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New ISA guidelines

New ISA guidelines

Category: Savings

Updated: 31/10/2008
First Published: 28/08/2008

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New guidelines to improve cash ISA transfer process

The British Bankers' Association, the Building Societies Association and the Tax Incentivised Savings Association today publish new guidelines to speed up the transfer of cash ISAs between providers and to improve the efficiency of the process.

The guidelines summarise the transfer process in five distinct steps. Each step sets out what the existing and new ISA provider is expected to do within a certain timescale. Many providers are already working to these timescales, others are taking action to meet them. Providers will start to make changes as soon as practical.

One cause of delay identified by the industry working group was insufficient information being exchanged between providers. As a result, a Model Cash ISA Transfer Authority Form has been produced to capture the necessary information for a transfer.

Commenting on the new guidelines and form, BBA Chief Executive, Angela Knight, said:

"ISAs have been an enormously popular means of saving so collectively the industry has taken decisive action to resolve some of the immediate issues facing customers. Now we are moving our focus to the longer term to ensure the ISA transfer process is robust and efficient for customers."

BSA Director-General, Adrian Coles, said:

"Building societies are aware of the very real problems faced by some customers transferring their ISA. We believe that these guidelines are a good first step to simplify the process, improve communication and ensure the customer gets a better level of service."

TISA chairman John Brasington added:

"These measures provide a welcome impact on the transfer process. The next step is to investigate how electronic solutions can ensure further improvements in the secure and concurrent transfer of funds and the necessary supporting information essential for the legitimate transfer of the ISA. A working party has been established to develop a suitable process."


The guidelines and model form are the result of a collaborative effort by the British Bankers' Association (BBA), the Building Societies Association (BSA) and the Tax Incentivised Savings Association (TISA). The three organisations have consulted a wide range of ISA providers to identify the issues that have been contributing to delays and to develop solutions.

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