Save, make, understand money


Savers face triple whammy of low rates, high inflation and short-lived deals

Joanna Faith
Written By:
Joanna Faith

Savers are being hit by a triple whammy of record low interest rates, soaring inflation and market leading deals disappearing within days.

According to the latest data from the Office for National Statistics, the annual growth in prices was 2.1% in May, up from 1.5% in April.

The sharp rise in inflation means no savings accounts on the market offers a real return so savers have no way of retaining the spending power of their cash.

Adding to their problems, savers are having to act fast to get the best rates with some market-leading deals lasting just a few days.

For example, Aldermore hit the headlines earlier this month with the launch of its one-year fixed bond paying a market-leading 1%, but the rate dropped to 0.75% within a week.

Atom Bank and Zopa had one-year fixed bonds paying 0.85% in May, but Atom Bank has since cut its rate to 0.75% and Zopa now pays 0.80%.

Rachel Springall, finance expert at Moneyfacts, said: “Inflation is clearly unforgiving on savers’ cash and the rate is expected to rise further in the months to come.

“There is currently not one standard savings account that can outpace its eroding power and we may see the rate rise to 2.3% in 2022.

“Savers who are already locked into an account that beats today’s inflation rate would be wise to see when their deal is set to mature and start to consider where to save their cash next.”

Losing money

The top paying easy access account today comes from Atom Bank, but at a rate of 0.5%, you’ll lose money in real terms. Indeed, even locking your money up for five years with UBL UK and securing a rate of 1.6% means you will fail to keep pace with inflation.

The dire savings situation has led to calls for savers to consider investing their nest eggs to get some return on their money.

Jason Hollands, managing director of investment firm Bestinvest, said: “Many people hold far too much in cash deposits, earning little in the way of interest given interest rates are at an all-time low. With inflation rising, it is worth considering whether your mix between cash savings and longer-term investments is right.

“While it is wise to hold some cash savings for short-term needs and unforeseen emergencies, amassing a vast cash war chest that will be left untouched for several years may feel like a financial comfort blanket but, in truth, it provides a false sense of security as the real value will be eroded by inflation over time.”