Taking a fixed rate even though they look low?
Skipton International has noticed a subtle change in the range of offshore savings enquiries amongst those calling its Guernsey offices. Whilst there is still demand for fixed rate accounts, at the same time, there is a realisation that current interest rates are generally below those available a few months back and many expect the next move in UK Base Rate to be an increase, although quite when that will be, nobody is sure.
Instead, the demand for sterling notice accounts has started to rise, so products such as the Skipton International Select 100 and 50 accounts, which pay 1.60% and 1.40% gross pa/ AER respectively, are attracting sustained interest especially from expat savers. Commenting on this subtle change in customer behaviour, managing director Jim Coupe said, "We have certainly noticed a change in enquiry patterns. Our operations are based exclusively in Guernsey, so we are able to speak to clients individually on a day to day basis. We listen carefully to their feedback and that certainly plays a part in our overall planning. At present, the message from our customers centres around the need to stay flexible and to be able to react at shorter notice. Clients understand that interest rates move in cycles and that higher fixed rate accounts will be available at some point, so the strategy is to stay invested in an account which can be quickly converted into a more attractive fixed rate product as and when these are launched. At Skipton international we allow customers to move funds without notice from our notice accounts into our occasional fixed rate accounts, providing the flexibility many customers are seeking."