Child Trust Funds

A Child Trust Fund (CTF) is a long term, tax-free savings account for children. These accounts were set up with a Government 'voucher' of up to £500 to make sure every child that qualified can start their adult life with a savings account.

Parents and guardians could open up these trust funds for children born between 1 September 2002 and 2 January 2011.

Even though this product is closed to new applicants, existing account holders can continue to make deposits into their Child Trust Fund until the child is 18.

From the age of 16 a child can take control of their Child Trust Fund, but they don’t have to do this, parents or guardians can continue to act as the registered contact and look after the Child Trust Fund on the child’s behalf until their 18th birthday.

If you already have a Child Trust Fund

If you already have a Child Trust Fund any person can pay into the Child Trust Fund up to the annual Child Trust Fund limit until the child’s 18th birthday.

For the current tax year, the annual subscription limit is £9,000 during the birthday year.

Any money paid into the Child Trust Fund is a gift to the child that only they can access when they turn 18.

Since September 2020, Child Trust Funds have started to mature as account holders turn 18 years old.

What you can expect from us

If you're a parent or guardian

Before your child turns 18, we'll write to you, as the registered contact, to inform you of the upcoming maturity.

When your child reaches 18, their Child Trust Fund will mature automatically into a Matured Child Trust Fund account.

At this point, your role as registered contact ceases and the child is the sole legal owner of the funds. We can only accept their instructions regarding the funds in the account.

No further payments can be accepted but the account retains its tax-free status.

Prior to your child's birthday, we will send them a maturity pack so they can instruct us what to do with the funds. They can continue to save, withdraw the funds or decide to do a combination of the two.

If your child will not have the capacity to manage their own finances when they turn 18, as parents or guardians you will need to arrange the relevant third party documentation in order to operate the account on their behalf, i.e. Court of Protection, Lasting Power Of Attorney. Parents or guardians can ask for Court of Protection fees to be waived when seeking access to a Child Trust Fund, and where Court of Protection fees have already been paid an application can be submitted for these fees to be refunded. Please refer to the government's website for full information.

If you are turning 18

Before you turn 18, we'll write directly to you, enclosing a maturity pack explaining what your options are and what you'll need to do for each option. We'll include an Intentions Form which you can complete and return with your instructions.

We will also write to the registered contact to advise that the account is due to mature.

The Child Trust Fund matures on your 18th birthday* and will automatically transfer into a Matured Child Trust Fund account in your sole name; it will retain its tax-free status and continue to earn interest tax-free until you inform us of what you would like to do with your funds.

*If the 18th Birthday falls on a Sunday/Bank Holiday the maturity will take place on the next Business Day.

Features of the Matured Child Trust Fund

  • earn a variable rate of interest tax free
  • this account does not accept deposits
  • withdrawal(s) must be for the full amount - partial withdrawals are not permitted but multiple transactions are allowed on the same day
  • the account will close when all funds are withdrawn
  • the funds can be withdrawn by cheque, cash in branch or electronic transfers by CHAPS - we charge a fee for CHAPS
  • you can also transfer to another ISA with The Co-operative Bank or another ISA provider.

What you can do with the account when you turn 18

Your options are:

  • transfer the money to an ISA that accepts such transfers, this can be an existing ISA in your name, or a newly opened ISA with us or another provider - the amount transferred will not count towards your annual ISA allowance. If you choose to transfer to another provider, you will need to contact them to request a transfer
  • transfer the money into a new/existing savings or current account (including Student Account) with The Co-operative Bank or another provider
  • close the account
  • choose a combination of the above options.

We can only accept instructions from you. This means it's your choice what you do with the account, not your parent or guardian.

Once you've decided what you want to do with your money, you'll need to complete the 'Intentions Form' and post it back to us in the prepaid envelope provided in the pack or hand it into a Co-operative Bank branch.

Co-operative Bank Intentions Form (PDF)

Britannia Intentions Form (PDF)

Don’t worry if you haven’t decided what to do with the funds yet, the balance will remain in the Matured Child Trust Fund account until you decide what you want to do.

    What you need to access your account

    We want to keep your savings safe from financial crime and fraud. This means that we'll need an Identification Document and Proof of Address from you before you can access your funds.

    Details of Acceptable Proofs

    For closure requests by cheque only, provided your details have not changed and the cheque is only in your name, you do not need to send identification with your Intentions Form.

    Final payments

    As at maturity no further payments can be accepted into your account, please note the following:

    • cheques should be received at least 4 business days before the maturity date
    • any Direct Debit instructions held on the Child Trust Fund will be cancelled after the last eligible payment has been collected in the month prior to the maturity date
    • any other payments must go into the Child Trust Fund by the last working day before maturity
    • you need to cancel any payment instructions that are due to be received on or after the maturity date
    • please advise any friends or family who may pay into the Child Trust Fund to arrange any final payments in line with the dates above.

    Savings terms explained

    AER stands for Annual Equivalent Rate and shows what the interest rate would be if interest were paid and added to your account each year.

    Business day is usually Monday to Friday excluding bank holidays.

    Calendar month means from midnight on the first day of a month to 11.59:59pm on the last day of the month.

    Fixed interest means the rate stays the same until the account matures.

    Gross is the rate of interest payable before any tax is taken off.

    Tax-free means you will not pay any tax on your interest.

    Tax year runs from 6 April to 5 April.

    Variable interest means that it could go up or down.

    Please note: any reference to tax is based on our understanding of current tax regulations which may change in the future and depend on the customer's individual financial circumstances.

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

    Financial Services Compensation Scheme

    Your eligible deposits held by a UK establishment of The Co-operative Bank plc are protected up to a total of £85,000 by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, the UK's deposit guarantee scheme. This limit is applied to the total of any deposits you have with The Co-operative Bank and smile. Any total deposits you hold above the limit between these brands are unlikely to be covered.

    Please read further information on the FSCS scheme here or visit their website.