Are you NISA ready?

07th April 2014

The Budget took many of us by surprise, none more so than the banks and building societies that now have to scramble in preparation for the new ISA rules coming into force on 1 July.

Some providers were quick to act, relaxing their rules and reassuring savers that they will be able to top up to the new £15,000 ISA limit from July. Of course most variable rate ISAs should allow savers to top up but fixed rate cash ISAs may need to come with a warning.

Many providers have yet to announce their plans and given that most fixed rates (ISA or standard savings) don’t allow additions, especially once the issue has been withdrawn from sale, some savers could find themselves caught out by choosing the wrong ISA provider.

It’s great news that some leading ISA providers have already announced plans to allow customers to maximise their ISA allowance, in particular relaxing their current fixed rate ISA rules.

However we are still very much in the dark with many ISA providers, so savers would be wise not to rush into their choice of fixed rate ISA before knowing all the facts. It's sensible to first make sure they can top up should they wish to, otherwise it could cost them the ability to make the most of the new limits.

Even if top ups are allowed, it’s also important to check how flexible the rules are to make sure you don’t get caught out, as the T&Cs are different from provider to provider.

Below is a selection of some of the leading providers that have announced their plans for the new allowance from 1st July:

ProviderPlans for allowing top-ups from 1st July
HalifaxCan be topped up within 180 days of the fixed rate cash ISA being opened.
Lloyds BankTop-ups allowed from 1st July 2014 to the end of the 2014/15 tax year.
NationwideAble to top-up until the end of July 2014, or if there is a better fixed rate Cash ISA available from the provider, you can open one from 1st July 2014.
SantanderAble to top-up until 31st August 2014.

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