Britons served reminder to check interest rates as savings could ‘lose value’ | Personal Finance | Finance

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The Bank Rate was cut to a record low of 0.1 percent in March 2020, in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Last week, the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) voted unanimously to maintain the rate once again.

Following the confirmation of the Bank Rate being held at this rate, an interest rates reminder has been issued.

It came amid concern that a low interest rate environment could mean savers see their hard-earned cash lose value in real terms.

Denise Ko Genovese, Senior Personal Finance Editor of NerdWallet said: “The Bank of England is clearly reluctant to destabilise the UK’s economic recovery, particularly as the country is just starting to emerge from lockdown.

“As such, holding interest rates at current levels will likely offer relief to some.

“That said, consistently low interest rates will never be ideal for cash savers.

“Low rates, combined with modestly rising inflation could lead to people’s savings stagnating, or worse yet, losing value in real terms.”

However, according to Ms Ko Genovese, it isn’t a cause for alarm.

“But Britons should not panic,” the senior personal finance editor said.

“Instead, I would recommend investigating alternative savings options – and comparison sites are a good place to start for this.

“After all, some banks are still offering 1.25 percent interest with certain accounts.

“Alternatively, some may consider other savings strategies such as stocks and shares ISAs, provided they are fully aware of the risks involved beforehand.

“Taking the time to research all avenues will help individuals to remain in control of their savings.”

Sarah Coles, Personal Finance Analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, has also commented on the current savings market.

If you can’t see the poll below, click here.

“Since the start of the pandemic, minimal inflation has meant that despite rock bottom savings rates, savers have been able to protect their money against inflation in the most competitive accounts,” she said.

“The rise of CPI to 0.7 percent in March meant that only cash that was fixed for more than a year was able to achieve this.

“The rise of inflation as we move through 2021 will make this worse.

“The Bank of England is keen to get us spending more, to boost the economy.

“It also thinks higher inflation will be a relatively short-lived phenomenon, so it’s happy for it to run ahead of its two percent target in the short-term, and it’s unlikely to spark interest rate rises.

“This is more terrible news for savers, who are going to need to work hard to get the best possible rates, and may still struggle to get two percent on their savings.

“It will hopefully encourage people who are holding very large sums in cash to think about whether they should move some of their money into investments.

“Once they have enough cash to cover emergencies and spending over the next five years, they should at least consider investing money they won’t need for at least five to 10 years or more.”





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