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£300bn of easy access cash earns just 0.1% interest

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More than £300bn of cash in easy access accounts earns just 0.1% interest or less as the number paying paltry rates has tripled in the year.

Balances in easy access accounts earning less than 0.1% have steadily increased over the course of the year – from 19% in January to 34% in April.

By June, this figure had risen to 40% but the fastest rise was seen between August and September, with 56% of balances earning 0.1% or less, Paragon Bank analysis of CACI data revealed.

This comes at a time when Bank of England data showed that total household deposits now stand at £1.5trn and have grown by £106bn between January and October 2020.

According to CACI data of more than 30 savings providers, the savings market has grown twice as fast this year compared to 2019, with a 5.99% increase in total balances noted between January and September 2020, compared to 2.78% last year.

Most of this increase can be attributed to non-ISA easy access accounts, which have witnessed their growth triple compared to last year. In 2020, instant access non-ISA stock grew by 10.3% between January and September, while it increased by only 3.6% during the same period last year.

Meanwhile UK savers pumped an additional £53bn into easy access savings in the nine months to September, compared to £17bn in the same period last year.

Paragon Bank said the total easy access balances earning a rate of 0.1% or less now stands at £313bn, representing millions of pounds worth of lost interest.

Savers encouraged to look for the best deal

Derek Sprawling, savings director at Paragon Bank, said: “The value of easy access stock receiving a rate of 0.1% has now tipped over 50% for the first time this year, with a steep increase in September.

“The timing aligns with a rate reduction announcement made by a government-backed provider. This caused significant market disruption, leading to deposits flooding out into the market at an unprecedented rate.

“The data also suggests that many savers have given in to inertia. People are likely to be opening accounts linked to their current account for ease of access, but those often pay a lower than average rate of interest.

“In today’s digital world, opening and servicing a non-linked savings account is often easier than people think. Moving money from the large high street banks has never been easier so we would encourage savers to look for the best deal for their money.”

Related: See’s The savings accounts paying the most interest for more information.

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