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May 2013

How can I transfer my cash ISA?

If you've opened a cash ISA for 2013-14, but are unhappy with the rate of interest that you're receiving, the good news is that it's easy to transfer your tax-efficient savings from one provider to another.

Why should I transfer my cash ISA?

Transferring your ISA can be a good strategy for savers, allowing them to keep on top of the latest bonus rates and deals. By transferring your money when your current rate drops, you can take advantage of new offers on ISAs, and avoid taking the hit from a drop in rates when bonus periods come to an end.

What are the rules for cash ISA transfers?

Before you transfer your cash ISA, remember that:

  1. You shouldn't just withdraw your money and put it into a new cash ISA, or you'll immediately lose all the tax benefits. Follow the transfer steps below to make sure your money retains its tax-efficient status.
  2. You can transfer a cash ISA into an investment ISA (but you can't transfer an investment ISA into a cash ISA).
  3. Instant and easy access cash ISA transfers are usually free.
  4. Fixed rate cash ISAs may incur a charge for transferring - for example, you may lose a set amount of interest. If you are unsure about the charges involves in transferring your fixed rate cash ISA, speak to your ISA manager.
  5. If you are at all unsure about transferring your ISA we suggest that you seek independent financial advice.

How does the cash ISA transfer process work?

Transferring your cash ISA from one provider to another used to be notorious for taking a long time, but in recent years many ISA managers have adopted guidelines which aim to streamline the whole process. The entire transfer process should take no longer than 15 working days.

  1. Choose a cash ISA provider that suits you - you can use our comparison tables to find some of the latest interest rate deals.
  2. Fill in an ISA transfer authority form and an ISA application form - both these forms will usually be included in the application pack provided by your chosen ISA manager.
  3. You may be contacted by your current cash ISA manager in order to confirm the transfer. They will transfer your funds to your new ISA provider. This should take no longer than 11 working days, and your new ISA manager should contact your old ISA manager to find out the reason for any delays.
  4. Once the new ISA provider receives the funds, they will be credited to your ISA account. You'll continue to earn interest on your money while it's being transferred, backdated to the first day where interest no longer accrues from your old ISA account.

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