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Can you get the best savings rate from a credit union?

My Community Bank is dominating the savings rate tables. Which? takes a closer look.

My Community Bank, a credit union, is currently offering competitive one-, two- and three-year fixed-rate savings with returns of up to 2.40% AER – but the deals aren’t open to everyone.

Credit unions are member-owned, not-for-profit financial cooperatives that offer savings, loans and other financial products to members. Membership is based on a common bond that links people together, for example, a shared profession, and since there are no shareholders, members typically get a better rate on savings and loans.

Which? takes a look at who is eligible for the My Community Bank bonds and how they compare to rates offered by traditional banks.


My Community Bank savings rates

My Community Bank is offering a one-year fixed-rate bond paying 2.10% AER, a two-year fixed-rate bond paying 2.25% AER and a three-year fixed-rate bond paying 2.40% AER.

However, not everyone will be able to access these rates: only those living in certain areas, in certain occupations, with specific skills, or members of a particular trade organisation are eligible to apply.

Nurses, architects, engineers, teachers and lawyers could qualify. You can check whether your occupation or the organisation you work for make you eligible for membership here.

My Community Bank is a network made up of Castle Community Bank (Scotland) and My Community Bank (England).

Eligible savers can open an account with a minimum deposit of £1,000 and put away up to £50,000. Interest is paid on maturity of the bonds.

How does My Community Bank compare?

We’ve looked at how My Community Banks stacks up to rivals using the Which? Money Compare savings tables.

Please be aware that the following table is for information purposes only and does not constitute advice. You should refer to the particular terms and conditions of the savings account provider before committing to any financial products.

Best one-year fixed rates

My Community Bank is currently offering the top one-year fixed-rate bond. The next-best rate pays 0.08% less but is available to everyone.

Product Minimum deposit Maximum deposit Rate AER Interest paid Notes
My Community Bank 12-Month Fixed-Term Deposit £1,000 £50,000 2.10% On maturity Must have Common Bond eligibility
OakNorth Bank 12-Month Fixed-Term Deposit £1,000 £250,000 2.03% On maturity
ICICI Bank UK One-Year HiSAVE Fixed-Rate Account £1,000 N/A 2.02% Monthly
Paragon One-Year Fixed-Rate Account £1,000 £100,000 2.02% Monthly

Source: Which? Money Compare

Best two-year fixed rates

The credit union is beaten when it comes to two-year fixed-rate deals by Secure Trust Bank, which offers a higher return of 2.26%. My Community Bank offers the joint-second-best rate, along with Tandem Bank and Bank and Clients.

Product Minimum deposit Maximum deposit Rate AER Interest paid Notes
Secure Trust Bank Two-Year Fixed-Rate Bond (16 Sep 2020) £1,000 £1m 2.26% Yearly Fixed until 16 September 2020 – so a little over two years
Tandem Bank Two-Year Fixed Saver £1,000 £2.5m 2.25% Anniversary
Bank and Clients Two-Year Fixed-Rate Account issue 2 £1 £1m 2.25% Yearly
My Community Bank 24-Month Fixed-Term Deposit £1,000 £50,000 2.25% On maturity Must have Common Bond eligibility
Axis Bank Two-Year Fixed-Term Deposit £1,000 £200,000 2.24% Monthly

Source: Which? Money Compare

Best three-year fixed rates

On three-year deals, My Community Bank offers the joint-best rate of 2.40%, along with Tandem Bank.

Product Minimum deposit Maximum deposit Rate AER Interest paid Notes
Tandem Bank Three-Year Fixed Saver £1,000 £2.5m 2.40% Yearly
My Community Bank 36-Month Fixed-Term Deposit £1,000 £50,000 2.40% On maturity Must have Common Bond eligibility
Secure Trust Bank Three-year Fixed-Rate bond (16 Sep 2021) £1,000 £1m 2.37% Yearly Fixed until 16 September 2021 – so a little over three years

Source: Which? Money Compare

Are your savings safe with a credit union?

Credit unions are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and are licensed deposit-takers.

This means savings are fully covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) up to £85,000 per individual per institution.

How to find a credit union to join

If you’re not eligible for the My Community Bank bonds you could well be eligible for another credit union, which may be able to offer you a competitive return on your savings.

To find a credit union, you can use the Find Your Credit Union website or call the Association of British Credit Unions (Abcul) on 0161 832 3694.

Which? Limited is an Introducer Appointed Representative of Which? Financial Services Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN 527029). Which? Mortgage Advisers and Which? Money Compare are trading names of Which? Financial Services Limited.

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