Savers are finding it increasingly difficult to choose an instant access savings account with no strings attached, according to new research from Investec Bank.
Of the top 50 instant access savings accounts for balances of £5,000, only 19 have no restrictions or penalties if you want your money back, the wealth manager found.
The number of accounts without conditions has decreased since May 23.
The number of easy access accounts that rely on a short-term bond to boost their interest rate has risen from five in May to nine today, Investec found.
Daniel Widdowson, head of direct retail savings at Investec, says: ‘As competition in the savings market increases, accounts are becoming less easy to understand and often bring unpleasant surprises.
Of the top 50 instant access savings accounts for balances of £5,000, only 19 have no restrictions or penalties if you want your money back.
“Customers should always look beyond the general interest rate and check if there are any restrictions or penalties on accessing their money.”
The research found that 40 percent of instant access accounts only allow a limited number of withdrawals, which can be as few as three times a year.
If these rules are not followed, the general interest rate will be lost.
Additionally, 12 percent of instant access savings accounts go even further: They do not allow further withdrawals once a certain number has been made.
Another drawback is that 8 percent of easy access accounts can only be opened by the provider’s existing current account holders.