Money Insider: Investec doubles up with rates that track best buys
Saturday 18 February 2012
It's been a hectic week on the savings front, with much of the activity in the ISA sector. However, away from the jostling in the tax-free best buy tables, there was an eye-catching return to the savings arena from Investec Bank.
The bank launched two new versions of its popular High 5 account, albeit this time one of them is now labelled the High 10.
These accounts are unique in that the rates are independently assessed and adjusted on a weekly basis, judged against the best savings rates in the market, with the High 5 looking at the top five best buys and the High 10, the top ten best buys across a range of savings types.
Whilst the minimum balance will be out of reach of many savers at £25,000, the beauty of these accounts is that you are guaranteed an excellent rate compared with the market, and even though some of the competition will have a short-term introductory bonus, this won't affect the rate on the High 5 or High 10. As a result you won't need to worry about chasing rates or having to switch to a new deal every six or 12 months.
The High 5 account (issue 2) is currently paying 3.17 per cent and you need to give six months' notice for withdrawal. The High 10 is paying slightly less at 3.11 per cent but requires only half the notice period at just three months. Both accounts have a maximum balance limit of £100,000.
When you consider that most fixed-rate bonds with a six-month term are paying less than 2 per cent, these accounts offer good value; in fact I could find only one such bond with a higher return than the Investec accounts, which is from FirstSave, paying 3.28 per cent on a minimum balance of £5,000.
Despite no movement in the base rate for three years now, it's good news that we're seeing signs of increased competition in the savings market, helping to maintain rates at a much higher level than at this time last year.
High-paying junior ISA has strings attached
The end of the tax year is fast approaching and in just 48 days the 2012-13 tax year kicks off.
From what I've seen over the past couple of weeks the banks and building societies are already working flat out to ensure they grab a decent share of the action.
It's headline rates that tend to catch people's attention, so you can imagine there were plenty of eyebrows raised this week when Halifax said it would pay 6 per cent on a Junior ISA – double the rate that most accounts currently offer. A rate so out of kilter with the rest of the market usually comes with some strings attached, and the Halifax offer is no exception.
To qualify for the enhanced Junior ISA rate, one of the child's parents must also hold an ISA product with Halifax.
If you compare the Halifax ISA Saver Online, which pays 2.6 per cent, against the current market leader from Nationwide Building Society at 3.1 per cent, and invest £5,340 for 12 months, you'll be £26.70 worse off with the Halifax. However, in this instance you need to consider the combined result of holding both an adult account and the Junior ISA, as someone with the Nationwide best buy would be able to earn a maximum of only3 per cent on the junior account.
If you open the Halifax Junior ISA at 6 per cent and fund it with at least £900, the net effect is that you'll recoup the £27 you're losing on the adult ISA deal.
So if you're using the full adult ISA allowance in an easy access account, the Halifax Junior ISA is really only worth considering if you're investing £900 or more.
However there are some very competitive longer-term fixed-rate ISAs from Halifax, particularly the four-year option at 4.1 per cent and the five year rate at 4.2 per cent.
If you're only in the market for an adult ISA and want the flexibility of instant penalty-free access, the Online ISA (issue 3) from Nationwide currently tops the best buys at 3.1 per cent. There is a minimum balance requirement of £1,000.
Andrew Hagger, Moneynet.co.uk
Independent Partners: See how much you could save by switching credit cards. Compare now
- 1 Cameron's freebie to apartheid South Africa
- 2 Is this the scariest advert ever? Japanese tyre commercial comes with its own disclaimer and health warning
- 3 Sherlock series 3: Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman provide teasers for the biggest comeback in British television
- 4 A forgotten episode in Russian history leaves links with the Philippines
- 5 People will try to reduce Mandela to a lilting reggae tune about ‘love’. They will fail
- < Previous
- Next >
iJobs Money & Business
£80000 - £100000 per annum + benefits + bonus: Harrington Starr: Project Manag...
£50000 - £60000 per annum + benefits + bonus: Harrington Starr: Business Analy...
£30000 - £40000 per annum + Bonus and Benefits: Harrington Starr: A global Con...
