Consumers told to beware of bonuses and go for rates that endure

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The Independent Online

Consumers should look for banks and building societies that pay consistently high savings rates, according to comparison site – instead of being lured in by providers that offer introductory bonuses to get their product to the top of the "best buy" tables.

"For those who don't want to keep their eye on their savings rate all the time, consistency is important. There's no problem with going for best buys if you're prepared to watch out for the good rates, but I think a lot of people want long-term consistency," said Michelle Slade of Moneyfacts.

The trouble with introductory bonuses is that they expire, and what was once a leading rate becomes just one of the pack.

To help consumers, Moneyfacts has drawn up a list of savings providers that pay close to market-leading rates over the long term rather than relying on bonuses. These include Sainsbury's Bank and the Yorkshire, Kent Reliance and Skipton building societies. National Savings and Investments, often lambasted in the past for offering poor returns, also features in the consistent-payers table. This is due in part to its flagship mini cash individual savings account, which has been close to a best buy for the past 18 months and currently pays 5.8 per cent.

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