One in 10 cash Isas and savings accounts launched over the past 18 months have been withdrawn within two weeks of being launched, with several lasting just one day.
Which? Money used data from Moneyfacts to analyse when instant-access and fixed-term accounts were first introduced, and when they were pulled from the market.
Of the 2,414 accounts launched during 2018 and 2019 so far, 231 were withdrawn within 14 days - and many of these had market-leading interest rates.
Here, we reveal the banks with the worst track records for short-lived offers and what this could mean for savers.
The graph below shows the number of instant-access and fixed-term accounts that were withdrawn within two weeks of being launched over the past 18 months.
All the data is sourced from Moneyfacts.
OakNorth Bank most frequently launches short-lived offers, with 32 of its accounts withdrawn within 14 days in the period we looked at. Of these, just over half were fixed-rate savings accounts, and the remainder were fixed-rate cash Isas.
Skipton Building Society had a total of 24 cash Isas and savings accounts that lasted for less than two weeks, while Charter Savings Bank had 17.
According to our analysis, fixed-rate accounts are more likely to quickly vanish than instant-access options.
Of the accounts that launched in the past 18 months, just over 9% of all fixed-rate savings accounts and cash Isas were withdrawn within two weeks, equating to 191 accounts altogether. By contrast, only 6% of instant-access savings accounts were pulled after such a short time.
This may be due to the nature of the accounts themselves. Instant-access account rates are variable, meaning providers can cut or increase them at any time, rather than withdrawing the offer and launching a different product.
Some of the quickest accounts to disappear from the market were those offering market-leading rates.
In one example from October 2018, Nottingham Building Society introduced an instant-access savings account that paid 1.55% AER, placing it at the top of best-rate tables at a time when competition for the top spot was particularly fierce. This account was withdrawn after just two days.
But this isn't the case for the majority of accounts, with many market leaders that stuck around for months.
Some of the top rates around today have been on the market for months.
The table below shows the best rates for fixed-rate and instant-access cash Isas and savings accounts, in order of term.
|Bank of London & The Middle East five-year fixed-rate savings account||2.75% (EPR*)||£1,000 minimum initial deposit.|
|Metro Bank five-year fixed-rate cash Isa||2.1%||£1 minimum initial deposit.|
|Bank of London & The Middle East four-year fixed-rate savings account||2.45% (EPR*)||£1,000 minimum initial deposit.|
|United Trust Bank four-year fixed-rate cash Isa||1.9%||£15,000 minimum initial deposit.|
|Bank of London & The Middle East three-year fixed-rate savings account||2.55% (EPR*)||£1,000 minimum initial deposit.|
|Charter Savings Bank three-year fixed-rate cash Isa||1.87%||£5,000 minimum initial deposit.|
|Bank of London & The Middle East two-year fixed-rate savings account||2.35% (EPR*)||£1,000 minimum initial deposit.|
*Expected Profit Rate. Source: Which? Money Compare. Correct 21 August 2019.
Currently, Bank of London & The Middle East holds the top spot across all fixed-rate savings accounts, and has for several weeks now. As it's an , it pays 'Expected Profit Rate' (EPR), rather than AER.
Due to this, there is a small chance that the rate you receive will be different from the one advertised - however, this hasn't happened with any UK Islamic banks to our knowledge.
There is often a lot of movement with top-rate accounts, which could be withdrawn, have their rates reduced or simply be beaten by a new product at any time - but that's no cause to panic.
We outline the things you should consider before opening a new account further down the page, explaining why it's not all about the interest rate.
Banks and building societies tend to increase rates when they want more money to come in, which can then be used to fund mortgage and credit card lending.
Providers will often have targets in mind, and table-topping accounts are likely to attract customers quickly. Once their quota has been filled, the account will be closed.
There has been criticism that some banks and building societies knowingly launch accounts that they can't afford to keep open for a reasonable length of time to attract positive publicity. They may only need a handful of customers to sign up before closing the account.
There are no regulations preventing providers from closing savings accounts to new customers, but it could mean that many savers miss out on the best rates as they can't be expected to open one on the day it's launched.
That's not to say you should rush into choosing a new home for your savings though, as it's not just about the interest rate.
Before deciding on a new account, ask yourself:
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? Money Compare is a trading name of Which? Financial Services Limited.