UK News Rates are rising but there's a catch with withdrawal restrictions
Skipton boss David Cutter on mortgages and savings during Covid
This is Money quizzes the building society chief on how confident he is about people's finances post-pandemic, and whether mortgage and savings rates will shift from their current levels soon.And for everything that has gone up in value during the past 16 months, some things have come down.
Savings rates on easy-access accounts have crept up to 0.6 per cent for the first time in nine months. Investec raised the rate on its Online Flexi Saver this week to 0.58 per cent on a minimum £5,000 investment, while Paragon Bank’s new Limited Edition Easy Access pays 0.46 per cent on £1 or more.
There are also providers paying up to 0.6 per cent, but these accounts often come with a catch. Some include a bonus which makes the rate look better. This usually lasts for a year before disappearing to leave you earning as little as 0.1 per cent unless you move your money.
Others restrict how often you can take money out and charge savers if they exceed their limit. But they can offer a better deal for savers with cash they don’t need to access urgently. Money is still pouring in to easy-access accounts, while the amount in current accounts also soars. Savers have £943.8billion sitting in easy-access accounts, according to the Bank of England’s figures.
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The average rate earned is 0.1 per cent. There is also £242billion in current accounts earning no interest. Meanwhile, the amount in fixed-rate bonds has fallen by nearly 10 per cent to £150billion. Skipton Building Society’s Triple Access Saver pays 0.6 per cent.
But you are limited to three withdrawals a year and you have to keep a minimum of £5,000 in the account. If you make further withdrawals, you must close the account. It is available online, through its branches, by post and you can open it over the phone if you have a working email address.
Coventry BS’s new LimitedAccess Saver (Online) pays 0.55 per cent but you can make six free withdrawals a year. You can make more but there is a charge equal to the amount of 50 days interest — or 75p per £1,000. The society runs a similar account through its branches, paying 0.5 per cent.
AstraZeneca vaccine 'has same risk of blood clots as Pfizer's'
Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine is just as likely to trigger blood clots as AstraZeneca's, according to a study in Spain that has prompted fury among UK Government officials. Scientists compared rates of thrombosis among more than 1.3million recipients of either jab in Spain. Both vaccines came with a tiny risk of causing blood clots, with scientists branding their safety profiles 'broadly similar'. Pfizer's jab may even be more likely to trigger the rare blood-clotting complication, the data suggested. In contrast, the virus itself was eight times more likely to lead to thromboembolism than either jab.
Accounts with bonuses paying 0.5 per cent or 0.6 per cent include online deals from Cynergy Bank, Leeds BS, Saga, Tesco Bank and Marcus by Goldman Sachs. There are no withdrawal restrictions on these.
Cynergy Bank raised its Online Savings rate to 0.6 per cent last week. It includes a 0.3 percentage point bonus payable for one year. After this, the rate falls to 0.3 per cent. Tesco’s new Internet Saver at 0.5 per cent includes a bigger 0.4 point bonus for 12 months.
Leeds BA Limited Online Access account pays 0.5 per cent but only until August 31 next year. If you don’t want to have to worry about moving your money when the bonus runs out, the best value comes from Marcus by Goldman Sachs.
The bonus is 0.1 per cent for a year and means your rate will only drop to 0.4 per cent after. The best easy-access account in branches with no bonus or withdrawal restrictions is the 0.36 per cent from Kent Reliance.
Jabs prevent over 84,000 deaths in England - as COVID cases up in most regions and age groups .
Coronavirus case rates have risen in most regions of England and among almost all age groups, latest figures from Public Health England (PHE) show. © Reuters Some 23.4 million coronavirus infections have also been prevented by jabs, data suggests. File pic Case rates rose in all regions of England except the North East, and among all age groups except 10 to 19-year-olds, according to the latest PHE weekly surveillance report.It comes as separate PHE data showed the COVID-19 vaccine rollout in England is estimated to have prevented more than 84,000 deaths.PHE said on Thursday that 84,600 deaths and nearly 23.