Leeds Building Society has launched what it claims is a “unique” 12-month tracker Isa to add to its range of tax-free savings products.
The instant access Isa is aimed at providing an opportunity for members to benefit from future Bank of England base rate increases.
The product comes with a rate of 0.96 per cent tax-free per year, annual equivalent rate.
The tracker Isa is limited issue and can be opened and operated online, in branch or by post and offers penalty-free access, while transfers in from previous years’ Isa subscriptions are permitted.
The minimum investment is £1,000 and the fund matures on 2 June 2019.
Withdrawals or transfers are permitted without notice or loss of interest.
Richard Fearon, chief commercial officer at Leeds Building Society (LBS), said: “It’s our mission to help people save and have the home they want. To achieve this, we work hard to understand savers and develop products to meet their needs.
“Our new tracker product launches at a time of growing speculation around interest rate rises, and is likely to appeal to savers who are optimistic about future increases in the BBR [Bank of England base rate].
“The current interest rate environment remains challenging for savers but the tracker Isa guarantees to pay 0.46 per cent above the BBR, ensuring savers receive the full benefit from any increase in interest rates. We believe our limited issue tracker is unique in the UK at the moment as the only Isa to offer penalty-free, easy access and to guarantee a premium to the BBR. Our new tracker Isa complements our existing variable and fixed rate Isa products, which help people maximise tax-free saving whatever their individual needs.”
Darius McDermott, managing director of Chelsea Financial Services says: “The Isa is okay, but if you do the maths it isn’t any better than other products already available on the market. For example, Nationwide offers an easy-access Isa for 1.3 per cent with a minimum investment of £1, and Kent Reliance has a one-year fixed rate at 1.48 per cent. There are penalties for accessing the latter, but to fully benefit from the LBS Isa you need to be in it for 12 months to maturity – so the time span is the same.
“The base rate would need to increase by 0.35 of a percentage point – one and a bit rises for it to be a better option than the Nationwide offering, which is entirely possible but not set in stone – and by 0.52 of a percentage point, or at least double, to be better than the Kent Reliance product. Don’t forget you only get the higher rates from LBS when the base rate goes up, so you won’t get the full 12 months of higher rates.”
It is reasonable, but not quite the great deal it may look at first glance.