Good news for downtrodden savers - NatWest has launched a new market-leading easy access savings account paying 2.85%.
The NatWest e-Savings account will pay a rate of 2.85% AER on savings to new or existing customers. The account is made up of a special limited edition fixed bonus of 1.81% and a standard variable interest rate of 1.0%.
After 12 months the generous bonus will drop off so you will need to move your savings on if you want to earn a decent rate of interest.
But you can start saving from £1 and the market-leading rate will apply to savings up to £1,000,000. Balances over £1,000,000 will not be eligible for the bonus, but will instead receive the standard variable interest rate.
The account is only available to operate online or using a mobile, so this may not suit savers that prefer to go into a branch.
But NatWest has warned that this easy access savings account will only be on offer for a limited period, so if you like the sound of it, you'll need to move quickly.
Savers will be familiar with disappearing products and declining rates.
Only a week ago the previous market-leading Allied Irish Bank Easy Access Reward Account (Issue 2) paying 2.80% (including a bonus of 1.30%) was withdrawn, leaving the Easy Access Account Issue 3 paying a clean 2.5%.
Elsewhere ING Direct has been executing a steady reduction in rates over the past few months. In September the ING Direct Savings Account paid a reasonable 2.7% (including a 2.17% bonus). Today it pays 2.5% with a smaller 1.97% underlying bonus.
Halifax too is guilty of punishing savers. Recently the bank dropped its Online Saver rate from 2.8% to 2.05%.
Saving rates are either being slashed or products just disappear. So if you're interested in saving you should act quickly once you've found an account paying a top rate as they are unlikely to stick around for long.
We regularly update the rates and products on offer across a range of savings accounts. You can keep on top of the most current deals for easy access in: The best instant access savings accounts.
Top ten instant access accounts
Here are the top ten easy access accounts around at the moment for you to see how the NatWest deal compares.
As you can see from the table the top accounts paying the best rate include an underlying bonus.
This guarantees your savings won't suffer should there be any changes to the variable rate. But they only act as a buffer for a limited period - usually only 12 months. After this the rate plummets so it's best to remember the anniversary, so you can move your savings onto a better home.
If you want less hassle from your savings account, the best clean rate on offer at the moment comes from the Allied Irish Bank (GB) Easy Access Account Issue 3 , the Barnsley BS Online Saver Issue 2 or the Saffron Building Society e-Saver Issue 6, which all pay a variable rate of 2.5%.