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Inflation-beating accounts halve in just a month

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The number of savings accounts which can now beat inflation has halved in the past month with savers warned they may soon disappear altogether.

The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) measure of inflation rose to 0.7% in October 2020, up from 0.5% in September, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Meanwhile the rates offered on savings accounts has fallen amid the pandemic with just 227 deals available which can outpace inflation, data from Moneyfacts revealed.

This number is down from 444 seen last month (beating the 0.5% inflation figure).

Of the standard savings accounts which can now match or beat the 0.7% inflation rate, Moneyfacts noted this includes nine easy access accounts, 21 notice accounts, six variable rate ISAs, 48 fixed rate ISAs and 172 fixed rate bonds (based on a £10,000 deposit).

Compared to November 2019, there were 224 deals which could beat the October CPI of 1.5% while in November 2018, 20 fixed rate bonds could outpace the higher 2.4% October CPI.

Moneyfacts warned that as the rate of inflation is expected to climb next year while savings rates are likely to remain volatile, it could mean no deals will outpace inflation.

Rachel Springall, finance expert at Moneyfacts, said: “Inflation-beating rates are still available in the savings market for now, but if the rate of inflation rises as predicted next year, most savers will be losing money in real terms based on today’s top rates. Indeed, in Q4 2021 inflation is predicted to hit 2.1%, and today the best fixed rates on the market are a five and seven-year fixed bond from Bank of London and The Middle East at 1.50% as an expected profit rate.

“There could be reluctance among savers to commit to a longer-term fixed bond today, and indeed they may prefer to have their cash closer to hand in light of the pandemic. It’s wise for savers to store some cash in an easily accessible place in case of emergencies, and an easy access account or ISA could be a good choice in this instance. Savers who may have saved up some funds with excess disposable income due to the lockdown should compare deals quickly as the top rates have moved in recent weeks.”

Springall added: “It will be up to savers to decide what account is right for their circumstances, but it’s vital they consider alternatives to the high street banks, as they can pay as little as 0.01%. The more unfamiliar brands such as challenger banks as well as building societies are currently paying top rates and are perfectly safe so long as they are covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), the very same scheme that protects saver’s cash stored with the big banks.”

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