How to get an easily accessible 4.5% savings rate

Secret ‘easily accessible’ savings account that offers a £240 interest rate hike and is open to anyone…but there’s a catch

  • Hanley BS currently pays 4.25% and increases to 4.5% from June 1
  • Account allows one withdrawal per month and must be opened in branch or mail
  • The average easy access rate is currently 2.1% according to Moneyfacts



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Savers hoping to maximize returns on their rainy day money may want to consider a niche savings account that tracks the Bank of England’s base rate.

The Hanley Economic Building Society’s Branch Saver currently pays 4.25 per cent, with the rate rising to 4.5 per cent from June 1, following the Bank of England’s decision to raise base rates earlier this month.

Although one of Britain’s smaller mutuals, cash deposited with Hanley is protected up to £85,000 per person under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).

Base Rate Tracker: Hanley's rate is guaranteed to match the Bank of England base rate and allows one withdrawal per month

Base Rate Tracker: Hanley’s rate is guaranteed to match the Bank of England base rate and allows one withdrawal per month

Savers can open an account with £1,000 and deposit up to £50,000. Interest is paid annually on August 31.

They can also withdraw once a month without penalty, meaning the account is not pure instant access.

With a rate of 4.25 percent soon to rise to 4.5 percent — it’s way ahead of the average easily accessible savings rate — currently 2.1 percent, according to Moneyfacts.

Someone putting £10,000 into this account from 1 June could earn £450 over the course of a year – albeit with the Bank of England keeping its base rate at 4.5 per cent.

This means the typical easily accessible saver can more than double their annual returns by opting for Hanley’s deal – an extra £240 in interest on a £10,000 deposit.

Even compared to the second best easily accessible rate on the market – offered by the savings and investment app Chip, which pays 3.71 per cent, it offers £79 more interest.

The best savings accounts at a glance

None beat inflation this month, but be sure to shop around for the best returns possible.

Easy access: chip* – 3.71%

Restricted access: Yorkshire BS – 3.85%

Account notification: Investec 90 days – 4.25%

One-year fixed rate: Close Brothers– 4.96%

Easily accessible cash Isa: Cynergy Bank – 3.5%

The products featured in this article have been independently selected by specialist journalists at This is Money. If you open an account through links marked with an asterisk, This is Money earns an affiliate commission. We will not allow this to affect our editorial independence.

The rate is even better than some of the top deals on our regular best buy savings tables.

However, the account is not without certain restrictions that may put some people off.

To begin with, savers must open and manage the account either in the branch or by mail.

It is not possible to open or manage the account online.

There are also restrictions on the amounts depositors can withdraw, meaning it certainly won’t provide instant access.

Depositors can withdraw penalty-free once a month, up to £500 in cash and £70,000 by cheque.

Withdrawal requests can only be made in person at one of Hanley’s six locations or by mail – not by phone

It says larger cash amounts up to £5,000 are available with at least 24 hours notice.

Savers who withdraw more than once per calendar month owe 30 days of interest loss on the amount they withdraw.

After any withdrawals, Hanley states that £1,000 should remain in the account. There are no costs associated with closing the account.

As it only has six branches – all in Staffordshire – most Britons will have to resort to postage to open and manage their account.

Experts warn this could mean it’s more trouble than it’s worth unless savers have large sums they want to set aside.

James Blower, founder of the Savings Guru website, says: ‘There are no opening restrictions, which is surprising as Hanley is small – they have less than £500m in savings in total.

It’s also base rate tracking and will go to 4.5 percent on June 1. The downside is that it is only available through their branch and mail.

“It’s a fantastic rate for savers who live locally or don’t want to use apps or the internet, but for no one else.

Worth it for bigger value savers and those who don’t need access, but probably not otherwise because the shipping costs will quickly eat into the higher interest payment.

“Depositors should also note that it won’t be ‘instant’ access either – it will take time to send a withdrawal letter and have your money sent to you.”