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Apr 2013

Cash ISAs for the new tax year

With spring finally upon us and the 2013/14 tax year in full swing, many of us will be looking back on the financial ups and downs of 2012/13. It's unlikely to be remembered fondly by savers in years to come. The base rate remained at an historic low of 0.5%, and the Government's Funding for Lending initiative provided banks with an alternative source of funding and lessened their reliance on savers. In many cases, this meant a squeeze on interest rates.

ISA season lacking in top cash rates

Even the usually much-vaunted ISA season failed to really get off the ground this year, with the highest cash ISA rates barely hitting 2.5%. Nor was there the annual scramble to attract savers that usually characterises the weeks running up to 5th April each year. Bonus rates were few and far between, and several accounts have since been pulled by their providers, leading to disappointment for many savers. Meanwhile, fixed rate cash ISA rates continued to remain at a low level, with little apparent difference between fixed and easy access rates.

Making the most of your money

All in all, the cash ISA landscape was an uninspiring prospect. But it's all too easy to use the current savings climate as an excuse not to put money aside. However, it's always a good idea to have some savings in place - so if you're one of those people who left it until the last minute to use your ISA allowance, why not start the new tax year with a regular savings habit and make the most of your tax-free allowance? Fixed rate ISAs could be a good option if you know you'll be tempted to spend rather than save, as they require you to tie up your money for a set period of time. To compare some of our current fixed rate ISA deals, click here.

Structured deposit ISAs offer an alternative

If you'd normally consider putting your cash into a fixed rate ISA when interest rates are low, you may want to consider an alternative type of cash ISA, known as a structured deposit ISA. These plans protect your money while allowing you the opportunity to receive returns on it, linked to the performance of an index such as the FTSE 100. To find out more about structured deposit cash ISAs, click here.

No news, feature article or comment should be seen as a personal recommendation to invest. If you are in any doubt as to the suitability of a particular investment you should seek independent financial advice.

These are structured deposit plans that are capital protected. There is a risk that the company backing the plan or any company associated with the plan may be unable to repay your initial investment and any returns stated. In this event you may be entitled to compensation from the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), depending on your individual circumstances. In addition, you may not get back the full amount of your initial investment if the plan is not held for the full term. The past performance of the FTSE 100 Index and any of it shares is not a guide to its future performance.

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An ISA is an individual savings account that offers the chance for individuals to earn up to £20,000 tax-free interest.Not only can those who subscribe to an ISA benefit from tax-free interest from savings, but also enjoy the freedom to invest from their ISA and avoid paying tax on their returns.

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