This is where we tell you more about our stocks and shares ISA.
We can’t give you financial advice, however this information may help you make an informed decision as to whether this investment is right for you.
Understanding more about our Investment ISA
When you take out a stocks and shares ISA, your money goes into the investment funds you choose. Each fund invests in a different mix of assets. For example, some funds only buy shares in UK companies or property. Other funds invest in bonds or shares of foreign companies, whilst some are multi-asset funds investing in a range of different assets.
Once you invest, we pool your money with that of other investors. The value of your investment depends on the performance of the assets in the fund you choose to invest in.
The value of your investment will go up and down with the value of the fund. This is different to a cash ISA, where your return is based on the interest rate you receive. With your stocks and shares ISA, you’ll get back the value of your investment in the funds you’ve chosen at the time you decide to close your ISA.
With effect from 1 July 2014, the overall annual ISA allowance for 2014/15 increased to £15,000. This isn’t a new allowance on top of the £11,880 available between April and June 2014; it simply means the allowance increases by £3,120.
There are also a number of other changes. Some of the main ones include:
We don’t currently make a charge for investing your money in a stocks and shares ISA. Neither do we charge you for withdrawing your money.
You have to pay the fund managers for their services. You do this by paying a fund management charge. Depending on which funds you choose, you may also have to pay other charges.
As the fund charges vary from fund to fund, we can’t list them all here. The charges for each individual fund appear in the key investor information document for that fund. Please make sure you read this document for each fund you’re interested in.
That depends on how much money you invest and the funds you choose to invest in.
We can’t guarantee that you will make any money or that you will get back the amount you originally invested. The nature of investment is that you speculate to accumulate. In other words, you have to take a risk with your money to stand a chance of making more money.
We produce a fund fact sheet for each of the funds we offer. On the factsheet, you’ll find a graph showing how the fund has performed in the past. This is for information only. Please don’t take past performance as an indication of how the fund will perform in the future.
Whenever you invest, the value of your investment can go up and down and you may not get back what you put in. The risks vary from fund to fund depending on what type of assets they invest in. Each of our funds carry a risk of losing money, but the risk will be lower in some funds than in others.
You must read the risk information for each of the funds you’re interested in before you invest. You can find this in the key investor information document for each fund.
Some funds may be exposed to different risk factors than other funds. For example, if you invest in a fund which holds foreign currency or invests in overseas assets, the exchange rate will affect the value of your investment.
We offer a range of funds suitable for different risk profiles. That means you can choose funds that best match your personal attitude to risk.
Find out more about the way you feel about risking your money in our section about understanding risk.
Once your stocks and shares ISA is up and running, you can register for online access.
When you’ve done that, simply log into your account and you can manage your stocks and shares ISA from there. You can check how your investment is performing, change your payments and alter your personal details online.
You can access the site from a desktop computer, laptop, tablet or mobile phone.
You can withdraw your money at any time.
However, please bear in mind that you should think of a stocks and shares ISA as a medium-to-long term investment of at least five years. If you think you may need to take your money out before then, this kind of investment may not be suitable for you.
If you decide to withdraw your money, you can close your stocks and shares ISA completely or leave at least £500 in it to keep it open. The minimum withdrawal you can make is £500.
If you withdraw money from your stocks and shares ISA, please bear in mind that you may be withdrawing part of your original investment, not just any increase to the value of your investment.
Yes, you can. You can open one stocks and shares ISA and one cash ISA each tax year. From 1 July 2014 you will be able to hold both cash and stocks and shares in the same stocks and shares ISA.
The annual limit for a cash ISA in the 2014/15 tax year is £15,000 (if you don't invest in a stocks and shares ISA). You'll be able to invest all of that allowance in a cash ISA or split it between your cash and stocks and shares ISA as you wish.
From 1 July 2014, your overall ISA allowance increases to £15,000 and the separate limit on cash ISAs disappears. That means if you invest £10,000 in a cash ISA, you can invest up to £5,000 in a stocks and shares ISA, or any other split you wish.
An ISA is a tax-efficient investment. That means you don’t have to worry about paying income tax or capital gains tax on the money you hold in it. You don’t have to file a tax return or even tell HM Revenue & Customs that you have an ISA.
It isn’t completely tax free because we pay corporation tax on the funds you invest in. You can’t reclaim that tax, but you don’t pay any other tax on your investment.
The annual limit for subscriptions to an ISA in the 2014/15 tax year is £15,000.
You can open your ISA either online or by post.
To fund your ISA, you can either make a lump sum payment of at least £500, or regular payments from £50 a month. You can also combine the two options, as long as the same minimum payments are made.
This depends on a number of things, including:
How much do you want to invest?
Are you investing a lump sum? If so, you need at least £500. If you’d prefer to invest monthly, you can start your ISA with as little as £50 a month.
How long do you want to invest for?
Usually, the longer you can invest your money, the better chance you have of seeing returns. This is because you need to give your money time to grow. Unlike a cash ISA where you may shop around for the best rates every year, you should think of an investment like this one as lasting at least five years. If you want to invest for less time than that, it may not be suitable for you.
Will you need to take your money out quickly?
You can get hold of your money at any time, but we strongly suggest that you leave it to grow for at least five years. If you think you might need this money quickly, you may be better off putting it in a deposit account.
Are you eligible for an ISA?
The government sets out criteria for investing in ISAs. You must be over 18, a UK resident, a Crown employee or the spouse or civil partner of a Crown employee.
Do you already have an ISA for this tax year?
You can’t take out more than one stocks and shares ISA like this one in one tax year. If you already have an ISA, you can transfer your existing ISA across to us.
If you want help deciding whether to invest or not, we recommend you speak to a financial adviser. They will be able to assess your situation and offer you advice. You will probably have to pay a charge for this. You can find an adviser in your area through unbiased.co.uk.
Choose one of our two simple ways of investing your money in investment funds.
To learn more about ISAs and investing in general, visit our Saving or Investing what's the difference and which is best for me? page. We can’t offer you financial advice, but the information in these pages could be useful when you’re deciding what to do.
If you’re in any doubt, we strongly recommend you talk to a financial adviser. If you don’t already have one, you can find an independent adviser in your area at unbiased.co.uk. An adviser will probably charge you for their time and expertise.