Savers should be prepared for even more rate cuts

18th February 2016

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Rate ruts across the savings market have now outweighed rises for four consecutive months, according to Moneyfacts.co.uk.

In January, the firm recorded just 21 savings rate rises, with only one deal posting a significant increase of 0.20%.

Disappointingly, rate reductions over the same period completely eclipsed this figure, with the number of rate decreases over the month standing at a staggering 138, with some deals falling by as much as 0.75%.

While this is certainly bleak news, at least savers’ precious funds won’t be greatly affected by inflation: inflation statistics released today show that the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) increased from 0.2% to 0.3% during January, which means they have little to worry about in terms of savings erosion.

As a result the vast majority of the 837 savings accounts currently on the market can beat or match the cost of living and of these are without restrictive criteria.

Rachel Springall, finance expert at Moneyfacts.co.uk, said: “Savings rate cuts are becoming firmly entrenched in 2016, which will be disappointing news to savers who had been hoping that this year would be a turning point for the savings market.

“This year’s ISA season is likely to be a shadow of its former self after January saw 30 rate cuts made to ISAs compared with just seven rises, with reductions as high as 0.44% being made in some cases. So far this year the only decent ISAs to surface have been the Help to Buy: ISAs, which are only available to first-time buyers.”

Springall highlighted that over the last few years lending initiatives have caused a lot of damage to the savings market. She noted that in 2012 the average rate on a two-year fixed bond was 3.31% yearly, but today it’s halved to just 1.66%.

“Dampened competition could even mean that we begin to see challenger banks, which currently hold sway over the Best Buys, price down their savings deals. Most recently RCI Bank UK dropped its market-leading easy access savings rate from 1.65% yearly to 1.55%, although it still sits head and shoulders above its closest rival,” added Springhall.

“With a rise to base rate now expected to be put back until next year, savers are unlikely to see a spurt of competition in the market and should therefore brace themselves for more rate cuts.”

 

 

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