Investors have to work hard to find value in the term deposit market. While there has been no change in the Reserve Bank’s cash rate since August last year, comparison site Canstar says 33 deposit-taking institutions have lowered rates since then.
An important consideration when choosing a term deposit provider is to look beyond the “specials” on offer at the time and understand whether the deposit-taking institution offers rates that are consistently above average.
This will save the time and effort involved in shopping around each time a deposit matures.
Comparison site Canstar has given ME (formerly ME Bank) an award for its term deposits in its Bank of the Year awards, citing its high historical rates.
“The average historical rates over the six months to the end of May were at least 23 basis points higher than the market average for all terms and balances assessed,” Canstar says.
At the time of judging, ME was the market leader for terms over five to seven months for $25,000 and for term over eight to 13 months for $25,000 and $75,000.
ME was also offering above-average rates over a wide range of terms, from one months to five years. Canstar also cited the fact that ME offers a wider range of rates than many other providers don’t.
Canstar gave CUA an award for term deposits in the customer-owned institution category, citing improved performance on price and features over the past year.
“CUA’s competitive rates are supported by its robust feature offering, such as account options and discounts, providing consumers with a fantastic value proposition,” Canstar says.
Canstar says that in the overall market there is a significant difference between the minimum and maximum rates on offer for a given term. For example, while the average rate on the 30-day term is 1.62 per cent, the minimum is 1.18 per cent and the maximum of 2.3 per cent (rates current at June 20).
The average rate for a 90-day term is 2.18 per cent, with a minimum of 1.5 per cent and a maximum of 2.75 per cent. And the average rate on the 12-month term is 2.4 per cent, with a minimum of 1,85 per cent and a maximum of three per cent.
Canstar says most investors opt for rates under a year. However, depending on their needs, they could get a better rate by committing for a longer term.
Based on searches on the Canstar database, 25 of users search for rates between one and four months, 35 per cent search for rates between five and seven months and 30 per cent search for rates between eight and 13 months.