Savers offered deals paying up to 10%

Mortgage customers may be struggling as interest rates go up, but savers are cashing in on attractive rates of return.

The financial information firm Moneyfacts reports that in recent weeks a significant number of savings account providers have launched "best buy" rates, including the Halifax and Bradford & Bingley banks and the Skipton, West Bromwich and Manchester building societies.

Halifax's Regular Saver will pay 10 per cent, up from 7.3 per cent last year, and Bradford and Bingley's fixed-rate bonds for varying terms will pay 7 per cent, up from 6.45. These attractive rates are intended to lure savers in through the doors to provide a source of income for banks and building societies as the money markets become increasingly expensive.

Michelle Slade, an analyst at Moneyfacts, said people should seize the opportunity: "Anyone with money to save should take advantage of these superb rates. Who knows how long they will last?"

But while savers celebrate, mortgage customers are feeling the strain. "They have been dealt further blows," said Ms Slade, "as lenders such as Halifax, Abbey, Bradford & Bingley and Nationwide have all announced increases to their rates."