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Nationwide Building Society to launch market-leading Isa for existing members

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Vicky Shaw, PA Personal Finance Correspondent
·3-min read
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Britain’s biggest building society is launching a new market-leading fixed-rate Isa for its existing customers on Wednesday.

Nationwide Building Society said the Member Exclusive Frisa (fixed-rate Isa) will pay 0.75% fixed for 18 months.

To open the account, savers need to be an existing member, by having a Nationwide savings, mortgage or current account, by Tuesday March 16. Nationwide has more than 15 million members.

Savers need a minimum of £1 to open the account and it can be opened through the Society’s website, by app or in branch.

The new account will accept transfers-in and, as a further incentive, Nationwide will offer £50 cashback to those who transfer in at least £10,000 into the account using the Isa transfer service.

To benefit from the offer, Isa transfer-in applications need to be submitted while the account remains on sale and once the transfer is complete, £50 will be paid to the saver.

No partial withdrawals will be allowed during the 18-month period. If an account holder wanted to withdraw, they would need to withdraw the total balance and the account would then be closed. This would be subject to an early access charge equating to 180 days’ interest.

Tom Riley, Nationwide’s director of banking and savings, said: “As we fast approach the end of the tax-year, this new account means our current best on-sale Isa rate is available exclusively to existing members.

“We want to ensure that this new account is available to as many members as possible, which is why it is available to open online and via our branches. New members will still be able to benefit from our highly competitive Triple Access Online Isa.

“In what remains an ultra-low interest rate environment, we have tried to find alternative ways to reward all types of savers, which is why we are launching our first ever Isa transfer incentive, exclusively for existing members.”

Figures released by financial information website Moneyfacts.co.uk this week showed average savings rates across the market are continuing to fall to new lows as the anniversary of the national UK lockdown approaches on March 23.

Rachel Springall, a finance expert at Moneyfacts.co.uk, said: “It’s fantastic to see Nationwide launch a market-leading Isa at a time where interest rates across the Isa spectrum drop to record lows.

“Savers who have yet to use their Isa allowance may find both the rate and incentive to transfer in enticing.

“The deal is available to existing members and Nationwide will pay £50 to those who transfer in £10,000, so savers would be wise to review any Isa pots they have but be sure to use the Isa transfer service to be eligible.

“As a mutual it’s great to see Nationwide stand by their principles to provide their customers with a competitive return for their loyalty.”

Many of the providers of the top savings rates currently on the market are building societies.

Ms Springall said other Isa deals on Moneyfacts’ “best buy” tables include a one-year fixed Isa at 0.55% or a two-year deal at 0.70%, both from the West Bromwich Building Society. Both require a minimum of £1,000 to open.

Monmouthshire Building Society, also on the best buy tables, has a one-year deal at 0.49%, while Yorkshire Building Society offers a similar deal paying 0.45%.

For those who do not want to lock money away for very long, Leeds Building Society also unveiled a new Isa on Tuesday, with a rate of 0.40%. It said savers will make up to four withdrawals per calendar year without penalty.

The minimum operating balance on the account is £5,000 and transfers in from previous tax years are accepted while the account remains open for further deposits.

Matt Bartle, director of products at Leeds Building Society, said: “Our Defined Access Isa complements our wider savings range and rewards members who want to save and don’t expect to need access, but value the reassurance that they can access their funds if they need to.”