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ISA allowances and information



Summary

Learn more about about how ISA allowances work and how to transfer your existing cash ISA.

What is an ISA?

ISA is short for ‘Individual Savings Account'. ISAs are tax-free savings and investments, which means all returns from your ISA will be free of both UK Income and Capital Gains Tax. This favourable tax treatment depends on the individual’s circumstances and may be subject to change in the future.

There are three types of ISA - cash ISAs which we offer, a stocks & shares ISA and an innovative finance ISA which we don't.

Cash ISAs

Allows you to save money in a deposit based savings account.

Stocks and shares ISAs

Allow you to put money into a stock market-based investment, such as unit trusts, for the potential of greater returns. However, the value of investments in stocks and shares ISAs and the income from them may fall as well as rise and is not guaranteed, you may lose part or all of your investment.

Innovative finance ISAs

From 6 April 2016, lenders will be able to benefit from tax-free interest courtesy of the new innovative finance ISA (IFISA), which will cover loans arranged through peer-to-peer (P2P) platform

To save in a cash ISA you must be aged 16 or over and be resident in the UK for tax purposes. (Aged 18 for a stocks and shares ISA or innovative finance ISA.)

Accounts can only be held in a sole name, they cannot be opened as a joint account.

You are only allowed to subscribe to one cash and/or one stocks and shares ISA and/or innovative finance ISA per tax year therefore you cannot subscribe to a cash ISA with us if you have already contributed to another cash ISA using this tax year’s ISA allowance, or if you have already invested the full ISA allowance in a stocks and shares ISA or innovative finance ISA this tax year.

  • Please note once you have paid in your full allowance for the tax year, you can’t make any further payments until the next tax year, regardless of any withdrawals you might make.

ISA Allowances

The 2016/2017 ISA allowance is £15,240 and you can save any part of, or your whole ISA allowance in a cash ISA, a stocks and shares ISA or innovative finance ISA, or any combination of the three.

The following information illustrates this:

In the 2016/2017 tax year


From 6 April 2016 to 5 April 2017.

Cash ISA


Up to £15,240 less whatever you deposit in a stocks and shares ISA or an innovative finance ISA.

Stocks and shares ISA


Up to £15,240 less whatever you deposit in a cash ISA or innovative finance ISA.

Innovative Finance ISA


Up to £15,240 less whatever you deposit in a cash ISA or Stocks and Shares ISA.

Maximum total each year


Up to £15,240.

If you pay into a cash ISA, you will be subscribing to a cash ISA for the current tax year and you will be limiting the amount of tax efficient savings you can make in a stocks and shares ISA or innovative finance ISA. Where you do not use your full ISA allowance within a tax year, it cannot be carried forward into the next tax year.

Transferring your ISA - points to consider

Remember, you can subscribe to a cash ISA with The Co-operative Bank so long as you have not subscribed to another cash ISA with another provider in the current tax year. If you currently already have a cash ISA with another bank or building society, you can transfer it to us. The form to do this will be sent with your welcome letter after you have applied.

For further details about how to transfer your ISA please see the transferring your existing cash ISA sections below.

Or if you want to speak to someone about how you can make the most of your tax-efficient savings you can contact us or visit your local branch. The Building Societies Association's ISA transfer guide (PDF) also contains more information about the ISA transfer process

Transferring in

You can make a transfer into one of our cash ISAs:

  • If you are transferring into a limited issue Britannia cash ISA, please check with us that the product is still open for deposits, you can do this by calling us or visiting any branch.
  • Your cash ISA with your existing provider may have restrictions relating to ISA transfers out and you may wish to check this before requesting a transfer to us.
  • You will not lose the tax benefits provided you first open a cash ISA with us. We’ll provide you with forms to send to your existing provider to request the transfer or we can send them on your behalf. You must not withdraw the funds yourself to transfer to us as they will lose their tax-free status.

As you are only able to subscribe to one cash ISA in a tax year, if you wish to transfer the current tax year’s subscriptions, you must transfer all of the subscription you have already made for the current tax year.

You can however open a new cash ISA with us by transferring previous tax years’ subscriptions of any amount so long as it doesn’t contain the current tax year’s subscription.

You may transfer a cash ISA into a stocks and shares ISA or innovative finance ISA. Some ISA providers also allow transfers from stocks and shares ISA or an innovative finance ISA to a cash ISA too but unfortunately we do not currently offer this type of transfer.

Transferring out

You can make a transfer out of a Co-operative Bank or Britannia cash ISA, either for part of the balance or the full balance:

  • Some of our ISAs have restrictions which may mean you incur a charge or loss of interest. The individual factsheets/pages will explain withdrawal arrangements within the summary box.
  • You will not lose the tax benefits provided you first open an ISA with another provider. Your new provider should then be asked to contact us to arrange the transfer. You must not withdraw the funds yourself to transfer as they will lose their tax-free status.

