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Less than 2% of savings market beats inflation: where to put your money

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Rates on savings accounts are rising but nearly all are failing to outpace inflation, meaning most savers are still losing money in real terms.

The number of rate increases hit a record high in September, just a month after the base rate rise, with 309 rises recorded compared with just 33 cuts, according to analysis from data firm Moneyfacts.

However, with today’s figures showing inflation last month falling to 2.4%, this means just 20 accounts beat or match inflation – less than 2% of the market.

All these accounts are fixed rate deals, meaning anyone with money in an easy access account is losing money once inflation is taken into consideration.

As it stands, even the top-paying easy access rate paying 1.50% from Marcus by Goldman Sachs would easily be eroded by inflation.

Rachel Springall of Moneyfacts said: “Despite this positive boom in savings rate rises, rates in general are failing to outpace the rate of inflation, which is currently eroding a large portion of the standard savings market. Inflation will need to fall sharply for savers to feel a real return, otherwise the spending power of their cash will continue to weaken.”

How to beat inflation

The only savings accounts to overcome the effects of inflation are fixed rate bonds. The top paying standard deal comes from Ikano Bank paying 2.7% with savers required to lock their money away for five years. Masthaven Bank has a four-year bond paying 2.53% and Tandem Bank’s three-year product pays 2.4%, matching inflation. (See table below for more deals).

Another option is high interest current accounts but these often come with certain eligibility criteria.

For example, Nationwide offers 5% on balances up to £2,500 but savers need to deposit at least £1,000 a month into their account.

Sarah Coles, personal finance analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said savers should spread their money across different products: “The key is to put your money in the right place – with emergency cash in an easy access account, and money you are saving for a year or longer in a fixed rate account in return for a higher interest rate. You also need to stay active and move your money when a deal expires.”

For longer-term savings, she suggests a stockmarket-linked investment.

“Your capital will be at risk, but over the long term it has far more potential for growth than cash in a savings account, so you can soup up your savings performance and stand a far better chance of overtaking inflation.”

Inflation beating or matching accounts

Company Notice Rate £10k Min
BLME 7 Year Bond 2.75% £10,000 Linked Product (Non-Funded): Must have or open a BLME current account to hold funds pending investment. Islamic bank.
Ikano Bank 5 Year Bond 2.70% £1,000
BLME 5 Year Bond 2.70% £10,000 Linked Product (Non-Funded): Must have or open a BLME current account to hold funds pending investment. Islamic bank.
Close Brothers Savings 5 Year Bond 2.70% £10,000
Masthaven Bank 5 Year Bond 2.69% £500
Gatehouse Bank 5 Year Bond 2.68% £1,000 Islamic bank.
Gatehouse Bank 5 Year Bond 2.68% £1,000 Islamic bank.
Paragon Bank 5 Year Bond 2.66% £1,000
Masthaven Bank 48 Month Bond 2.53% £500 Terms between 6 months and 5 years available paying between 1.60% and 2.69%.
Atom Bank 5 Year Bond 2.50% £50
Hodge Bank 5 Year Bond 2.50% £1,000
Tesco Bank 5 Year Bond 2.50% £2,000
Ikano Bank 4 Year Bond 2.45% £1,000
Vanquis Bank 5 Year Bond 2.45% £1,000
BLME 4 Year Bond 2.45% £10,000 Linked Product (Non-Funded): Must have or open a BLME current account to hold funds pending investment. Islamic bank.
PCF Bank 4 Year Bond 2.40% £1,000
Al Rayan Bank 36 Month Bond 2.40% £1,000 Islamic bank.
Tandem Bank 3 Year Bond 2.40% £1,000
Shawbrook Bank 7 Year Bond 2.40% £5,000 No cash transactions.
BLME 3 Year Bond 2.40% £10,000 Linked Product (Non-Funded): Must have or open a BLME current account to hold funds pending investment. Islamic bank.

Source: Moneyfacts. 17/10/18

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