Savings rates have broken through the 7% barrier for the first time in more than six years as a result of the global credit crisis.

While some homeowners will be hit with higher borrowing costs as a result of the volatility in world credit markets, savers are reaping the benefits.

An increase in the inter-bank lending rate as a result of the crisis has left many banks and building societies looking for alternative ways to raise funds, such as by tempting more savers through their doors.

Financial information group Moneyfacts said returns paid on top savings accounts had soared by 1.5% since the beginning of the year and by 1% during the past two months alone.

Yesterday it announced that savings rates had broken through the 7% barrier for the first time in more than six years, when Stroud & Swindon Building Society relaunched its fixed-rate bond, increasing the rate to 7.05%, up from its previous rate of 6.25%.

Standard Life today also launched a fixed rate bond with a rate of 7% fixed for six months.

Overall, Moneyfacts said more than 20 providers had increased their fixed-rate offers during the past two weeks, with the best rates rising by 0.35%.

Rachel Thrussell, head of savings at, said: "Lenders are looking for alternative ways to fund their mortgage lending, and it seems as if increasing deposits has been the first port of call for many.

"With savings rates reaching such heights, the traditional advice to overpay as much on your mortgage as frequently as you can may have gone out of the window.

"If you were lucky enough to secure yourself a cheap rate mortgage, it may make sense to invest in a 7% one-year bond, making one-off lump sum payments if your mortgage permits. A return of 7% is quite outstanding."