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Independent

Why the banks now need you

Charlie Weston on how these days savers have never had it so good

SAVERS have seldom had it so good. So desperate are our banks for us to lend to them that they will actually give you a higher interest rate on your deposit than they are charging on some mortgages.

Money that is deposited for a year or more is the most sought after with interest rates in excess of 4pc not unusual.

Some banks are advertising deposit rates that are almost the same as their mortgage rates.

Take AIB. It is currently offering 4.1pc on deposits for a 12-month term.

The same institution is offering mortgages for new buyers as low as 3.34pc.

Simon Moynihan of the price comparison website Bonkers.ie says this means those with savings are in a very lucky position.

"Instead of lending us money, the banks are now desperately trying to get us to lend money to them.

"But they don't want to be troubled with pesky withdrawals, so they're offering the highest interest rates on accounts where money is locked down for a year or more."

Here is a selection of some of the best fixed-rate deals, regular saver offers and demand deposit accounts in the market.

Fixed rates

Heading the list for paying high interest are AIB and Permanent TSB, two institutions that are now owned by the State. They are both paying 4.1pc for money locked away for a year.

But be warned, with the AIB account no withdrawals can be made during the term.

The Permanent TSB account is called Interest First. This account pays interest within a month of opening the account. This is an advantage over other term deposit products as you have use of interest funds straight away.

Other banks paying high rates include Ulster Bank, which has a rate of 4.29pc for money left on deposit for a year and six months, according to the website askaboutmoney.com.

If you are prepared to leave your money in the bank for two years and two months then Permanent TSB will give you 4.91pc.

EBS, which is now part of AIB, pays 4.37pc for three years. It also has a one year rate paying 4pc.

Bank of Ireland has a rate of 3.95 pc for one year.

If you want to avoid Irish banks then Investec, which has its deposits guaranteed under the British scheme, pays 4pc for a year. Nationwide UK has a one-year rate of 3.9pc.

Nationwide UK offers instant access to your money before maturity but early withdrawal is subject to a 90-day interest penalty.

Regular saver accounts

The really mouth-watering rates are available for those willing to put a regular amount away every month.

Leading the field here is EBS and its Family Savings Account pays 5pc for a year on amounts up to €12,000.

In year two you get 4pc on up to €24,000. Worth noting is that the minimum term is one year.

The least you can put in a month is €100, with the maximum €1,000.

Interest rate is fixed for year one. This has been referred to as a "regular saver term deposit".

Permanent TSB has an Online Regular Saver paying 4pc on amounts between €1 and €50,000.

The Ulster Bank Special Interest Deposit Account pays 4pc up to €15,000. It falls to 1.5pc from €15,000 to €100,000. Regular lodgments are required (standing order only). The minimum is €1 a month and the maximum is €1,000.

The AIB regular saver account has a 4pc rate for year one on amounts up to €6,000.The rate falls to 0.01pc for year two.

You will get 3.5pc from the Bank of Ireland Dual Saver.

Easy access deposit accounts

When it comes to instant access accounts the winner here is AIB.

Its Easy Access Reward Account pays 3.45pc on amounts up to €100,000 for year one. The rate falls to 1pc for amounts up to €100,000 for year two.

You will get a better rate of 3.5pc on amounts up to €10,000 on the same bank's Deposit 7 account, but you need to give seven days' notice before you will get your money back.

Anglo Irish Bank, which is now part of AIB, pays 3.35pc on Premium Demand Account, with a maximum of €100,000.

Britain's Leeds Building Society has a 90-Day Notice Account paying 3.25pc on amounts between €2,500 and €1m.

You money is protected under the British deposit protection scheme.

ICS Building Society, which is part of Bank of Ireland, has a 30-day notice account with a rate of 3.25pc on amounts between €5,000 and €1m.

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