Now over 170 accounts and ISAs beat inflation as CPI falls

Written by Oliver Wade

There are now more than 170 savings accounts and cash ISAs that beat inflation, as CPI inflation fell to 1.8% in January, the lowest level recorded in two years, and below analysts’ expectations.

High street names such as Barclays and Clydesdale Bank are now offering accounts that bear inflation, and include accounts that are fixed for six months, those available with as little as 90 days’ notice and cash ISAs fixed for as little as two years.

Commenting on the findings, Hargreaves Lansdown personal finance analyst Sarah Coles highlighted that savers “craving a sense of security from an account with an old high street veteran” can finally do so while beating inflation.

However, Coles added that “just because something is technically possible, it doesn’t make it a good idea”.

“Not every account on the high street beats inflation – far from it. Barclays and Clydesdale only do so with a three year ISA offering 1.81% – and the Barclays one is restricted to its Premier customers. If you’re sitting in the vast majority of savings accounts and ISAs from the big high street banks, you’re still likely to be making rock-bottom returns,” the personal finance analyst said.

“It’s also worth bearing in mind that inflation is backwards-looking and these accounts are fixed for the future, so sneaking over the current inflation threshold with an account offering 1.81% isn’t a guarantee you’ll beat inflation for the next three years. You need to look further afield at the incredible variety on offer from newer banks and building societies.”

Coles noted that, if savers were to look beyond the high street, a “whole world of flexibility opens up”.

“You [savers] can now get inflation beating savings accounts over all sorts of periods: from seven years at 2.75% and three years at 2.52%, to one year at 2.15% and six months at 1.86% - plus notice accounts with 1.82% at as little as 90 days’ notice.”

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