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2016 has been a ‘wipeout’ for savers with worse to come

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The first half of 2016 has been a ‘total wipeout’ for savings with rates plummeting to ‘new lows’, according to data firm Moneyfacts.

It said there have been 900 individual cuts to savings rates since January and only 111 rate increases over the same period.

It also noted ‘a definite reluctance to compete’ among providers, and said the positive competition kick-started last year by challenger banks has been ‘short-lived’.

“The harsh reality kicked in during the early months of 2016, and rates subsequently fell to record lows,” said Charlotte Nelson, finance expert at Moneyfacts.

“Providers at the top of the best buys are pounced on by savers who are desperate to secure a decent interest rate, and as a result, these deals rarely remain on the market for long. Therefore, providers who want to be at the top of the market only need to offer a reasonable return to move into prime position.”

Moneyfacts data shows the average easy access account paid 0.64% in January but this rate dropped to 0.61% in April and then 0.56% this week.

The Bank of England has strongly hinted interest rates will be cut from 0.5% to 0.25% on Thursday.

“[Bank of England governor] Mark Carney’s announcement that the Bank of England Base Rate could fall past its record low of 0.50% in the near-future means that savers need to brace themselves for even tougher times ahead,” said Nelson.

“If a good deal is to be secured, savers will have to shop around and work hard, and keep a close eye on the market.”

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