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Compare First Direct ISAs

Compare ISAs from First Direct and other ISA options available.

Investment ISAs put your capital at risk & you may get back less than you originally invested

What you're looking for isn't available; however, these brands may offer suitable alternatives

Stocks & Shares ISA

from Nutmeg

Allows ISA Transfers
  • Fund Choice: Nutmeg offer 4 diversified portfolios with ETFs, using technology to keep charges low.
  • Invest From: Min. £500 single

Stocks & Shares ISA

from AJ Bell

Allows ISA Transfers
Regular Savings
  • Fund Choice: Wide range of stocks and shares, over 2,000 funds (unit trusts and OEICs), investment trusts and ETFs. Capital at risk.
  • Invest From: £25 pm

Stocks & Shares ISA

from Interactive Investor

Allows ISA Transfers
Regular Savings
  • Fund Choice: Access 40,000+ UK, US and international shares on 17 global exchanges. Choose from over 3,000 funds. Special offer: Open an ISA with £1,000 or more before Sunday and be in with a chance to win £100 of free trades. New customers only. Terms apply. Capital at risk.
  • Invest From: £25 pm
See Deal Special offer: Transfer an ISA worth £10,000 or more before 30 June and get £100 cashback. New customers only. Terms apply. Capital at risk.

Stocks & Shares ISA

from Hargreaves Lansdown

Allows ISA Transfers
Regular Savings
  • Fund Choice: Choose from over 3,000 funds, shares, investment trusts and more to build your portfolio. Capital at risk.
  • Invest From: £25 pm or £100 lump sum

Stocks & Shares ISA

from Best Invest

ISA Option
Allows ISA Transfers
Regular Savings
  • Fund Choice: Over 2,500 funds, UK shares, investment trusts and ETFs or choose Ready Made & Managed Portfolios
  • Invest From: No minimum

Stocks & Shares ISAs

from Fidelity

Allows ISA Transfers
Regular Savings
  • Fund Choice: Choose from over 4,000 investment options, including one of the widest fund ranges in the UK. With online guidance tools and expert fund ideas to help you choose. Capital at risk
  • Invest From: £25 pm

Stocks & Shares ISA

from Fineco

Allows ISA Transfers
  • Fund Choice: A complete multi-currency platform with low fees. Premium trading without premium prices. Choice of worldwide asset managers.
  • Invest From: £100
See Deal Zero Platform Fees - Until the end of the 2022/23 tax year if you open your ISA by 30 April 2022. 0.25% max when promo ends.

Stocks & Shares ISA

from Wealthify

Allows ISA Transfers
Regular Savings
  • Fund Choice: Choose your risk profile and have an investment Plan built and managed for you.
  • Invest From: £1

Stocks & Shares ISA

from Shepherds

Allows ISA Transfers
Regular Savings
  • Fund Choice: Invest in the Shepherds With Profits Fund which offers medium to low risk investing, with the aim of growing your money in a smooth manner over the long term.
  • Invest From: £30 pm

Stocks & Shares ISA

from Moneyfarm

Allows ISA Transfers
Regular Savings
  • Fund Choice: Choose your risk profile and have it matched to an investment portfolio expertly built and managed.
  • Invest From: £1,500
See Deal Up to £400 for all new users that create an account until the end of April

Stocks & Shares ISA

from InvestEngine

Allows ISA Transfers
Regular Savings
  • Fund Choice: Offering commission-free DIY investing or low-cost, professionally managed income or growth portfolios built for you
  • Invest From: £100

My Choice ISA

from Scottish Friendly

Allows ISA Transfers
Regular Savings
  • Fund Choice: A choice of 10 funds so you can pick those that best suit your needs, whether that is just one, a mixture of all 10 or somewhere in between.
  • Invest From: £10pm

Stocks & Shares ISA

from Beanstalk

Allows ISA Transfers
  • Fund Choice: Choose from two funds: a cash fund that aims to provide returns in line with money market rates and a shares fund that aims to track the performance of global stock markets.
  • Invest From: £10

Stocks & Shares ISA

from Willis Owen

Allows ISA Transfers
Regular Savings
  • Fund Choice: Choose from a wide range of funds, shares, investment trusts and ETFs. Tax treatment depends on the individual circumstances of each client and may be subject to change in the future.
  • Invest From: £25

Investment ISA

from Barclays Smart Investor

Allows ISA Transfers
Regular Savings
  • Fund Choice: Invest in over 2,000 funds, plus Exchange Traded Funds, Investment Trusts, Shares and more. 5 Ready-made Investment funds if you’re not sure where to invest. Capital at risk.
  • Invest From: Any amount

First Direct ISA

Who are First Direct?

First Direct are a banking division of HSBC providing internet and telephone retail banking.

Headquartered in Leeds, First Direct specialise in offering personal finance products to its retail customers, including: credit cards, loans, savings accounts, mortgages, and stockbroking accounts.

Among these products are First Direct’s ISA accounts that are available as Cash ISAs and Stocks and Shares ISAs.

What is an ISA account?

An ISA account is a tax-free savings account that you can invest up to £20,000 into per tax year.

