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Are UK Savings Interest Rates Finally Starting to Rise? Best Cash ISA 2017

Personal_Finance / ISA's Feb 27, 2017 - 04:59 PM GMT

By: Nadeem_Walayat

Personal_Finance

According to some analysts there are emerging signs of life in the UK savings markets, so as the tax year draws to a close I take a look at if the Cash ISA market is finally starting to offer some hope to Britain's savers after a near 5 years of a catastrophic downward death spiral in interest rates, one of being ripped off by the tax payer bailed out banking crime syndicate that for the duration has continued to bank bonuses on artificial profits engineered by the Bank of England in an attempt at recapitalisng the bankrupt banks all whilst the savers continue to suffer and pay the price in terms of loss of purchasing power of savings by means of sub inflation interest rates.


For example analysis by Moneyfacts.co.uk, concludes that UK fixed savings bond interest rates are now at their highest for 10 months!

Though of course the saving rates 10 months ago were pretty rubbish, it's just that the got even worse as they drifted lower into the start of 2017. Still some signs for hope.

UK Savings Interest Rates Collapse

My tracking of the Halifax Cash ISA's best illustrates the relentless collapse in UK savings interest rates. Firstly, the Halifax Mid 2016 withdrew virtually all of their fixed rate accounts. However, to continue with this long standing series for when longer duration fixed rates return, I have applied the percentage change on the 1 year fixed rate to fixes for preceding longer duration terms (in red) to illustrate what has happened to the UK savings market.

Halifax ISA's May 2012 Sept 2012 Nov 2012 Mar 2013 May 2013 July 2013 Mar 2014 June 2014 Mar 2015 April 2016 Aug 2016 Nov 2016 Feb 2017 % Cut
Instant Access
3%
2.75%
2.35%
1.75%
1.35% 1.35% 1.5% 1.30% 1.05% 0.60% 0.40% 0.35% 0.35% -88%
1 Year Fix
2.25%
2.05%
2.05%
1.75% 1.75% 1.65% 1.5% 1.40%   0.90% 0.65% 0.65% -71%
2 Year Fix
4.00%
3.25%
2.25%
2.5%
2.10% 2.10% 2.05% 1.8% 1.65% 1.25% 1.06% 0.75% 0.75% -81%
3 Year Fix
4.25%
3.75%
2.35%
3.00%
2.25% 2.25% 2.25% 2% 1.75%   1.125 0.80% 0.80% -81%
4 Year Fix
4.35%
3.80%
2.40%
3.05%
2.30% 2.30% 2.40% 2.10% 1.85%   1.19% 0.86% 0.86% -80%
5 Year Fix
4.50%
4.15%
2.60%
3.10%
2.35% 2.35% 2.5% 2.20% 2.00% 2.00% 1.28% 0.92% 0.92% -80%

 

Unfortunately for those already or seeking to save with the Halifax then there is NO SIGN of recovery from the ISA INTEREST RATES CRASH CATASTROPHE! The Halifax continues to throw scraps from its table at it's Cash ISA savers, this whilst the UK inflation rate is soaring to towards 3% RPI and 2% CPI! Which means that the Halifax is definitely one of the tax payer bailed out banks to avoid!

Cash Best ISA 2017

Whilst the Halifax is a big fat fail, so are there any cash ISA providers out there that are managing to at least match CPI inflation?

  • Easy Access - Sainsbury's Banks 0.85%
  • 1 Year Fix - Aldermore 1%
  • 2 Year Fix - Aldermore 1.20%
  • 3 Year Fix - Leeds BS 1.30%
  • 4 Year Fix - Julian Hodge Bank 1.3%
  • 5 Year Fix - Virgin Money 1.65%

Current CPI is at 1.8%, so NO, ALL of the ISA providers FAIL to even match CPI Inflation! This is what happens when the Bank of England supports its banking brethren for over 8 years with printed money! all backed by Britain's sucker tax payers who continues to be fleeced of the purchasing power of their savings. The solution of course is to invest in assets that are LEVERAGED to central bank money printing, such as housing and stocks as I have covered extensively in many articles and videos over the years.

