The Interest Rates available on instant access savings accounts in Ireland are currently the lowest they have been for several years. Rates might start to rise in late 2022 as the ECB starts to increase rates in response to rising inflation.
We have dug out some old “best buy” interest rates going back to 2008 to see how much rates have changed since then.
In February 2008 this website was not very old and we were reporting that a bank you may remember, called Anglo Irish – had just gone to the top of our “best buys” on instant access accounts with an interest rate of 5%. The ECB rate at the time was 4%
Forward to February 2009 the ECB rate had dropped to just 2%.
… but the banks were still looking for deposits. The best interest rate on an instant access account was with Ulster Bank who were offering 5.5% on their “eSavings Plus” account with a minimum balance of €15K .
Other good rates included 4.75% from the now-defunct Anglo Irish Bank and 4% from Northern Rock – another bank that also went bust. Halifax – who no longer operate in Ireland – were also offering 4% interest on their Flexisaver account on balances under €10k.
Jumping forward again to August 2011 – when the ECB rate was at 1.5%.
The best buy rates had fallen and 3.5% was the best available from AIB on their 7-day notice account.
Anglo Irish was now under the wing of Allied Irish and you could get 3.35% with them if you wanted to risk it !
Ulster Bank was offering 3% for a 1 year fix with their Direct Saver account if you had over €15k .
A new entrant to the Irish market – Nationwide UK (Ireland ) were offering interest of 3% on a minimum balance of €2k€. KBC’s best rate was 2.55% with a minimum balance of €10k required.
Northern Rock was still in business here too – and had an instant access rate of 2.5%
In November 2011 Northern Rock Ireland was trying to attract deposits and had the best instant access rate of 3.25%
But they were soon to be taken over by PTSB. PTSB themselves were offering an online rate of 2.5% while RaboDirect had a rate of 2.4% . (ECB rate was 1.25%)
In September 2012 KBC had the best instant access interest rate in Ireland.
KBC’s Smart Access account offering 3.25% on a Min of €3000 . Other rates were :RaboDirect 3.1% ; AIB Direct 3.1% ; Ulster Bank 3.1% (Direct Saver) Min €5k ; PTSB Online Only 3% ; Nationwide UK (Ireland ) 2.75% (Min 2k € Max 2m) ; NIB E-saver Account: 2% . (ECB rate was 0.75% )
Saings Rates in 2013 :-
In May 2013 – KBC (Smart Access) still had the best rate with 2.6% . PTSB 2.5% ; Nationwide UK (Ireland ) 2.5% ; RaboDirect 2.45% ; Ulster Bank Direct Saver 2% . (The ECB cut rates to 0.5% in May 2013)
Just 3 months later – in August 2013 – rates had fallen more – with the top rate from KBC (Smart Access) at just 2.3% and PTSB at 2.25%
RaboDirect were offering 2% as were Nationwide UK (Ireland )
By May 2014 the best variable rate was 2% from PTSB or KBC
In March 2015 only 1.5% was the best instant access variable interest rate available.
In early 2018 – a rate of just 0.65% was the best available on instant access accounts. By the end of 2018 this had dropped to 0.25%
Rates continued to fall from 2019 to 2022 – and now in mid-2022 the best rate on instant access savings account is just 0.05%
See here for the current best buys for instant access savings