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Stackyard News Sep 2011

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Saving for Your Farm: Finding the Best Savings Rates

Every farmer knows the importance of saving when times are good to provide a financial safety net for when times are bad. However, the constant demands of agricultural life can leave very little time for keeping up to date with the different savings rates on offer from the big high street banks like Santander. Savings rates naturally fluctuate for a variety of reasons, and while some of these changes occur across the board due to economic factors that affect all retail banking, many banks will often change savings rates simply due to competition. Here we look at the different savings rates on offer from Santander, and compare some of the key features of these different options.

The tax-free growth provided within the annual personal ISA allowance means that the relatively modest savings rates offered by many ISAs still rank amongst the most attractive options for savings. Those with limited funds will generally opt for the cash ISA, as this is a straight tax free savings account which carries none of the risk of investment.

Santander offer a range of savings rates when it comes to cash ISAs, and much like the other standard savings options, if you commit to a fixed interest rate over a set period of time you can earn some of the highest savings rates. By investing over £14k into the fixed rate postal ISA over 2 years, a tax free rate of 3.5% will be paid, with transfers from existing ISAs allowed. By contrast, the one year fixed rate postal ISA pays 3% on balances over £14k, with 2.75% offered on balances from £500 and up to £13,999.

If you are concerned about a possible increase in the Bank of England base rate leaving the interest rate of your chosen savings vehicle lagging behind, there are several cash ISA options that promise to track above the base rate. The flexible ISA guarantees a minimum rate of 2.81% AER (tax free of course), and also promises to track 2.31% over the base rate.

The very best savings rate offered by Santander for an ISA product comes in the form of the Super Flexible ISA. By matching the amount placed in the cash ISA with a qualifying investment, preferential savings rates are offered for 12 months, with the opportunity to transfer in existing ISAs. A stocks and shares ISA is one such qualifying investment, so taking this option can allow you to make the most of your overall annual tax free ISA allowance.

If you already have maxed out your ISA allowances for this year, the Loyalty Fixed Rate Monthly Saver from Santander can offer a massive 5% AER for 13 months. This offer is open to customers holding any account apart from the Basic and Instant Plus current accounts who deposit at least £1000 per month. This modest qualification opens the door for one of the best savings rates on the market, and definitely ranks as one of most attractive savings vehicles out there. Up to £250 per month can be placed in this regular savings account, with the minimum deposit being £20 to qualify for the top interest rate.

link Countryside Career Opportunities
link H&H Bowe Finds Winning Formula in Young Farmers
link NFU Scotland Appoints Scott Walker as Chief Executive

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