While standard savings accounts are subject to capital gains tax and income tax, ISA account investments are completely sheltered from these taxes.

There are two main types of ISA accounts, and First Direct offer both of them:

  1. Cash ISAs
  2. Stocks and Shares ISAs

What is the difference between a Cash ISA and a Stocks and Shares ISA?

Cash ISAs cannot go down in value, and they provide investors with fixed or variable rates of interest. Typically, the shorter the length of term for fixed-interest ISAs, the lower interest rates you’ll get.

Variable interest Cash ISAs usually offer the lowest rates, but you have great flexibility as to when you can access your money and you usually won’t be charged for doing so.

Stocks and Shares ISAs allow you to invest directly in the stock market within the tax-free wrapper of an ISA. Stocks and Shares can go both up and down in value so they are higher risk investments; however, their growth potential is much higher compared to cash savings.

What type of Cash ISAs do First Direct provide?

First Direct offer a variable-rate, instant access Cash ISA, meaning you have the flexibility of withdrawing whenever you like, free of charge.

The interest rates are lower compared to fixed-rate Cash ISAs, but they require you to hold your investments for a fixed term between 1 and 5 years or you’ll be charged for withdrawing.

As it’s a variable rate ISA, the interest rates are not guaranteed like a fixed rate ISA is, so you could earn more or less than the quoted interest rate.

What type of Stocks and Shares ISA do First Direct provide?

First Direct’s Stocks and Shares ISA is specifically a Sharedealing ISA that allows you to buy and sell shares on the stock market and hold them an ISA wrapper.

Unlike some other Stocks and Shares ISA platforms, First Direct’s Sharedealing ISA cannot hold funds like Unit Trusts and OEICs as these are not traded on a live stock exchange.

Therefore, here are the top 3 types of stocks held in a First Direct Sharedealing ISA:

  • Shares – a holding in one individual company
  • Investment Trusts – a holding in an investment company that invests client money within a specific market or sector, like in FTSE 100 companies, for example
  • Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) – a holding in a fund that tracks a certain market or stock index by investing in the underlying companies and aiming to mirror its performance

What are the charges for a First Direct ISA?

First Direct Cash ISAs:

First Direct’s variable rate Cash ISAs are free of charge.

First Direct Stocks and Shares ISAs:

There is technically no ongoing charge for a First Direct Stocks and Shares ISA; however, you must have a First Direct Sharedealing account to open one, and this costs £10.50 per quarter which totals £42 per year.

They also charge for share dealing:

  • £10.50 per online trade for the first 9 trades per quarter, and then £7.95 after this
  • £25 per telephone deal

How do I open a First Direct ISA?

You can open a First Direct ISA online via their online platform.

To open a Share Dealing ISA you will first need to open a standard Share Dealing account, which you can also do online.

For a Cash ISA, you can just register for the ISA directly without needing a Share Dealing account.

You’ll need to provide some basic personal information to create an account including your National Insurance Number, and you’ll need to make a contribution to start investing.

Can I transfer my existing ISAs to a First Direct ISA?

Yes, you can transfer any previous Cash or Stocks and Shares ISAs into a First Direct ISA.

The great thing about ISA transfers is that they don’t count towards your annual ISA allowance, so you can transfer as many ISAs in one year while also adding up to £20,000 of new money.

To transfer your ISA, you’ll need to complete an ISA transfer form with First Direct. They will then request your ISA transfer for you and see it through to completion.

Make sure to check with your existing provider whether you will be charged for transferring so that you know what to expect. 

Oliver Roylance-Smith
Edited by Oliver Roylance-Smith -

Frequently Asked Questions

No. You can switch providers with an ISA transfer if you wish. You can also contribute to other ISA providers in separate tax years.

ISA accounts are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). This means that all ISA providers are covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) for up to £85,000 if they go out of business.

Please note that this may not apply to the underlying holdings within a Stocks and Shares ISA, and will not cover standard investment losses. 

No, ISA stands for Individual Savings Account and must be solely owned for tax purposes.

Yes. It is important to remember that share prices will go down as well as up, and so you may need to be patient with your investments. If you are unsure, a good rule of thumb is not to invest what you cannot afford to lose.

Yes, you can transfer from a Cash ISA to a Share Dealing ISA, but you will need to check you are not charged a fee or have your interest void if you surrender a Fixed Rate Cash ISA before the fixed term ends.

For Cash or Stocks and Shares ISAs, yes, although some Cash ISAs may charge a fee or void your interest if you surrender your policy before the fixed term has ended.

Most providers will allow you to withdraw from your ISA online, via a mobile app, telephone, or by written instruction in the post.

The annual ISA allowance is set by HMRC each year, and the current limit is £20,000 per person for the 2022/23 tax year.

A Stocks and Shares ISA provider will charge an ongoing, annual platform fee as well as some ad hoc charges.

A Cash ISA could also charge if you withdraw money before the end of a fixed-term investment.

Important Risk Information:

The value of investments can go down in value as well as up, so you could get back less than you invest. It is therefore important that you understand the risks and commitments. This website aims to provide information to help you make your own informed decisions. It does not provide personal advice based on your circumstances. If you are unsure of how suitable an investment is for you, please seek personal advice.