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There’s a new standard for premium rates in savings accounts.

EQ Bank was a leader for ages with its rate of 2.3 per cent on savings. But after the latest quarter-point rise in the Bank of Canada’s overnight rate, a new competitive order has at least temporarily taken shape in savings accounts.

Credit unions are leading the way through online banking divisions that are available to people around the country. According to Cannex, MAXA Financial was at 2.45 per cent as of early November, while Achieva Financial and Outlook Financial offered 2.4 per cent; AcceleRate Financial and Hubert Financial paid 2.35 per cent. A local credit union, Manitoba’s Steinbach Credit Union, was offering 2.65 per cent (slightly better rates are available for high balances).

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Deposit insurance for the aforementioned online banks and credit unions is provided by the Deposit Guarantee Corp. of Manitoba, which covers 100 per cent of your deposits. This agency is not government-backed like Canada Deposit Insurance Corp., which covers eligible deposits to a maximum of $100,000 in deposits and interest.

If you’re looking for CDIC-covered banks, EQ is still a leader on rates at 2.3 per cent. Will EQ step up to reclaim its rate leadership? Stay tuned. A close challenger is Alterna Bank, which after a recent increase sits at 2.25 per cent. Alterna offers this rate on tax-free savings and registered retirement savings plans, as well as regular accounts.

Another emerging trend in savings account rates is a widening gap between the leaders on rates and the big banks. As shown on Cannex, savings accounts offered by the Big Five banks averaged 0.9 per cent in early November. Online banks Tangerine and Simplii Financial, owned by Bank of Nova Scotia and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, respectively, paid 1.25 per cent.

The rising trend on rates for guaranteed investment certificates has stalled lately, but there are still some positive developments. Alterna Bank offered a one-year GIC at 3 per cent in early November, which is an inflation-beating rate based on the most recent 2.2-per-cent increase in the cost of living. Five-year rates haven’t moved much – the 3.6-per-cent offering from Oaken Financial and EQ continues to stand out.

EQ is offering 3 per cent on a 15-month GIC, a reminder that the best values in GICs these days continue to be on shorter terms.

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