95% (2nd)
  • 2 Year - 1.20% (new best buy)
  • 3 Year - 1.35% (joint best buy)
  • 5 Year - 1.65% (joint 2nd)

The last move of the week came from Cynergy Bank, formerly Bank of Cyprus, who upped their easy access rate to 0.70%, which ordinarily would make it a best buy.  However, the rate is comprised of an underlying return of 0.30% with a bonus of 0.40% for 12 months. 

These types of bonus accounts are predicated on the basis that most savers will forget to move after the bonus expires.  Therefore, only savers who religiously diarise dates and will act once the bonus expires should look at this option – otherwise Shawbrook’s 0.67% easy access account will be better.

 

Summary

It’s been another good week for savers with several new best buys launched and, while the bonus element of Cynergy’s easy access account isn’t great, its presence increases the likelihood of further competition in the easy access market.  While we may not see 0.70% beaten, the odds are in favour of more providers moving clear of 0.60% with Paragon, Shawbrook and Cynergy all clear of that marker.

ISA rates continue to increase with Castle Trust Bank, United Trust Bank and UBL all launching best buy rates this week.  Expect the upward trend on ISAs to continue again this coming week.

 

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