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ISA stands for Individual Savings Account and is a type of savings account that offers the benefit of tax free savings.

Given the tax free benefits, a Cash ISA operates during the tax year, rather than the calendar year. This means that if interest is earned annually, it is paid on 5 April rather than the 31 December. Fixed rate Cash ISAs will also pay interest on maturity. Monthly income Cash ISAs pay interest monthly to a nominated external account or another account with us.

Cash ISA subscription limits are set by the UK Government and you can pay up to £20,000 into your ISA in the current tax year.

Subject to product availability, we can offer easy access, fixed rate or notice Cash ISAs. Our Cash ISAs can be accessed in branch or by post. Find out more from the products below.

You will find some Frequently Asked Questions about Cash ISAs at the bottom of this page.

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eSaver 180 Day Notice Cash ISA (1st issue)

Minimum Balance £500 +
Interest Rate (AER1/Gross2) 5.30% tax free^
Interest Payable Annually on 5 April
Withdrawals Withdrawals or closure subject to 180 days written notice or the loss of 180 days interest
Access Online only

180 Day Notice Cash ISA (2nd issue)

Minimum Balance £1 +
Interest Rate (AER1/Gross2) 5.30% tax free^
Interest Payable Annually on 5 April
Withdrawals Withdrawals or closure subject to 180 days written notice or the loss of 180 days interest
Access Post or branch

Easy Access Cash ISA (3rd issue)

Minimum Balance £1 +
Interest Rate (AER1/Gross2) 2.75%
Interest Payable Annually on 5 April tax free^
Withdrawals Withdrawals, closure or transfers can be made without notice or loss of interest
Access Post or Branch

Cash ISA Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Cash ISA?

A Cash ISA is an Individual Savings Account that earns interest in the way that a normal savings account would, as a percentage of the cash amount held in the account, however it has the benefit that the interest earned is tax free^.

How do Cash ISAs work?

Cash ISAs were designed by UK Government and allow you to save a set amount, where interest earned is tax free^ in each financial year. For the current tax year (2023/24), the maximum amount you can save is £20,000.

This approach also means that the interest earned on your savings, if it is paid annually, is paid at the end of the financial year on 5 April rather than the end of the calendar year.

Can you have more than one Cash ISA?

You can have more than one Cash ISA, however you can only pay into one Cash ISA in any tax year. If you already have an ISA account, then you may be able to transfer it to a new provider, depending on the terms and conditions with the new provider. The maximum £20,000 investment amount remains the same, regardless of whether you switch providers.

Can you put more than £20,000 in your ISA?

No, you can only put in up to £20,000 in your Cash ISA in the 2023/24 tax year. This subscription limit is set by the UK Government.

What are the advantages of Cash ISAs?

The main advantage of Cash ISAs is that the interest earned is tax free^. A Cash ISA also offers a percentage return on the amount saved in the account and, unlike Stocks and Shares ISAs, are not linked to the performance of the stock market.

Another advantage is that you can either save regularly or deposit a lump sum in one go as long as you don’t exceed your maximum £20,000 annual ISA allowance.

Cash ISAs with UK authorised banks, building societies and credit unions are also protected under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). The scheme protects up to £85,000 of your savings in case your bank or building society fails.

What are the disadvantages of Cash ISAs?

Disadvantages of Cash ISAs are:

  • the maximum amount that you can save in a tax year, set by the UK Government
  • you can only pay into one Cash ISA in any tax

The Government’s Personal Savings Allowance allows basic rate taxpayers to earn up to £1,000 in tax-free savings each year from any type of savings account. For higher rate tax payers, up to £500 can be earned tax free. This means that, although interest earned on an ISA is tax free^, you may also be able to earn interest from a different type of account with a better interest rate without tax being applied.

For example, if you are a basic rate tax payer, £20,000 saved in a different type of account to an ISA would have to earn over 5% interest before tax was applied. As a result, you may want to check alternatives to a Cash ISA depending upon the amount you have to invest and the interest rates on offer.

How do I choose the correct Cash ISA?

Subject to product availability, there are different types of Cash ISAs to choose from, including Easy Access, Fixed Rate, Notice Accounts and even Cash Junior ISAs for children under 18 years of age.

One of the best ways to choose the right Cash ISA is to think about what type of access you want from your savings. If you need instant access to your savings, then an Easy Access account might suit you best, but if you’re prepared to lock your savings away for a year or two to earn a better rate of interest, then you might want to consider a fixed rate Cash ISA.

A notice account can be a compromise between an easy access account and a fixed rate account – rather than locking your money away for long periods, you can still access your money by giving notice before you make a withdrawal. The amount of notice can vary from 30 days’ or even 180 days’ notice. The longer the notice period the more interest you may be able to earn.

Is there a penalty for closing a Cash ISA?

There is no penalty for closing an Easy Access Cash ISA, however if you want to close a fixed rate Cash ISA or a notice account early, then a penalty will be applied to the closing balance.

The penalty applied is typically a number of days loss of interest on the closing balance. The number of days can vary from account to account and between providers, so it’s worth checking with your provider directly if you are considering closing a fixed rate or notice account early.

1. AER

AER stands for Annual Equivalent Rate and illustrates what the interest rate would be if interest was paid and compounded once each year. AERs on the Monthly Income account assume interest is added to the account each month although in practice the option to have interest added in this way is not available.

2. Gross Rate

The gross rate is the contractual rate of interest payable without tax taken off.
If separate AER/Gross rates are not quoted, both rates are identical.

^Tax Free

Tax free means exempt from UK income and capital gains tax in the hands of the investor.

Understanding Savings

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