19th May 2015 by Anna Bowes
Secure Trust Bank has launched a new 120 Day Notice Account (Issue 13) paying 1.85% gross/1.86% AER. The account can be opened online with a minimum of £1,000 and account holders are restricted to a maximum of 4 withdrawals of interest and 3 withdrawals of capital per calendar year.
Challenger Banks dominate the notice account category, currently occupying all five positions in our Notice Account Best Buy Table and Secure Trust is the latest to make a bid for the top position. Interestingly for a notice account, the number of withdrawals you can make in a year is limited, in addition to the notice period that has to be given. This may limit the appeal of the account, although it would still be suitable for those who do not need full access to their funds or are in a position to plan withdrawals carefully.
In a week dominated by accounts being withdrawn from the market completely or replaced with lower paying versions, United Bank Ltd has bucked the trend. Its 1 Year Fixed Rate Deposit paying 1.75% has today been replaced with a new version paying 1.91%.
The new bond is second only to Punjab National Bank (2%) in the 1 year fixed rate bond table and this is the second increase made by this provider to its 1 year bond in two weeks. This welcome improvement is perhaps an indication of this provider’s willingness to attract funds in and to challenge the established order and its peers.
In the last few weeks, we have seen various high street providers lowering the rates on offer, particularly amongst Cash ISAs and this week is no exception. We have seen Halifax, Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Bank make unremarkable variable rate ISA rates even lower.
Halifax has reduced its ISA Saver Variable account for new accounts opened, the previous rate was 1% and the new version pays 0.80%.
Bank of Scotland has reduced its Access Cash ISA to 0.80% for new accounts opened, from a previous rate of 1%.
Lloyds Bank has also reduced the rates on its variable rate Cash ISA Saver for new accounts opened. The account previously paid 0.80% on balances up to £40,000 and 1% on balances above £40,000 and customers now opening the account will receive 0.75% for balances below £40,000 and 0.80% above.
Whilst we have seen many of the top paying variable rate ISAs disappear from the market recently, these accounts were not even paying a competitive rate to start with. Larger providers seem to rely on their brand and high street presence to get the funds in they need and are happy to continue to reduce uncompetitive rates to even lower levels.
This week has also seen various best buy fixed rate ISAs drop out of the best buy tables as the ISA season draws to a close.
Shawbrook Bank has withdrawn its 1 Year Fixed Rate Cash ISA Bond Issue 4 paying 1.65% and replaced it with Issue 5 paying 1.60%. The 2 Year Fixed Rate Cash ISA Bond Issue 5 paying 1.85% has been replaced with Issue 6 paying 1.75%. Finally, the 3 Year Fixed Rate Cash ISA Bond Issue 1 paying 2.05% has been replaced with Issue 2 paying 1.95%. All three fixed rate ISAs were appearing in the top five on the market for their respective terms, with only the new 3 year ISA remaining in the top five as a result of these changes.
Julian Hodge Bank is decreasing the rate on Fixed Rate Cash ISA – 1 Year from 1.65% to 1.60% for new accounts opened from close of business today. The 1 Year ISA was top of the 1 Year Fixed Rate ISA Best Buy Table.
Unfortunately, it is not just amongst cash ISAs that top rates have been disappearing from the market or being replaced with lower paying versions.
National Savings and Investments (NS&I) has withdrawn its 65+ Guaranteed Growth Bonds paying 2.80% for 1 year or 4% for 3 years.
Shawbrook Bank has also withdrawn its 120 Day Notice Account, 1 Year, 18 month, 2 year and 3 year fixed rate bonds and replaced each of them with lower paying versions.
Charter Savings Bank has launched a 2 Year Fixed Rate Bond paying 2%.The previous version was withdrawn earlier in the week and was paying a best buy rate of 2.20%.
Paragon Bank has replaced its 5 Year Fixed Rate Bond paying 3% with a lower paying version at 2.91%. As a result of this change, the provider slips out of the top five accounts for the term.