How to transfer your existing cash ISA to a Britannia cash ISA

Applying by post

To transfer an existing cash ISA account (held with us or another provider) to a Britannia cash ISA, all you need to do is complete a Britannia Cash ISA Transfer In Request Authority Form* and return this to:

The Co-operative Bank

Tax Services,

Britannia House,

Leek,

Staffordshire Moorlands,

ST13 5RG

We’ll get in touch with your existing ISA provider and take care of everything.

*This authorises your existing ISA provider to release the funds from your existing account.

Applying online

You cannot apply online for a Britannia cash ISA where you want to transfer in funds from another provider. You need to complete the ISA Transfer Application Pack and post it to us.

Transferring more than one ISA?

If you'd like to transfer more than one ISA account into a Britannia ISA account, you'll need to download an additional Britannia Cash ISA Transfer In Request Authority Form* for each additional ISA account you want to transfer.

For example:

If you wanted to transfer funds from two existing ISA accounts (held with other providers) into a Select Access Cash ISA, you'll need to download an additional Transfer In Request Form for the second account, and return these to us.

Important Information - a reminder

  • The ISA Transfer Application Form, Transfer In Request Forms &/or Pack are to be sent to us.
  • Should you choose to take these forms to your local branch, you'll need your account or roll number for your existing ISA account. We'd suggest that you bring along either a recent statement or passbook for the ISA you wish to transfer to us.
  • Once your account is transferred we'll write to you to confirm.

Find out more about ISA transfers

The British Bankers' Association has published a leaflet, Transferring your Cash ISA. This leaflet gives ISA holders information about the work involved for ISA providers when they transfer your ISA for you and the timescales they try to work to.

How to transfer your existing cash ISA to a Co-operative Bank cash ISA

To transfer an existing cash ISA account (held with us or another provider) to a Co-operative Bank cash ISA, all you need to do is complete the Co-operative Bank Cash ISA Transfer In Request Authority Form*

(which is sent with your welcome letter or attached below) and return this to:

The Co-operative Bank, Tax Services, Britannia House, Leek, Staffordshire Moorlands, ST13 5RG – We’ll get in touch with your existing ISA provider and take care of everything.

*This authorises your existing ISA provider to release the funds from your existing account.

We can only complete an ISA transfer in request once your Co-operative Bank cash ISA is open, so if you haven’t got a Co-operative Bank cash ISA; you’ll need to apply for one before you request an ISA transfer in.

Transferring more than one ISA?

If you'd like to transfer more than one ISA account into a Co-operative Bank cash ISA, you'll need to download an additional Co-operative Bank Cash ISA Transfer In Request Authority Form for each additional ISA account you want to transfer.

For example:

If you wanted to transfer funds from two existing ISA accounts (held with other providers) into an Online Cash ISA, you'll need to download the Co-operative Bank ISA Transfer Authority Form In Request Form and complete 2 forms – one for each existing cash ISA you want to transfer and return these to the address above.

Important Information - a reminder

  • The Co-operative Bank Cash ISA Transfer In Request Authority Form are to be sent to us.
  • Should you choose to take these forms to your local branch, you'll need your account or roll number for your existing ISA account. We'd suggest that you bring along either a recent statement or passbook for the ISA you wish to transfer to us.
  • Once your account is transferred we'll write to you to confirm.

Find out more about ISA transfers

The British Bankers' Association has published a leaflet, Transferring your Cash ISA. This leaflet gives ISA holders information about the work involved for ISA providers when they transfer your ISA for you and the timescales they try to work to.

What if I open a cash ISA, then change my mind?

You have 14 days from the date that the new account is opened to change or close your account and you will not suffer a loss of interest.

We will help you to switch to another account or give you your money back, as you wish. You must make sure that your request to cancel is made in person at a branch or sent to us in writing within 14 days of opening your Account. You can provide notice of cancellation to us either at The Co-operative Bank. Tax Services. Britannia House. Leek Staffordshire Moorlands. ST13 5RG or at any of our branches.

It is important that you notify us if you change your mind, and don’t simply close your account. If you close your account without notifying us that you have changed your mind, you will lose the tax status of previous tax years’ subscriptions and if you have paid any of the current tax year’s subscription into the ISA, you will be unable to open a cash ISA with us or any other provider in the same tax year.

Any reference to tax is based on our understanding of current tax regulations which may change in the future and depends on your individual financial circumstances.

The Co-operative Bank reserves the right to decline or accept any application and/or deposit.

  • Remember you can subscribe to a Co-operative Bank/ Britannia Cash ISA as long as you have not subscribed to another cash ISA with another provider in the current tax year.

smile, The Co-operative Bank and Britannia are trading names of The Co-operative Bank plc, which is a member of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).

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