The choice is yours

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Personal finance has become part of the national psyche since the beginning of the economic downturn, with consumers up and down the land pondering the best home for their money. On the face of it, savers have had a torrid time of it since the crash started as the curtain came down on the summer of 2007. Many accounts now offer no interest whatsoever, while another sizable chunk pay a mere 0.10 per cent or less.However, it is not all bad news. Recent figures show that there are currently more savings products on the market than at any time since November last year. While a great many of the 2,300 plus accounts may not be very competitive, the sheer scale of choice means there should conceivably be something out there to suit almost all needs.Admittedly, there are still a number of accounts that offer less than the Bank of England’s base rate of 0.5 per cent, but there are more than 1,300 that are more competitive. Unsurprisingly, fixed rates have been the most sought after products in the market as of late, with consumers opting for the security that a guaranteed rate of return brings, while no notice accounts – enabling savers to get their hands on their money at any given time – are also proving popular, accounting for 33.16 per cent of all money invested in August.While the average rate paid on such accounts still has some way to go before it threatens the 2008 high of 3.66 per cent, but four successive months of gains have taken the average return on no notice products to a competitive, if not spectacular, rate of 0.84 per cent.That figure is not far removed from the 0.96 per cent which denotes the average rate of interest paid on notice accounts, although rates as high as 3.25 per cent can be found and secured on relatively small deposits.Such deals are not likely to be around for long, so keeping an eye on new releases by lenders can be the difference between benefitting from the best savings interest rates and having your money sat in a mediocre account.

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