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Record inflation jump overshadows savings rate rises

Joanna Faith
Written By:
Joanna Faith

Savings rates have vastly improved in recent months, but the dramatic rise in inflation means savers still have a battle on their hands to protect their cash.

Figures published today show the consumer price index (CPI) jumped to 3.2 per cent in August, up from 2 per cent in July.

This is the highest rate in almost a decade and the biggest monthly increase since records began in 1997.

To counter its eroding effects, savers need an account paying an interest rate above inflation.

And while savings rates are better than they were, not one standard account currently pays more than 3.2 per cent.

In fact, the most savers can earn is 1.86 per cent from Atom Bank if they tie their money up in a five-year bond, according to data from Moneyfacts.

In more bad news for savers, the rate of inflation is set to rise further, with the Bank of England predicting it could reach 4 per cent by the end of the year.

Rachel Springall, finance expert at Moneyfacts, said: “There is an expectation for inflation to stay above the Bank of England target of 2 per cent for some time yet, but it is vital savers do not become apathetic as they could miss out on some of the best rates we have seen all year.

“Locking cash away for longer may not be feasible for some, indeed consumers may be reluctant to invest longer than a year at most due to the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on their financial health. However, savings providers are keen to draw in business and fixed rates have been rising substantially in recent months.

“Savers can now get a one-year bond paying 1.50 per cent (Atom Bank) but a year ago savers would have had to tie their money up for five years for a rate nearest to this return.

“Those who are averse to a fixed account will find easy access rates have improved since last month, but there is much more room for improvement as a year ago, savers could get a rate of 1.20 per cent (Skipton Building Society).”

Today, the top easy access account is from Tandem Bank paying 0.65 per cent.