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Are your savings earning ANY money? Four easy ways to make sure they are

Difficult to compare, not enough information and low rates - the financial regulator says savings accounts aren’t delivering for customers. We've four things you can do make more interest on your money.

Nearly a quarter of savings are earning just 0.5% in interest, according to a report by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). It’s proposing changes which include making it easier for you to compare and switch different accounts and making the banks be clearer on changes in interest rates.It could be a while before changes like this happen - but there’s no need to wait.

Here are four things you can do NOW to make sure you are getting the most from your savings.

1. Check your savings rate

Unless you’ve signed up for a fixed rate account, there’s a good chance your interest rate isn’t what you think. Variable rates can change whenever the bank wants them to, so though your account might have paid 3% two years ago, it may now be paying a pittance.

Contact your bank or savings provider to find out what your current interest rate is. If it’s not paying enough, look to move your money elsewhere.

2. Note when your bonus ends

Lots of accounts will offer a bonus rate of interest. For example, an account paying 1.7% including a 1.2% bonus for 12 months would drop down to 0.5% after a year.

Put a note in your diary a few weeks before the bonus is due to finish so you can shop around for a new account.

3. Switch your current account

Interest rates for savers have been poor for a while, and with the Bank of England base rate still at 0.5% they’re unlikely to get any better soon. Yet at the same time there’s been a battle between the banks to get new customers to sign up for their current accounts.

As well as £100 switching bonuses and cashback, many are offering the highest interest rates around, though check you aren’t losing benefits such as overdrafts. You can switch accounts in just seven working days, and all your existing incoming and outgoing payments will be moved for you.

4. Max your ISA allowance

The interest you earn on the most savings accounts are subject to tax, and the new current accounts will also cap the balances you can earn on. An ISA on the other hand lets you save up to £15,000 each financial year and you don’t get taxed on the interest. You still need to watch out for bonus rates that end and variable rates that change.

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