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Average rate for an instant access account falls to just 0.17%

Figures from the Bank of England show the average interest rate for savers who want instant access to their money is now barely above zero.

The average rate for an instant access account in the UK was 0.17% at the end of February.

This figure does not take into account any reductions that might have come following the half a percentage point cut in the Bank rate in March.

The average rate on instant access accounts was down from 2.69% at the same time last year, and 0.28% at the end of January.

The average interest rate for cash ISAs at the end of February was 0.96%, down from 1.38% at the end of January and 5.06% from a year earlier.

The latest Bank of England interest rate cut is a kick in the teeth for millions of savers, although there are some good deals around.

Fixed rate savings bonds offer some of the best returns at the moment. ICICI Bank's HiSAVE Fixed Rate account, a two-year bond, is paying 4.18%, with a minimum deposit of 1,000.

Abbey has a two-year fixed-rate bond paying 4.01%, but the minimum investment is 30,000.