Finance: Expert on impact of inflation on savings accounts
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Savings accounts and switch incentives are regularly being launched by banks to entice new customers. HSBC UK has launched a “nice little welcome bonus” for those who switch to its HSBC Advance account using the Current Account Switch Service. This deal is exclusively available to new customers only and the offer can be withdrawn at any time, meaning savers will need to act quickly.
Savers who switch to this account will be able to track their finances with HSBC’s online banking services and its app. One percent AER/gross will be earned on savings held within the account and holders can put away between £25-£250 each month.
Holders of this account will also get money-saving offers on shopping, days out, eating out and more. There is no monthly account fee and savers will just need to inform the Current Account Switch Service they want to move and confirm their old bank details.
The Current Account Switch Service will then handle the rest, moving all existing regular payments like Direct Debits and salaries to the new account.
To receive the bonuses from the HSBC account, customers will need to open the account as a new customer and switch within 30 days. This switch must include at least two Direct Debits or standing orders.
Sole savers can apply for this account as well as joint holders. Applications are made online through HSBC UK’s website and applicants may need details on their address history, employment status, income levels and identity documents at the ready.
To be eligible for a HSBC Advance Account, applicants must:
- Be 18+ and live in the UK or EU
- Be able to pay in at least £1,750 each month (or £10,500+ every six months)
- Qualify for a minimum £1,000 arranged overdraft (they won’t have to have an overdraft if they don’t want one)
- Be happy for HSBC to do a credit check against their name (if they live in the UK)
There is no in-credit interest available for the account and while it does have full FSCS protection, it is shared with First Direct.
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Savings rates are unlikely to be much higher than the one percent mark at the moment as the Bank of England continues to keep rates at rock bottom levels. Currently, the central bank has the base rate at 0.1 percent.
For savers looking for the best rates possible, Moneyfacts.co.uk highlighted two options in its most recent “Pick of the Week”. Released on September 9, this Pick of the Week reviewed the best deals available to savers based on rates and other details.
The first option came from Oxbury Bank as Rachel Springall, a Finance Expert at Moneyfacts.co.uk, explained: “This week Oxbury Bank has improved its 18-month fixed bond by increasing the rate by a notable 0.50 percent. Now paying 1.45 percent on its anniversary, savers searching for an attractive rate and are comfortable locking their cash away may find this deal enticing as it sits within the top rate tables.
“As may be expected in the fixed bond market, early access is not permitted, however, further additions can be made within 14-days of opening the account, which may be of interest to some. Overall, this account receives an Excellent Moneyfacts product rating.”
The second option came from Al Rayan Bank, as Ms Springall continued: “Al Rayan Bank has made improvements to its range of Fixed Term Deposits with a rise of 1.11 percent on its 24-month option. Now paying an expected profit rate of 1.76 percent quarterly, savers who have at least £5,000 to invest and are happy to lock away their cash for two years will find this appealing as it is a market-leading return within its sector.
“As is common-place, early access is not permitted, and savers will be unable to make further additions. Overall, this account receives an Excellent Moneyfacts product rating.”
In recent weeks, other banks have also improved their deals. On September 3, Paragon Bank increased the rate on its one Year FR ISA from 0.8 percent AER to 0.85 percent. Additionally, the rate on its two Year FR ISA rose from 1.01 to 1.06 percent AER.
Derek Sprawling, Savings Director at Paragon Bank, commented: “We want to support people who are looking to build up their tax-free savings by offering a range of cash ISAs that are suited to all needs, as well as a broad range of competitive non-ISA products.
“Our savings accounts are available to both new and existing customers and people who hold an existing easy access account with us can easily switch over.
“All of our ISAs are designed with flexibility in mind. Our ISA Wallet feature gives savers the opportunity to split their ISA allowance across different ISA accounts, while our ‘flexibility’ feature allows easy access customers to replace funds withdrawn from an ISA without their allowance being impacted. On top of this, customers have the option to manage their fixed rate through the post.
“It’s easy for people looking for a competitive deal to open and manage an account with Paragon and they can choose to apply online, by telephone or by post. Our 28-day rate guarantee ensures that any customers part way through the application process already, or with an imminent maturity with us, will also benefit from our new rates automatically.”
More recently on September 10, RCI Bank announced rate increases for both its 95 Day Notice and Fixed Term Accounts. RCI Bank’s Five year Fixed Term Account saw its interest rise to 1.2 percent AER Gross.
Tafari Smith, the Head of Savings RCI Bank, concluded: “Whilst we continue to move out of what has been a challenging 18 months, we are pleased to be able to increase our interest rate on both our 95 Day Notice Account, and all our Fixed Term Accounts. Since launching six years ago we have been committed to offering competitive rates and simple products.
“We hope these rate increases will encourage savers to think into the future with regards to their financial plans and boosting their savings pots. As the world continues to open up, it’s never been more important for consumers to continue putting money aside to ensure they have a buffer for any unforeseen expenses, or even if just saving for a rainy day.”
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