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The week in savings - w/e 12th December

 

There was a significant uptick in activity in the market, with several providers making changes.  Unfortunately, many of them weren't positive for savers with United Trust cutting some very competitive rates, Secure Trust and Aldermore also pulling best buy products.  It wasn't all bad news though with some competition in 1 Year Fixed particularly. Here’s the roundup of the changes:

 

Monday 6th December

Monument Bank finally entered the savings market, launching its mobile app with 1, 2 and 5 Year Fixed Rates paying 1.25%, 1.50% and 2.05% respectively.  Both 1 and 2 Year are outside the top ten in the market and the 5 Year only makes joint 4th.  With access restricted to those happy to bank by mobile app and a £25,000 minimum balance, it’s likely they will have to improve their rates to gain traction, so our recommendation is to hold off and wait for the inevitable increase.

The big move of the day came from SmartSave Bank who re-entered the 1 Year Fixed Rate market with a best buy rate of 1.38%.

Castle Trust Bank withdrew their 1 Year Fixed Rate ISA, which had been a best buy at 0.96%.  The move promotes Shawbrook (0.93%) to top spot.

 

Tuesday 7th December

With Masthaven improving its 1 Year Fixed Rate to 1.39%, SmartSave Bank immediately responded, boosting its own rate to 1.40% to retake best buy spot.

Paragon announced their 2021 financial results, for the year to 30th September.  Savings balances grew to £9.3bn, up 18.4% on the previous year.  Expect to see Paragon announce the £10bn milestone early in 2022.

 

Wednesday 8th December

Secure Trust Bank withdrew their 2 Year Fixed ISA from sale, which had previously been best buy at 1.20%.

 

Thursday 9th December

Secure Trust Bank increases the rate on its 2 Year Fixed to 1.60%, moving up to joint 5th

SmartSave Bank withdraw their 1 Year (1.40%) and 3 Year (1.87%) Fixed Rates from sale.  The 1 Year had been best buy and the 3 Year was joint best buy, alongside United Trust Bank.

 

Friday 10th December

Gatehouse kicked off the day with a new best buy 1 Year Fixed Rate – increasing their Woodland Saver to 1.41%.

Hampshire Trust Bank increased their fixed rates with 1 Year up to 1.30% and 18 Months to 1.35%, both joint 7th in the market.

RCI Bank repriced its entire fixed rate range, and its easy access account.  Only the 4 Year (up to 1.60%) is improved enough to enter our top 10 at 9th.  The easy access account increases from 0.40% to 0.55%, which sees it joint a cluster of providers at joint 9th.

Paragon Bank improved its 1 Year Fixed rate to 1.20%, but this still sits outside our top 10.

Close Brothers withdrew their 95 Day Notice Account, which was paying 1.05% and joint 3rd.  Expect to see this return to market early in the New Year.

Following a period with some very competitive rates, United Trust Bank cut their fixed rates and fixed ISAs by 0.10% - 0.22%.  Despite the cuts, all bar their 3 Year Fixed remain in our top 10.

The last move of the day saw Aldermore withdraw its Double Access Saver, which had been best buy at 0.75%.  Investec now takes over top spot with its Online Flexi Saver paying 0.71%.

 

Summary

This week wasn't great for savers with the best buy easy access account being pulled late on Friday.  Investec now lead the way but my concern is this could be gone by Christmas, unless others breakout above 0.70%, and we could see a fall back to 0.65%.  However Investec are the 10th largest UK bank so can afford to sustain this, if they wish.  The next move in easy access is pivotal for the direction of that market.

Gatehouse topping 1 Year Fixed gives some hope that rates will nudge up in that category this week.  With nine providers tightly packed paying between 1.33% to 1.41%, expect some upwards movement in 1 Year.

Elsewhere, expect to see some tinkering with the Christmas holidays approaching.  Many providers will wind down from Friday so there's likely to be some movement as banks adjust ahead of the holidays.

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