Yorkshire Building Society has launched two easy-access savings accounts which now offer a competitive return.
Its Access Saver Plus issue 7 and Internet Saver Plus issue 10 come with a tiered variable interest rate of up to 0.7 per cent on balances above £50,000.
The Internet Saver Plus account pays 0.6 per cent on balances up to £10,000, 0.65 per cent up to £50,000 and 0.7 per cent thereafter.
Meanwhile, the Access Saver Plus pays 0.5 per cent up to £10,000, 0.6 per cent up to £50,000 and 0.7 per cent thereafter.
Despite the two base rate rises amounting to 0.4 per cent, Yorkshire Building Society’s existing variable rates have on average only increased by 0.1 per cent during that time.
Both accounts can be opened with as little as £1 although the Access Saver Plus allows for balances up to a maximum of £2million while the Internet Saver Plus allows for a maximum deposit of £500,000.
Both deals allow customers to access their savings whenever they need without penalty, or to close the account if required.
In addition, Yorkshire Building Society has also launched two equivalent Isa deals both of which offer the same tiered interest rates up to 0.7 per cent.
Someone stashing away £85,000 in the Internet Saver Plus account – the maximum that is protected under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) – could expect to see an annual return of £565 after one year.
Someone stashing the same amount into Atom Bank’s 0.75 per cent market leading rate could expect to see a return of £637.
James Blower, head of digital at Moneyfacts said: ‘The rises are not unexpected as we’ve seen Atom, Shawbrook and RCI Bank all increase their easy access rates on Friday last week and.
‘With Investec also paying 0.71 per cent, there’s pressure on any providers wanting easy access savings to pay in this region.
‘The move by Yorkshire Building Society looks like a response to this to get it in that cluster of providers.
‘Last week, we saw 22 providers increase rates and just 3 cut them and I expect that pattern to continue with interest rates nudging upwards, which is good news for savers.’
How does Nationwide compare?
Yorkshire Building Society’s new deals arrive on top of the 93 variable accounts it has increased since the first Bank of England base rate rise in December. That’s 93 out of a possible 110 accounts.
However, despite the two base rate rises amounting to 0.4 per cent, its existing variable rates have only increased by 0.1 per cent during that time.
Britain’s biggest building society, Nationwide, with its 16million members has arguably being even less generous than its competitor.
Nationwide still has 66 accounts paying 0.01 per cent.
Nationwide has only put up rates on 32 existing accounts, leaving 91 unchanged, according to analysis by Savings Champion, although the increases that have applied were between 0.15 per cent and 0.50 per cent.
However, more alarmingly Nationwide still has 66 accounts paying 0.01 per cent, according to James Blower at Moneyfacts.
‘There’s scope for Nationwide to look after their savings members more than they have so far,’ said Blower.
‘It is operating in a highly competitive mortgage market and I think it is unlikely to improve interest rates for its savers anytime soon.’
Anna Bowes, co-founder of Savings Champion is particularly critical of Nationwide for failing to pass on the full base rate rise to existing customers.
‘Yorkshire Building Society has behaved far better as it passed on much of the base rate rises on to most accounts, rather than choosing just a few.
‘Nationwide has made larger increases but to far fewer accounts, so many customers are likely to feel terribly let down that they have not seen any improvement to their savings.
‘Especially those in the plethora of old accounts that are paying between 0.01 per cent and 0.05 per cent – in no uncertain terms, it’s time for those savers to switch.’