Alternatives to Traditional Cash ISA's

So what to do if savers are determined to retain a sizeable rainy day cash savings fund?

Well that depends on ones age and family circumstance, for instance -

1. Do you have children?

2. Are you under 40 ?

3. How close are you to 55 years of age or already beyond?

Child / Junior Cash ISA's

Whilst one will be very lucky to find a cash ISA account that pays more than 2% today, i.e. the best I can see out there is 1.45% for a 5 year fix! That's right! FIVE YEARS! In my opinion any savings account that pays less than RPI amounts to stealth THEFT, and with RPI currently at 2% that means every savings account being sold today guarantees the theft of the value of ones savings!

However there is a glimmer of hope for people with children, in fact children under the age of 18 can be utilised to park long-term savings with tax free! AND the rates typically can be near double the adult rate! For instance the current best rate is with the Coventry ISA that pays 3.25% per year!

Key points are that there is a deposit limit of £4,080 per tax year and the funds cannot be accessed until the child turns 18. Oh and the money belongs to child, so you have to factor in whether ones sweet 13 year old will become a rebellious 18 year old and decide to blow the money on a fast car or worse drugs!

Life Time ISA's (LISA)

LISA's are George Osborne's (remember him?) March 2016 bribe to savers / cash give away that goes live in April 2017. Unfortunately only available to the UNDER 40's! For every £4k (max) deposited each year the government will top the LISA up with a £1k bonus or 25%. That's potential free money from the government of £32k! from Age 18 to 50. WITH interest on top! Albeit today's interest rates of 1% are rubbish.

However there is a catch. The money can either only be used to buy ones first home, OR be locked in until Age 60! So it really is a long-term inflexible savings vehicle. But in my opinion very much worth it as part of a savings portfolio!

There is also the Help to Buy ISA, but that only results in a maximum bonus of £3k. However you could have BOTH a HTB and LISA but you can only utilise ONE to buy your first home, which means the HTB and thus would be locked into the LISA until age 60. However you can transfer EXISTING HTB's into a LISA from April 2017.

Pension Contributions

And finally if your nearing the minimum age for drawing down on private pension pension at age 55 such as the SIPPs. Then you could look to top up your pension fund and the tax man will ADD to it at your highest tax rate!

For everyone, no matter whether one pays any tax or even works the minimum top up is 20% i.e. for a £1k contribution one would deposit £800 and the tax man will top it up with £200, that's a 25% instant return on ones deposit!

Whilst a 40% tax payer for a £1k contribution would only need to deposit £600, with the tax man topping up with £400, thus an instant 66% return on ones deposit.

Of course the money is taxable when drawn, and would need to be invested of which the safest asset class would be short-dated bonds.

So there you have 3 methods towards alleviating Britain's savings crisis. All of which need careful thought before entering into and are best part of an overall portfolio of long-term savings strategy so as to retain flexibility whilst maximising return on ones capital.

Personally I utilise child ISA's and pensions contributions to help beat the UK savings crisis. Unfortunately I am not eligible for the LISA when it goes live, else that too would form part of my savings portfolio.

By Nadeem Walayat

http://www.marketoracle.co.uk

Copyright © 2005-2017 Marketoracle.co.uk (Market Oracle Ltd). All rights reserved.

Nadeem Walayat has over 30 years experience of trading derivatives, portfolio management and analysing the financial markets, including one of few who both anticipated and Beat the 1987 Crash. Nadeem's forward looking analysis focuses on UK inflation, economy, interest rates and housing market. He is the author of five ebook's in the The Inflation Mega-Trend and Stocks Stealth Bull Market series that can be downloaded for Free.

Housing Markets Forecast 2014-2018The Stocks Stealth Bull Market 2013 and Beyond EbookThe Stocks Stealth Bull Market Update 2011 EbookThe Interest Rate Mega-Trend EbookThe Inflation Mega-trend Ebook

Nadeem is the Editor of The Market Oracle, a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication that presents in-depth analysis from over 1000 experienced analysts on a range of views of the probable direction of the financial markets, thus enabling our readers to arrive at an informed opinion on future market direction. http://www.marketoracle.co.uk

Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any trading losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors before engaging in any trading activities.

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© 2005-2017 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


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