Halifax savers spoilt for choice

They've got their windfalls - now they can look for a better return on their cash

Millions of Halifax savers who last week collected windfalls worth at least pounds 1,400 each should now be looking around for a better deal for the money which made them eligible for the handouts in the first place.

There is now absolutely no reason windfall-wise to keep your savings with the Halifax - whether you opted to keep or sell the shares - and plenty of benefit in shopping around: competition for savers is getting ever stronger and the ex-society's rates are in many cases significantly below the best.

The Halifax itself raised interest rates on a range of accounts on Monday just as its shares started trading on the stock market, and is promising further increases following Friday's interest (and mortgage) rate rises. And were the ex-society to see big outflows of savings it would probably launch some higher-paying accounts, but as things stand it is banking on savers' inertia.

For example, even after the latest improvement in rates the Halifax's popular Liquid Gold instant access account still pays just 3 per cent on balances of pounds 2,500 and 3.25 per cent on pounds 5,000. As our table of Best Savings Rates on page 16 shows, much higher rates are available on even lower balances on instant access. The new Sainsbury's Bank pays 5.75 per cent on as little as pounds 1, and money can be withdrawn from any Link cashpoint machine for free. C&G now pays 6.25 per cent on as little as pounds 1,000 in its Instant Transfer Account - although money in this account effectively takes two days to become available, as first it needs to be electronically transferred to another of your accounts to be withdrawn.

Higher interest rates are also available from a number of the remaining building societies which also offer the potential of further windfalls. Nationwide's branch-based instant access account, Cashbuilder, pays 3.2 per cent on balances of pounds 500, and 3.5 per cent on pounds 5,000; Portman building society pays 4.7 per cent on pounds 100 upwards.

There are even better deals around on accounts operated by post - Nationwide, for example, is paying 6.4 per cent on as little as pounds 500 in its InvestDirect account, which is a market-leader.

It is the same story on accounts that require savers to give x number of days notice.

If you are in a Halifax notice account and you are looking to switch, it may be possible to withdraw at least some of your money immediately and without penalty. The conditions will vary and should be checked with a Halifax branch. If you have a Halifax Tessa that you want to transfer - again worth considering, given that the ex-society is paying just 5.95 per cent on its variable-rate deal, albeit with a 2.5 per cent maturity bonus - you face a pounds 10 penalty.

Generally speaking savers should probably beware of locking into fixed- rate deals given the rising interest rate environment. However, if you are convinced you want a fixed-rate you are likely to be best off investing now - if anything, the fixed-rate deals on offer are likely to go lower.

Mortgage borrowers are also free now to pay off their loans or switch lenders without any effect on their windfall.

But if you are thinking of remortgaging do look beyond a simple comparison of rates - you may face redemption penalties from the Halifax, plus costs in taking out your new mortgage.

q For a free copy of Moneyfacts, a publication listing all rates, call 01692-500677.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave long-running series
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
A long jumper competes in the 80-to-84-year-old age division at the 2007 World Masters Championships
Life and Style
Walking tall: unlike some, Donatella Versace showed a strong and vibrant collection
fashionAlexander Fury on the staid Italian clothing industry
Arts and Entertainment
Gregory Porter learnt about his father’s voice at his funeral
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
Life and Style
Children at the Leytonstone branch of the Homeless Children's Aid and Adoption Society tuck into their harvest festival gifts, in October 1936
food + drinkThe harvest festival is back, but forget cans of tuna and packets of instant mash
Lewis Hamilton will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole, with Nico Rosberg second and Daniel Ricciardo third
F1... for floodlit Singapore Grand Prix
Finacial products from our partners
Property search

Scottish independence: How will kilt-edged stocks fare?

Scottish companies were caned when the separatists surged in the polls. Is this the future, asks Simon Read, and would they be any better together?

Two million first-time buyers are locked out

The drought in lending to people with low deposits has created legions of frustrated buyers, writes Emma Lunn

Leaving money to charity in your will could help reduce the tax bill for your loved ones

Next week has been designated "remember a charity in your will week", to put the focus squarely on the subject
Money is slipping through our fingers: the UK is falling behind other countries in the amount we put away

How to save money: UK is crashing down the European league table for putting money away

The UK has slipped to 11th in the latest European league table of savers. Rob Griffin checks out the best options

Energy firms found guilty of bad practice could have licences revoked under Labour government

Caroline Flint, the shadow energy secretary, says a Labour government would create a new energy regulator

A student's guide to financial survival: You don't have to drown in debt at university

Fresh from A-level delight, the moment does not have to be soured by students resigning themselves to thousands of pounds worth of debt in three years' time. Rob Griffin sees how to pass the university challenge

'Dismal' eurozone data sparks concerns

European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi is under pressure to launch promised stimulus before the EU slides further
Love but not marriage: property is one area where cohabiting couples are in danger of losing out

How couples can protect their financial interests when cohabiting

People who simply live together cannot assume they have the same rights to each other's assets as spouses or civil partners. Michelle McGagh sees how they can protect their financial interests
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Senior BA - Motor and Home Insurance

    £400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: **URGENT CONTRACT ROLE**...

    Market Risk & Control Manager

    Up to £100k or £450p/d: Saxton Leigh: My client is a leading commodities tradi...

    SQL Developer - Watford/NW London - £320 - £330 p/d - 6 months

    £320 - £330 per day: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have been engaged by a l...

    Head of Audit

    To £75,000 + Pension + Benefits + Bonus: Saxton Leigh: My client is looking f...

    Day In a Page

    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam