Fixed-rate ISA numbers soar

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The Independent Online

The number of available fixed-rate ISAs has soared 10-fold during the past decade as banks have become increasingly reliant on using savers' money to fund their mortgage-lending, according to Moneyfacts.co.uk.

There are now 139 fixed-rate ISAs on the market, compared with just 14 accounts 10 years ago. The group attributed the rise in the number of accounts to lenders' reliance on using the funds to fund their mortgage-lending following the credit crunch. Under the terms of most fixed-rate ISAs, people cannot access their money until the fixed period has expired, giving banks more certainty over how long they will have the cash.

However, Michelle Slade, a spokeswoman for Moneyfacts.co.uk, warned: "Savers looking to fix for longer periods need to consider that the rate may be far less competitive in a few years' time when the Bank base rate has risen from its present all-time low."

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