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Atom Bank launches trio of savings accounts paying up to 4.45%

Written by: Rebecca Goodman
Atom Bank has launched three new savings accounts, fixed for one, two or three years, each with a minimum deposit of £50.

Savers can earn 4.45% with both the two- and three-year accounts and 4.3% with the one-year account.

The challenger bank has consistently remained at the top of the savings tables in the last year, with several market-leading launches including a nine-month fixed-rate account.

However, while these three new accounts aren’t market-leading, they’re just behind the top rates, and require a much lower deposit level for those with more modest savings.

Al Rayan Bank just pips Atom to the top spot, with savers locking their cash away for one year earning 4.31%, for two-years, they can net 4.47%, or 4.57% with a three-year account. Meanwhile SmartSave offers 4.31% on its one-year bond, and 4.46% on both the two-year and three-year bond.

Atom Bank vs Al Rayan Bank and SmartSave

The accounts from Al Rayan Bank, which were launched earlier this week, are Sharia-compliant which means they pay an expected profit rate rather than guaranteed interest. This is the level of profit paid by the bank to the saver.

The minimum opening balance for each of the accounts is £5,000 and they can be opened through digital banking, online, or by phone. All accounts are managed digitally or by post.

SmartSave today climbed to the top of the tables with its offerings on the three accounts, and it is also top in the four- and five-year categories in terms of guaranteed interest, according to Savings Champion.

However, savers will need a hefty deposit, as the minimum amount to open an account stands at £10,000, double the requirement at Al Rayan and far above Atom’s modest £50 deposit.

SmartSave pays interest on maturity, while with Al Rayan it is paid quarterly. Atom pays interest on the anniversary of opening the account.

SmartSave can be opened online while with Atom, an account can be opened via mobile banking.

Will savings rates rise further?

Following the Bank of England’s successive base rate rises, several providers have upped the rate they pay on savings accounts.

Savings rates are now at a 14-year high and product choice has risen to 1,727 savings deals, representing the biggest month-on-month increase since March 2022. This time last year, there were 1,223 products, while in January 2021, there were 1,064.

Many savers are now questioning whether to lock in their savings with a fixed-rate bond or to wait and see if rates increase further.

Providers are responding and several have launched fixed-rate accounts whereby money doesn’t need to be locked away for a long period. Atom Bank, for example, also has a six-month fixed-rate account paying 3.75%.

Rachel Springall, finance expert at Moneyfacts, said: “Savers who are prepared to lock their cash away for one year will find various brands offering a return of 4% or more on fixed rate bonds, including Atom Bank. It is important savers compare deals carefully before they apply but keep in mind that top deals can move in and out of the market quickly.

“Atom Bank are a challenger bank and can re-price their savings products quickly once they are close to their deposit targets to better manage demand.”

Anna Bowes, co-founder of Savings Champion said it is great news that there is still a bit of competition pushing rates up. But she added: “How long this will keep up for is anyone’s guess – the markets are predicting that we are close to the top of the rising interest rate cycle, and this sentiment is likely to be already priced into the rates currently on offer.

“So, if you see an account that you are interested in, it is probably sensible to snap it up while you can. Remember, all the time you are waiting for a better rate to come along, you are missing out on higher interest in the meantime.”

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