Saving just got harder, as Santander plans to axe best-value account

by Justin Weinger on August 1, 2012

If you’re thinking of getting a great cash Isa account, you’ve missed the boat on one of the best deals to hit the market in the last couple of years. That’s because Santander has dropped the rate on its two-year fixed cash Isa savings account, which was offering a four per cent rate as well as a fantastic 0.1 per cent extra, should the bank’s endorsed golfer Rory McIlroy win a major golf tournament.

According to savings experts at This is Money, people who have not had chance to take advantage of their yearly £5,640 tax-free limit miss out from August 11th. The deal was higher than any other two or three-year fixed cash Isa on the market, but new changes saw this single offering drop down the financial resource’s Independent Savings Table.

From August 12th, the rate fell by 0.4 percentage points to 3.6 per cent. It also requires a £500 opening deposit, instead of the £1 currently required. Furthermore, the golf bonus has ended – a sad state of affairs, given the strength of the world’s current number three golfer (behind England’s Luke Donald and US favourite Tiger Woods).

This is not the first time that Santander has played with rates to suit its own targets in recent months. While competitors such as Secure Trust Bank continue to keep products consistent (and have done for a number of months, due to their push for transparency and safe-saving ethics), the bank formerly known as Abbey National decided to axe its Direct Isa 9, which offered 3.3 per cent to savers; this was reduced to three per cent to become the Direct Isa 10.

Furthermore, its popular one-year fixed rate Isa went from 3.5 per cent to 3.2 per cent. Nonetheless, Santander was still praised by This is Money, which confirmed that the large fall in rates still did not affect the overall placement of the business in the Independent Savings Table for two and three-year fixed-rate cash Isas.

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