Savers Roundup April 2021: 5-year GICs above 2.00%; and what exactly is Neo Financial?

Rate drops lead to a tie at the top of the savings account chart

Our savings account comparison chart has continued to see interest rate decreases as we head into the spring, most recently at Alterna Bank (from 1.20% to 1.10%), LBC Digital (from 1.40% to 1.20%), and Bridgewater Bank (from 1.55% to 1.45%).

Chart leader Canadian Tire Bank finally decreased its regular savings account and TFSA interest rate. It had been at 1.80% since April 2020, but its rates have fallen back to 1.55%. That leaves it tied with newcomer Neo Financial at the top of the regular savings account list, followed by EQ Bank and Wealth One Back of Canada at 1.50%.

EQ Bank still leads the TFSA list at 2.30%… but not for long! Starting on May 26, EQ Bank’s TFSA and RRSP savings account interest rate will decrease to 1.25%, and its regular savings account interest rate will decrease to 1.25% on April 16.

Neo Financial: a 1.55% savings account but not a financial institution

Last week, we added Neo Financial to our comparison chart. It comes with its fair share of caveats. There is no web-based online portal for its savings account — you must use its mobile app. Neo Financial is a financial technology company, not a financial institution; its savings account is technically held by Concentra Bank, so for CDIC deposit insurance coverage limits, your deposits are combined with any deposits held in a Concentra Bank account. It is this potentially confusing relationship with Concentra Bank that has led some forum users to suggest that Neo Financial shouldn’t even be posted on our chart.

Nevertheless, the savings account available through Neo Financial has a 1.55% interest rate, and with this account you can pay bills, send and receive Interac e-Transfers, and make electronic transfers to and from your other bank accounts.

5-year GICs above 2.00%

Yes, you read that right. Oaken Financial recently increased its 4-year (1.90%) and 5-year (2.10%) GIC rates, retroactive to March 23. That’s the first GIC rate at or above 2.00% that our GIC comparison chart has seen in 2021.

It was followed by a round of GIC rate increases at LBC Digital, with a 2.00% 5-year GIC available starting April 12.

For shorter terms, Peoples Trust and Peoples Bank are offering 1.55% for a 1-year or 15-month GIC. Starting on April 16, EQ Bank will be offering a 1.50% 3-month GIC, and you can still get a 2.30% 3-month TFSA or RRSP GIC from EQ Bank before May 26.

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