Cash ISAs thrive and remain essential for savers

by | Feb 6, 2024

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Cash ISAs are thriving, with savings providers offering better rates than a year ago. The latest analysis by Moneyfactscompare.co.uk highlights the latest top rates and how average returns have changed over time.

  • Top ISA rates have risen considerably over the past 12 months, across easy access, notice, one-year and five-year fixed terms. With non-ISA rates also on the rise, there is a chance of consumers breaching their Personal Savings Allowance (PSA).
  • Those who locked into the top one-year fixed rate ISA a year ago will find the equivalent top deal now pays 1.00% more.
  • The top rate on a five-year fixed ISA pays 2.34% more than the equivalent deal in February 2019.
Savings market analysis – average rates and top rates
Average savings ratesFeb-14Feb-19Feb-23Feb-24
Easy access ISA1.24%0.96%1.85%3.30%
Easy access (non-ISA)0.63%0.65%1.73%3.17%
Notice ISA1.56%1.14%2.57%4.16%
Notice account (non-ISA)0.81%1.09%2.55%4.30%
One-year fixed rate ISA1.65%1.37%3.41%4.51%
One-year fixed rate bond1.52%1.47%3.61%4.62%
Five-year fixed rate ISA2.76%1.90%3.68%3.83%
Five-year fixed rate bond2.61%2.13%4.04%3.88%
Average rates (gross) based on a £10,000 deposit on a 1st of month basis.
Source: Moneyfactscompare.co.uk
Top ratesFeb-14Feb-19Feb-236-Feb-24
Easy access ISANS&I – 1.75%Paragon Bank – 1.45%Virgin Money – 3.00%Moneybox – 5.09%
Easy access (non-ISA)krbs – 1.60%ICICI Bank UK – 1.54%HSBC – 2.97%Ulster Bank – 5.20%
Notice ISAFurness Building Society (90-day) – 1.80%Charter Savings Bank (95-day) – 1.45%Loughborough Building Society (120-day) – 3.05%Chorley Building Society (150-day) – 5.05%
Notice account (non-ISA)Islamic Bank of Britain (120-day) – 1.80%Charter Savings Bank (95-day) – 1.90%Hinckley & Rugby BS (120-day) – 3.60%FirstSave (90-day) – 5.40%
One-year fixed rate ISABritannia – 1.85%Cynergy Bank – 1.73%Virgin Money – 4.25%Virgin Money – 5.25%
One-year fixed rate bondIslamic Bank of Britain – 1.90%Al Rayan Bank – 2.15%*SmartSave – 4.16%SmartSave– 5.16%
Five-year fixed rate ISALeeds Building Society – 3.05%Coventry Building Society – 2.30%UBL UK – 4.46% (on maturity)UBL UK – 4.64% (on maturity)
Five-year fixed rate bondUnited Bank UK – 3.36% (on maturity)Bank of London and The Middle East – 2.70%UBL UK – 4.63% (on maturity)UBL UK – 4.64% (on maturity)
Top rates (gross) based on a £10,000 deposit, on a 1st of month basis unless specified, for new customers. Higher rates may be available for other levels of deposit. *Expected profit rate. **Rebranded to Al Rayan Bank. ***Now UBL UK.Source: Moneyfactscompare.co.uk

Rachel Springall, Finance Expert at Moneyfactscompare.co.uk, said:

“Savers may be delighted to see that Cash ISAs have improved over the past year and providers have started reviewing their ranges for a new ISA season. Those savers who locked into the top one-year fixed ISA this time last year will be pleased to see they can earn 1.00% more in the equivalent Cash ISA. If consumers prefer to invest over the longer-term, they will find the top five-year fixed ISA pays significantly more than the equivalent back in 2019. Over the years, Cash ISAs have been an essential way for consumers to protect their savings returns from tax, and they are still worth taking advantage of today.

 
 

“As interest rates rose sharply last year, those savers who decided to invest their cash outside of an ISA wrapper may breach their Personal Savings Allowance (PSA). Cash ISAs could be a better option, particularly for higher rate taxpayers with a large nest egg. As we have seen over time, the top Cash ISAs across both the variable and fixed markets tend to pay slightly less than their taxable counterparts, but it is worth noting not every provider offers a Cash ISA and there are administration costs for those which do offer an ISA. The longer-term tax-free wrapper is the benefit of a Cash ISA, protecting returns regardless of interest rate rises. Despite its introduction in April 2016, the PSA limits have not been increased and interest rates are much higher.

“Savers comparing rates today and wishing to move their existing ISA pot must ensure they transfer the cash to keep its tax-free wrapper, but note that not every Cash ISA will permit transfers in from Cash ISAs or Stocks and Shares ISAs. Those who want to spread their cash across variable and fixed rates could do so with a provider that offers this option, and the ISA reforms coming into place in the 2024/2025 tax year could entice more consumers to use ISAs. It’s an exciting year ahead for Cash ISAs and it will be interesting to see if providers attract deposits.”

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