There's an unfamiliar name at the top of the fixed rate bond best buy table.
There's a new name at the top of the best buy tables if you're in the market for a one-year bond: Jordan International Bank. It's a bank I'd never heard of until recently, but it's offering a rate far better than those on offer from the banks and building societies you see on the high street.
So what is Jordan International Bank? And is it a good home for your savings?
What is Jordan International Bank?
Jordan International Bank (JIB) was established back in the mid-1980s and is owned by two Jordanian banks: the Housing Bank for Trade & Finance and the Arab Jordan Investment Bank. It is based in
Knightsbridge in west London.
Up until a couple of years ago it operated as a "prestigious private bank". But it's now moving into retail banking, meaning it's opening its doors to the like of you and me.
How its savings rates compare
At a time when savings rates are in the doldrums, Jordan International Bank is behind one of the better deals on the market at the moment.
Here's how its one-year fixed rate bond compares to the other best buys:
As you can see from the table, you'll need to have a decent savings pot to put away, but JIB offers a joint market-leading rate. You also don't need to worry about trying to find a local branch as everything is handled online. Indeed, that's a common feature of the best rates currently on offer.
How safe is your money?
Jordan International Bank is part of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, so your money enjoys the same level of protection as it would if you placed it with Halifax, Nationwide or any other more familiar banking name.
That means the first £85,000 is covered entirely, should the Jordan International Bank collapse.
Ignoring the high street
As the table demonstrates, if you want to get a decent return on your cash you need to look beyond the more familiar names. The three best rates on one-year bonds come from banks with Middle Eastern roots, none of which are likely to be seen on your local high street.
It's a similar story if you want to lock your savings up for longer. If you lock your money up for 18 months then again Islamic Bank of Britain and the Bank of London and the Middle East offer the best returns at 2%.
Looking at two-year bonds, the best rate again comes from Islamic Bank of Britain at 2.30%, with a minimum £1,000 deposit, followed by Bank of London and the Middle East paying 2.25% with a minimum deposit of £25,000. After that you can get a rate of 2.10% from Shawbrook Bank with a £5,000 deposit or State Bank of India with a £10,000 deposit.
With three-year bonds the top rate of 2.70% comes from ICICI Bank's HiSave Fixed Rate Account, with a minimum deposit of £1,000, followed by Shawbrook Bank (2.65% with a £5,000 deposit), FirstSave (2.60% with a £1,000 deposit), Bank of London and the Middle East (2.50% with a £25,000 deposit) and State Bank of India (2.35% with a £10,000 deposit).
And with five-year bonds Shawbrook Bank leads the way, paying 3.10% on a minimum deposit of £5,000. This is the one area where a more mainstream name features as Skipton Building Society comes next, paying 3% with a minimum deposit of £500, though Aldermore (minimum deposit of £1,000) and Bank of London and Middle East (minimum deposit £25,000) match that rate.
Have you put your money into a bank that you're not overly familiar with in order to get a better return? Or do you prefer to deal with the traditional names? Let us know your thoughts in the Comments box below.