With interest rates slowly back on the rise, we round-up the best savings accounts and Isa accounts on offer in 2019.
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The individual savings account turned 20 years old this year. First introduced in 1999 by the then chancellor Gordon Brown to replace the share-focused Pep (personal equity plan) and cash Tessa (tax-exempt special savings account), the Isa has proved an invaluable tax wrapper for UK investors and savers.
Savings rates on easy access accounts have finally been creeping up, with the top rate now 1.5%. But often this rate is only available to new customers.
Banks and building societies used to pass rate rises on to all savers in variable rate accounts, but now most of them only offer a higher rate to new customers. Loyal savers continue to earn the lower rate, which in the worst cases can be as low as 0.25%.
We don’t normally flag up guides produced by other people – it’s our job to write this stuff, after all – but we decided to make an exception in this case.
The lang cat’s short, impartial guide to Isas must be the most jargon-lite and entertaining introduction to investing out there, so it’s a great starting point for anyone new to using their Isa allowance, or indeed new to the stockmarket generally. Cat lovers in particular may be seduced by the pictures.
The British public has long had a love affair with premium bonds, but the figures show that buying premium bonds for children or grandchildren is likely to be an unrewarding relationship. My own experience is a good example: I have a few hundred pounds in premium bonds from my late grandparents. Over about 20 years, I have won £50.
On easy-access accounts Shawbrook Bank Easy Saver and RCI Bank Freedom Account both pay a top 1.3 per cent. AA has raised the rate on its Members Savers to 1.3 per cent for new applicants, but the account is only available to those who are members of the organisation.
Banks and building societies are making it hard for savers searching for top easy-access deals. They are coming out with so-called easy-access accounts with rates of 1.3 per cent – but savers often have to jump through hoops to earn this headline rate.
Financial services analyst CACI reports that last year 22 million customers used mobile banking apps to manage their current accounts – an average increase of 3.4 million users a year in over the past five years.
Building societies and smaller banks are launching accounts in the first flurry of better-paying deals for years.
Banks are not passing on interest rate rises to savers, an investigation by Which? reveals.