The quest by savers for higher interest rates is reliant on finding small providers that offer big rates.
Big banks, such as HSBC or Lloyds Bank, offer miserly rates. For instance, HSBC’s Online Bonus Saver offers a pitiful 0.45%. Lloyds Bank offers an even more excruciating 0.2% with its Easy Saver.
Savvy savers would, therefore, be wise to search for the little providers that offer big deals.
For instance, little-known Epsom-based National Counties Building Society (NCBS) now has the best interest rate for an easy-access savings account at 1.35%. The account can be opened by post and managed online, which means anyone in the UK can take advantage of the rate.
NCBS has 50,000 members, making it a very small provider, but this is one of the best easy-access rates Moneywise has seen in a while. The account also has a much lower initial deposit than before – previously £20,000 but now £5,000.
The one-year fixed saver best rate is from Atom Bank at 2.05%. Atom Bank is a challenger bank that operates through mobile-app only and has no physical customer-facing locations. While this is a bit of hassle if you’re used to managing your savings on a computer, the high interest rate is well worth the effort. The bank first received a licence in 2015 and has regularly appeared in the Moneywise best buys.
For a top three-year bond, Masthaven Bank offers 2.31% that can be opened online. Masthaven has been in operation longer that Atom, since 2004, but have only held a banking licence since 2016.
In terms of Cash Isas, Shawbrook Bank currently has the best easy-access rate on offer at 1.3%. Shawbrook has been operating since 2011, with its accounts online only.
The current top one-year fixed Cash Isa comes from Charter Savings Bank at 1.52%. The brand launched in 2015 and, like Shawbrook, offers online only accounts.
Aldermore Bank offers the best three-year rate fixed Cash Isa at 1.8%. Aldermore launched in 2009 and, like many of the banks on this list, has no physical branches.
For a longer fixed rate Cash Isa, the best buy is 2.31%, also from Charter Savings Bank.
All of the banks on this list have UK Banking licences and Financial Services Compensation Scheme deposit protection up to £85,000. If you would like to find out more about how to maximise your savings, check out the Moneywise model savings portfolios.
For our regular best buy savings accounts (updated every Wednesday), bookmark our savings update pages:
This article was originally published in our sister magazine Moneywise, which ceased publication in August 2020.
These articles are provided for information purposes only. Occasionally, an opinion about whether to buy or sell a specific investment may be provided by third parties. The content is not intended to be a personal recommendation to buy or sell any financial instrument or product, or to adopt any investment strategy as it is not provided based on an assessment of your investing knowledge and experience, your financial situation or your investment objectives. The value of your investments, and the income derived from them, may go down as well as up. You may not get back all the money that you invest. The investments referred to in this article may not be suitable for all investors, and if in doubt, an investor should seek advice from a qualified investment adviser.
Full performance can be found on the company or index summary page on the interactive investor website. Simply click on the company's or index name highlighted in the article.