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Hanley Economic launches top easy-access savings rate in 14 years at 4.25% - but you need to jump through some hoops to get it

You can now earn 4.25% on your savings with Staffordshire-based Hanley Economic Building Society's new account. It's the highest easy-access rate in 14 years - since January 2009 - and it overtakes the previous top rate of 3.71%. However, you can only open the account by post or in branch.

Below we explain everything you need to know. You can also see our Top savings guide for a full breakdown of our current best buys. 

Hanley Economic's account pays 4.25% - but it's increasing to 4.5% from 1 June

Here are the key features of the account: 

  • The 4.25% interest rate is variable and it tracks the base rate. This means it can go up and down, although as the Bank of England base rate went up again to 4.5% in May, Hanley Economic has already said it will increase the rate on the account to 4.5% AER from 1 June 2023. Any future rises (or decreases) will take effect from the 1st of the following month.

  • There's a minimum initial deposit of £1,000 (though you can deposit less than this once the account is open) and a maximum deposit of £50,000 (though the account balance can go above this once interest earned is factored in). This means you're initially more than covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme's safe savings protection limit of £85,000, provided this is your only savings account with Hanley.

  • You can only make one withdrawal per calendar month. This is capped at: 
    - In branch: £500 in cash without notice or £5,000 in cash with at least 24-hours notice. Or £70,000 by cheque. 
    - Electronic transfer to a nominated account: £10,000. 
    - Cheque in the post: £70,000.  
     All other withdrawals are subject to 30 days loss of interest on the amount withdrawn. 

  • Withdrawals must be requested by post or in branch. These will be processed during business hours Monday to Friday, so bear in mind that it could take a while for you to get hold of your cash.  

You'll need to open the account in person or by post

To open the account, you either need to visit one of Hanley Economic's seven branches, which are all located in Staffordshire in the West Midlands, or send a completed application form by post.

If you want to open the account it might be best to act sooner rather than later as Hanley Economic has warned that account openings are monitored on a daily basis and that it does have a limit on the numbers who can get them.

How Hanley Economic's account compares to other easy-access rates

Hanley Economic offers easily the highest rate for easy-access savings accounts right now. The next best rate is over 0.5 percentage points less at 3.71% from banking app Chip. However, some may prefer this account as it can be set up in moments with just £1 via its smart phone app and offers unlimited withdrawals. It can be fiddly to operate though - see our Top savings guide for more on this. 

The top rate available for a more traditional online account comes from Secure Trust Bank at 3.65%. This also allows unlimited withdrawals, though it has a minimum deposit of £1,000. 

Prefer a name you know? The top payer out of our established names list is Post Office*, offering 3.47% with a minimum deposit of £1 and unlimited withdrawals, though the rate plummets after one year.

You can earn up to 5.01% if you're willing to lock your money away 

If you are in a position to do so, you can earn more interest on your savings by locking them away for a fixed term. The catch is you have to wait until the maturity date to access your savings - if you don't, you will loose your accrued interest. 

For example, the top one-year fixed account rate is 4.96% from Close Brothers with a minimum of £10,000 deposited. Alternatively, if you'd rather fix for a slightly longer term, you can get 5.01% interest with Hampshire Trust Bank's 18-month account with a minimum £1 deposit.

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