Martin Lewis, the Money Saving Expert, has often offered assistance to countless people on their individual circumstances. And his help during the lockdown crisis has been particularly invaluable for those looking to alter their habits or change their lifestyle to cut costs. The expert has, however, now turned his attention towards saving, which is a preoccupation for many people across the country.
The savings market, due to the impact of COVID-19, has taken a hit in recent months, meaning the interest rates savers were expecting have been obliterated in many cases.
The primary trigger to this was the historic lowering of the Bank of England base rate cut to 0.1 percent – the lowest in its 325 year history.
As a result of the action taken by the central bank, a number of high street banks also lowered their interest rates, meaning Britons are less likely to be able to grow their money in the way they intended.
However, Martin offered his top tips to those who may be facing such a circumstance.
Appearing on ITV this morning, Martin said: “Sadly, it’s another dire year for savers. Savings rates have continuously plummeted, and things don’t look set to improve.
“Yet, also many people leave their savings with their own bank, just sitting in old accounts; if that’s you, you’ll almost certainly earn nowt.
“To get a half-decent return, you need to become an active, disloyal, aggressive saver, shifting from best rate to best rate.
“So check what your savings pay! Anything earning less than the top 1.16 percent easy-access rate needs moving. Don’t dally – every day is lost interest.”
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Martin has offered his advice on the best place to move savings at this time, and it is 100 percent safe should the worst happen.
He added: “Currently, and unprecedentedly, the top-paying easy-access savings all come from by far the safest place, NS&I, the government-backed savings institution.
“Crucially, it’s just been told to increase its fundraising from £6billion in March, to £35billion now, so its rates are likely to stay strong, providing you certainty.
“I think it will very much fight to be the best buy and possibly even launch new products.”
Martin drew attention to the NS&I Income Bond product, an easy-access savings account which can be operated online.
He explained that deposits and withdrawals must be made in blocks of £500 or more, with a maximum saving of £1million per person.
The only difference, he added, is that the interest is not paid into the account, but paid out each month into a separate account.
Similarly attractive interest rates come from NS&I’s Direct Saver at one percent, and the Investment Account at 0.8 percent.
And Martin also went into detail about the safety of this savings choice, which many people are searching for amid challenging financial circumstances.
He concluded: “All UK regulated savings accounts are protected up to £85k per person, per institution under the UK safe savings scheme.
“But for those with more, as NS&I is government backed, it’s all protected – even if you’re lucky enough to have millions – which many of these accounts allow you to put in.”
There are similar interest rates also on offer that Martin drew attention to. Yorkshire Building Society has the next-best easy-access rate at 0.8 percent variable, but only if a person deposits more than £10k.
And for smaller amounts, Martin explained Saga currently pays 0.75 percent variable, which can be opened with £1.
Martin, however, advised those who have debts to pay through credit cards, overdrafts or loans to meet this first before saving.
This is because the interest charged on such loans is often much higher than the amount a person earns in debt.
Martin Lewis is the Founder and Chair of MoneySavingExpert.com. To join the 13 million people who get his free Money Tips weekly email, go to www.moneysavingexpert.com/latesttip