Product Spotlight: Two-year fixed rate ISAs
If you’re looking to make the most of this year’s ISA allowance but don’t want to lock your money away for too long, a two-year ISA could be the perfect compromise. Here are the top deals currently available.
• Taking the top spot is State Bank of India, with 2 Year Cash ISA Fixed Deposit paying 0.65% AER on maturity. The account can be opened with a minimum deposit of £5,000 with transfers of previous cash ISAs accepted, after which no further additions can be made. Earlier access is possible, subject to 30 days’ notice, closure of the account and a 1% loss of interest after the first anniversary, with no interest paid if the account is closed within the first year. The account can be opened and operated online, in branch or by post, and savers must have a new current or savings account with the bank in order to apply.
• Next up is Close Brothers Savings, with 2 Year Fixed Rate Cash ISA paying 0.60% AER on its anniversary from a minimum investment of £10,000. Further additions are permitted within 10 days of account opening and transfers in are accepted, though any access to funds prior to maturity will only be possible on closure of the account and subject to a 150-day loss of interest penalty. The account must be opened online but can then be managed by post and phone as well. You can find out more or apply online by going straight to the provider’s website.
• Completing the top three is Aldermore, with 2 Year Fixed Rate Cash ISA paying 0.60% AER on maturity. This internet-operated account requires a minimum investment of £1,000 and permits further additions for 14 days from account opening, with transfers in accepted and earlier access to funds possible on 180 days’ loss of interest. A version of the account that pays interest monthly is also available.
You can find more of the best two-year fixed rate ISAs by heading to our chart.
Product spotlight: 80% LTV buy-to-let mortgages
If you’re looking for a buy-to-let (BTL) loan to start or expand your portfolio, here are the best buy-to-let mortgages for landlords with a 20% deposit (80% loan-to-value).
• First up is Loughborough Building Society, with a two-year discounted variable rate of 3.15% (2.19% discount) (5.2% APRC) that reverts to 5.34% variable thereafter. There are no product fees to pay, it permits overpayments and it offers free valuation as an additional incentive, and it’s available to second-time purchase and remortgage customers.
• Molo Finance has several deals available in this sector, with offers varying according to the term, buyer profile and fee structure. The option that leads the way on our chart is the five-year fixed rate offer priced at 3.29% (4.3% APRC), which reverts to 4.41% variable after the initial term. It has a fee of £1,750 and is available to house purchase and remortgage customers, and it permits overpayments as well. You can find out more and apply online by heading to the provider’s site.
• Accord Mortgages also has a number of options available in this space, most notably the 3.32% (4.3% APRC) deal that’s fixed to 31 October 2026 before reverting to 4.49% variable. It is available to second-time purchasers only, has a fee of £1,995 and permits overpayments, and it also boasts a generous incentive package of free valuation and £500 cashback.
Find more of the best 80% LTV buy-to-let mortgages.
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Inflation more than doubles to 1.5% – how will it impact savers?
This week’s announcement that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) has risen to 1.5% – a sharp rise of 0.8% – will come as a disappointment to savers, as no savings accounts can currently match or beat this inflation rate. Indeed, despite some average rates seeing a slight boost this month, the nearest rate offered comes from Shawbrook Bank paying 1.42% AER, and savers will need to lock away their cash for seven years in order to achieve it.
“The current level of inflation [means that] the spending power of their cash has been eroded in real terms,” explained Rachel Springall, finance expert at Moneyfacts.co.uk. “This news could well overshadow the otherwise positive changes we have seen on some of the top fixed rate bonds and ISAs.” As such, some may wish to consider stocks and shares ISAs or similar investments as an alternative; find out more on our how to invest your money page.
Mortgage rates fall below 1.00% – should you remortgage?
Homeowners looking to remortgage can now get a rate of below 1.00%, with two mortgage lenders – TSB and Hinckley & Rugby Building Society – offering mortgage deals at 0.99%. This has the power to significantly reduce mortgage payments, particularly those on their standard variable rate (SVR), which means now could be a great time to consider remortgaging.
Competition is rife elsewhere in the market too, and even those unable to meet the LTV requirements of the two sub-1% deals (which require LTVs of 60% and 65% respectively) could still benefit from low-rate options. You can use our mortgage repayment calculator to see how much you could save, and if you’re considering going down this route, make sure to speak to a mortgage broker to consider your options.
2021 banking service results – how does your bank compare?
The latest bank service standards data from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has been released, enabling consumers to see how quickly their bank is able to complete everyday requests such as account opening, receiving a debit card or getting an overdraft. Knowing how your bank compares can be a great way to gauge its service level, as well as if you could be better off looking elsewhere.
For example, the data shows that, on average, just five banks enable customers to open an account on the same day as applying – Bank of Scotland, Halifax, Lloyds Bank, Metro Bank and Nationwide Building Society – and just three banks enable customers to get online banking provision the same day. However, 14 banks were able to offer an overdraft on the same day as applying, and if you lost your card, Metro Bank can, on average, replace it the same day. Read on to find out more stats from the banking service standards, or if you’re considering applying for a new account, find out how to switch current accounts before searching for the best deals.
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Deal of the week
Home insurance broker
Having the right home insurance can give you peace of mind that your home and belongings are financially protected, but it isn’t always easy to find the right policy for your needs. Our list of the best home insurance policies in 2021 can be a great place to start, but if you want a more personalised overview of your options, heading to a broker such as Quotezone is the ideal next step. Just fill in a single form and you’ll be presented with the very best quotes that have been tailored to your circumstances, and then all you have to do is compare the available policies and make your decision.
Deal of the week
Travel insurance can offer valuable protection against the financial risks involved in travelling, from lost luggage and stolen belongings to medical expenses and cancelled hotel bookings, and is arguably even more important in the current climate with the Coronavirus pandemic continuing to take its toll. Admiral’s travel insurance policies combine all of these features and more besides, including COVID-19 cover, with three distinct packages that can be tailored according to your needs. Plus, if you use code MONEYFACTS10, you can get an additional 10% off, too. Check all terms and conditions before you apply.