Only one in 15 savings accounts 'able to keep up with or beat inflation rate'

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Only around one in every 15 savings accounts on the market can now beat or even keep up with inflation, in what looks set to remain a "dreadful" time for savers, according to a website. 

Figures from Moneyfacts.co.uk shows that out of the 669 savings accounts currently available, just 44 - or around one in 15 deals - can beat or match the 1.6% Consumer Price Index (CPI) rate of inflation.

The number of rates being chopped across the savings markets has been outweighing the number of rises for the last 15 months in the low interest rate environment.

In December, around four rates were being cut for every rate that increased, Moneyfacts said. Some 84 rates decreased last month, while just 21 increased.

Rachel Springall, a finance expert at Moneyfacts.co.uk, said: "With inflation expected to rise significantly over 2017, it is sadly going to stay a dreadful time to be a saver. While there was a welcome slowdown in the number of cuts to savings rates last month, consumers will remain underwhelmed by the lack of competition for their cash.

"It will be no surprise if we start to see savers sacrifice the necessity to make savings provisions for the future in favour of overpaying their debts, particularly as there is little interest to be gained on most savings accounts currently on the market."

Savers scouring for a better deal may want to consider a "challenger" bank, some of which have tweaked their rates upwards recently.

Ms Springall said: "While savers may feel discouraged, it is still important to keep on top of the savings market, even if just a fraction more can be gained in interest.

"Since the start of 2017 we have seen a small selection of providers making minor improvements to their savings rates, which includes challengers such as RCI Bank, Post Office Money, Ikano Bank and Sainsbury's Bank. While this is positive news, there is still a significant way to go before we can see rejuvenation in the market."