CHESTER, England, April 3, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --
- Consumers flock to fixed ISAs products
- Last chance to make the most of this year's allowance
With the end of 2011/12 tax year less than a week away, MoneySupermarket.com urges savers who have not made use of this year's ISA allowance to ensure their savings are protected from the tax man.
Site data from Britain's number one comparison site shows more consumers are searching for fixed ISA products this year compared to last, as searches for fixed deals are up by 16 per cent*. Average rates for fixed rate ISAs are currently 0.47 per cent higher than easy access cash ISAs at 3.77 per cent; leading to increased demand. A number of competitive fixed rate deals have come onto the market this ISA season including Cheshire Building Society offering an 18 month fixed rate ISA at 4.0 per cent with a minimum investment of £1,000. Santander, Barclays and Halifax have also launched new products ahead of the 5th April tax deadline.
Similarly in the easy access ISA market, there has also been a number of new launches including the AA easy access cash ISA at 3.5 per cent, which includes a bonus rate of three per cent; however these do not accept transfers in of existing ISA funds. The average of the top five cash ISA rates is currently 3.30 per cent up from the average rate of 3.24 per cent last year.
Kevin Mountford, head of banking at MoneySupermarket, said: "We've seen that more consumers are looking for longer term security for their savings by opting for fixed cash ISAs, and with many new products coming onto the market this ISA season there are good deals to be found. Choosing a fixed rate option gives people the comfort their money is locked away on a guaranteed rate for a set amount of time.
"With less than a week to go until the end of tax year, it really is last chance saloon for savers looking to make use of this year's ISA allowance. Money needs to be deposited in accounts by 5th April so many providers will be preventing new applications before the deadline.** With a maximum cash ISA allowance of £5,340 available for savers it is really imperative, where possible, they take advantage of the valuable tax free benefits offered. Activity in this year's ISA season has been high, with a number of new products coming onto the market so savers may well find their existing ISA rates are below par. Consumers should check the current rate they are on and switch to a better deal if necessary. ISA transfer rules brought into effect make it easier to switch, and many providers pay interest immediately, even before the funds have arrived in the account. However, make sure you follow the ISA switching rules otherwise your savings could lose their tax free status."
Anyone looking for the latest ISA deals should visit http://www.moneysupermarket.com/investments/isas/
Notes to Editors:
Cash ISA transactions 'Fixed Vs Variable'
Qtr 1 2011- Fixed (28) Variable (72)
Qtr 2 - Fixed (26) Variable (74)
Qtr 3 - Fixed (36) Variable (64)
Qtr 4 - Fixed (43) Variable (57)
Qtr 1 2012- Fixed (46) Variable (54)
** For example, Cheshire Building Society will be closing new applications for its market leading Direct Cash ISA at 5pm on Tuesday 3rd April 2012.
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