Savings warning over vanishing best-buy accounts – check if yours is still top rate | Personal Finance | Finance

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Best-buy accounts are being pulled and replaced with deals offering lower .

Research commissioned by Investec Bank found five of the top 50 instant access savings accounts were closed between October and November 2023, and six were replaced with versions offering lower returns.

A separate study by the bank found just over one in 10 people (11 percent) have tried to open a best-buy savings account in the past two years only to find that it had closed and was no longer open to new customers.

Some five percent of people say that they have been caught out by this more than once.

Nearly two-thirds of these people (62 percent) were trying to open a specific fixed rate account at the time, while 18 percent were trying to open a particular instant access savings account but it was no longer available.

David Hunt, head of retail savings at Investec, said: “There has been a frenzy of new savings accounts launching in the past two years, and interest rates have risen dramatically.

“This has led many people to switch their cash to better-paying accounts. However, with so much money moving around, many of the best-buy savings accounts have not remained open for long, leading to savers missing out.”

Financial guru shed a similar light in his most recent Money Saving Expert newsletter.

He noted that is due to cut the 5.2 percent interest rate on its popular Easy Access Saver Limited Edition (Issue 3) to 4.2 percent on Monday, May 20.

While this may be inconvenient for many, the rate offered was always “variable”, which means the bank or building society can change the interest rate.

Commenting on the cut, Mr Lewis said: “When I first heard this was happening I thought, ‘how annoying!’ I’d hoped this account would keep the stellar rate for the full term, though there was never a guarantee – and then it decided to slash it.

“Having said that, for most of the past few months, it’s been higher than any other easy-access account rate – and the big advantage of choosing variable easy-access accounts like this is that, if they do let you down and ditch the very high rate, you can ditch them just as quickly and switch elsewhere.

“And even though the new rate is far from awful, it’s beatable, so why not move your money elsewhere.”

Ulster Bank’s Loyalty Saver is currently topping the easy access savings account leaderboard with an Annual Equivalent Rate (AER) of 5.2 percent on deposits of over £5,000.

Meanwhile, Paragon Bank and Kent Reliance offer AERs of five percent and 4.96 percent respectively. A full rundown of this week’s top savings accounts, including ISAs and fixed rates, can be found here.

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