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Interest rates held at 5.25% and inflation falls to 2% – what it means for latest savings rates

The Bank of England has held interest rates higher, for longer. Savers have a window to make serious ground against low inflation. But how can you make the most of your savings in 2024?
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Important information - This article isn’t personal advice. If you’re not sure whether an investment is right for you please seek advice. If you choose to invest the value of your investment will rise and fall, so you could get back less than you put in.

The Bank of England has held rates at 5.25%.

It was a widely expected move, despite inflation recently falling to its 2% target.

This should be music to savers ears. The Bank of England’s reluctance to cut interest rates mean that good savings rates have stuck around. Pair that with low inflation, and there’s plenty of opportunities for your cash.

But with a Bank of England rate cut looming later in the year, we look at what’s next for savings rates in 2024, and where the opportunities are for your savings.

This article is not personal advice. If you’re not sure if something is right for you, ask for advice.

Low inflation and high savings rates – what it means for you

If your cash interest rate is higher than inflation, your spending power will grow.

With competitive cash rates still at 5% (or just below), and the lowest inflation since 2021, it’s especially easy to boost your spending power.

Currently, one in eight easy-access rates beat inflation. And so does every 12-month fixed rate on the market. For anyone watching the rate their cash gets, it’s now a question of how much extra you can earn.

On the other hand, easy and instant-access savings from some high street banks are offering rates below inflation. Holding cash in one of those accounts will mean you lose spending power in real terms. And shockingly, UK savers hold hundreds of billions of pounds in these low-interest-paying accounts.

High savings rates won’t last forever

If inflation stays low, the Bank of England will look to cut interest rates soon.

There’s a reasonable chance of a Bank of England cut in August. With rate cuts even more likely in September and December.

When we get closer to those rate cuts, banks won’t wait around before pulling their rates down.

It means that if you don’t need access to your money for a period, now’s the time to consider a fixed-rate product.

How to find great savings rates

Some of the best rates on the market right now are for short-term fixed rates, where savers can get above 5%.

Strong one-year fixed rates are also holding out. With the average rate even rising slightly in June.

You can’t withdraw from fixed rates until the term ends, so it’s important to keep your emergency funds in an account that’s easy to access.

But with competitive easy-access rates still above 4.50% (over double the current rate of inflation), even your emergency funds can work hard. Just remember, withdrawals from easy-access products take up to one working day.

Importantly, the competitive rates are offered exclusively by smaller, challenger banks. Savings platform, like Active Savings, bring great deals from smaller challenger banks through one online platform.

So instead of chasing deals, you can find great rates through one account, and then pick the rates you like.

This website is issued by Hargreaves Lansdown Asset Management Limited (company number 1896481), which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority with firm reference 115248.

The Active Savings service is provided by Hargreaves Lansdown Savings Limited (company number 8355960). Hargreaves Lansdown Savings Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (firm reference number 915119). Hargreaves Lansdown Savings Limited is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority under the Electronic Money Regulations 2011 with firm reference 901007 for the issuing of electronic money. Hargreaves Lansdown Asset Management Limited and Hargreaves Lansdown Savings Limited are subsidiaries of Hargreaves Lansdown plc (company number 2122142).

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Written by
Guy James
Guy James
Personal Finance Writer

Guy is a savings specialist, passionate about encouraging people to get to grips with their cash. An integral part of our Active Savings team, he aims to help as many people as possible secure their financial safety net, and make more of their cash.

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Article history
Published: 20th June 2024