£150 - £250 per day: Cornwallis Elt : iPhone Rollout- Blackberry Enginee...
Day In a Page
A three-bedroom Grade II-listed mews house with vaulted ceilings and roof garden
A spacious Grade II-listed family home with annexe and equestrian facilities among four acres of land in Itchingfield
A four-bedroom home with exposed brick walls and open fires in the picturesque village of Northill
A Grade II-listed property with five bedrooms and unique tower, overlooking Hastings Old Town
A charming five-bedroom detached family home, set within half an acre in Kew
A two-bedroom maisonette set on the top two floors of a period building, close to Kentish Town Tube.
Take advantage of the extra space provided by former stables and outbuildings at this five-bedroom farmhouse.
This three-bedroom Victorian terrace is near to Queen’s Road Peckham station, Nunhead station.
A five-bedroom modern house with terrace, swimming pool, Zen treehouse and large carp pond
An unexpected gem with four bedrooms, remarkable vaulted reception and a galleried study area
A five-bedroom house in one of Lymington's most sought after tree lined avenues, moments from the marinas and sailing clubs
A grand early 19th century B&B close to the historic harbour, with four en suite bedrooms
A four-bedroom, 17th century home with walled gardens, a landscaped terrace, cellar and open fires
A six-bedroom house with five bathrooms and four reception rooms spread over 4,000sq ft of luxury living space
A stunning three double-bedroom apartment with two decked terraces in the exclusive gated community, Bromyard House
A 10-bedroom period, family home amid beautiful surroundings in the centre of the Wentworth Estate in Longcross village
A stylish three-bedroom apartment with two bathrooms and private landscaped garden, moments from Fitzroy Square
A Grade II-listed Elizabethan barn with landscaped gardens, exposed elm beams and four bedrooms, all with lovely views
A six-bedroom family home, dating back to 1280 with four reception rooms, barn, swimming pool and tennis courts in Harwell
A spacious two-bedroom flat, refurbished to a very high standard with private landscaped garden, close to Kentish Town station
An exceptional two-bedroom apartment with balcony and underground parking in the centre of Richmond
A one-bedroom, luxury, duplex apartment in the grand landmark building, Imperial Hall
Run a fabulous boutique shop, live above it in a one-bedroom flat and let a second one-bedroom flat that comes part and parcel
A Grade-II listed, thatched cottage in Hundleby village, with five bedrooms, a coach house and three and a half acres
A spacious two-bedroom flat in the heart of Hoxton Square with wooden floors and roof terrace
A five-bedroom family home with stunning pool and gym complex set among two acres of land
A six-bedroom period house with heated swimming pool and a separate two-bedroom annexe cottage in Townlake, £795,000
A spacious and contemporary two-bedroom flat arranged over three floors, with garden patio close to St George Square, £600,000
A one-bedroom flat in a beautiful Regency building opposite the beach in Kemp Town, £190,000
A two-bedroom flat with London skyline views close to Surrey Quays. £395,000.
A seven-storey tower with three bedrooms and a stunning roof terrace. Guide price: £850,000.
A 16-bedroom country pile with nine reception rooms, four self-contained flats and a 13th century Peel Tower. £850,000.
A classic six-bedroom Victorian Manse house 10 miles from Edinburgh. £495,000.
John Lennon's childhood home in Liverpool to be sold at auction. Guide price: £150,000-£250,000.
A six-bedroom detached period property with secluded gardens, ample parking and a double garage in Rye, £675,000.
A large split-level property with three double-bedrooms and roof terrace, close to Crouch End Broadway, £625,000.
A charming barn conversion in the picturesque Cotswold village of Ilmington with three bedrooms, a detached garage, workshop and beautifully manicured gardens £675,000.
A three-bedroom new build, ground-floor flat with two bathrooms, close to Bermondsey tube, £445,000.
A three-bedroom house in an enviable new development moments from Oxshott High Street, with secluded garden and decked area, £385,000
A two-bedroom split-level flat with stunning south-west facing roof terrace in the popular Brondesbury Conservation Area, £549,950.
A charming 16th century, three-bedroom detached house in Bidborough with picturesque garden