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Spend & Save

Savings: Building societies beat banks

For consistency, try the mutuals

If you want to consistently get the best return on your savings during straitened economic times, Moneyfacts recommends placing your hard-earned cash in building societies instead of banks.

The financial information service looked at providers that have appeared in the "best buy" tables over the past 18 months and found that although banks did well occasionally, 75 per cent of the accounts deemed to pay a consistently high rate were from building societies.

To compile its list of the most consistent individual savings accounts (ISAs), Moneyfacts examined the rates paid in the past 18 months and then produced an average for the period.

Top of the charts were the Kent Reliance building society's direct cash ISA, followed by the National Savings ISA. Looking over a longer period – three years – Kent Reliance topped the table again followed by Yorkshire building society and then Tipton & Crossley building society.

However, none of these are the current best buys. At present, the highest-paying cash ISAs are from Manchester building society (6.5 per cent), Icelandic bank Icesave (6.1 per cent) and Barclays bank (6.08 per cent).