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Managing your ISA

Answers to your common questions

What is an ISA?

  • An ISA, or Individual Savings Account, can offer a very attractive way to help you pay less tax on your savings. Whether or not you pay tax on your income or other savings, you won't have to pay any personal income tax on ISAs.
  • The maximum amount you can invest in the current tax year is £20,000. You can choose to invest your full allowance into a cash Isa, a stocks and shares ISA or an innovative finance ISA or any combination of the three.

    Alternatively you can split your allowance by investing up to £4,000 in a lifetime ISA and the remaining allowance between any combination of the other three types of ISA, as long as you don't exceed £20,000 in total across your ISAs.

    Birmingham Midshires do not currently offer new ISAs.

  • You are able to withdraw and replace funds from some of our cash ISAs without affecting your yearly ISA allowance providing you replace the funds in the same tax year you withdraw them. When all withdrawn funds have been replaced, any further payments to your account will be treated as part of your yearly ISA allowance.
  • You can transfer money saved in the current tax year or previous tax years to another type of ISA or from another type of ISA to your cash ISA.
  • You'll also be able to transfer money saved in a cash ISA in the current tax year, or previous tax year to a stocks and shares ISA, an innovative finance ISA, or a lifetime ISA. You can also transfer from a stocks and a shares ISA, innovative finance ISA or lifetime ISA to cash ISA.
  • If you open a cash ISA and subsequently transfer it to another type of ISA you can deposit in a cash ISA for the current tax year as long as the total investment limits aren't exceeded. Such transfers must be the whole amount saved in the current tax year in that cash ISA up to the day of the transfer. These transfers are subject to terms and conditions.
  • Tax treatment depends on your individual circumstances and may change

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Who can save in a Birmingham Midshires cash ISA?

To save in a Birmingham Midshires cash ISA, you must:

  • Be resident in the UK for tax purposes, or if not so resident, either perform duties which are treated as being performed in the UK or be married to, or in a civil partnership with, a person who performs such duties
  • Be 16 years old or over
  • Not have subscribed to another cash ISA in the same tax year

If you wish to apply online for one of our cash ISAs you must be at least 18 years old or over. If you'd like to apply for one of our postal ISAs by phone please call 0345 028 2828.

If you wish to apply for our internet cash ISAs you must be 18 years old or over and hold a current UK bank or building society account which accepts direct debits and which you hold a chequebook for.

ISAs cannot be held in joint names or by businesses, clubs or associations.

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How much can I save in an ISA?

The maximum amount you can invest in the current tax year is £20,000. You can choose to invest your full allowance into a cash ISA, a stocks and shares ISA or an innovative finance ISA or any combination of the three.

Alternatively you can split your allowance by investing up to £4,000 in a lifetime ISA and the remaining allowance between any combination of the other three types of ISA, as long as you don't exceed £20,000 in total across your ISAs.

Birmingham Midshires do not currently offer new ISAs.

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How do I apply for an internet ISA?

You can apply online for our postal and internet cash ISAs, providing you are 18 years old or over.

Otherwise you can apply by phone for our non-internet cash ISAs.

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What happens once I've applied online for an internet ISA?

If you're a new internet customer

  • We'll send an acknowledgement email confirming your application has been submitted and a letter confirming that your Linked Account has been set-up
  • We'll send a letter asking for a cheque for the full amount you'd like to deposit, a confirmation slip which you must sign and return and any identification documents that may be required
  • Once these items have been returned, your cheque will be paid to your account
  • We'll send a username letter and an access token email to you once your cheque has been paid in
  • You'll need these to activate your account online
  • We'll also, separately, send you an ISA certificate.

If you're an existing internet customer

  • We'll send an acknowledgement email confirming your application has been submitted and a letter confirming your Linked Account has been set-up
  • If you've opted to send a cheque for the full amount you wish to deposit, send this to us in the post with your account number written on the reverse.
  • If you've opted to pay by direct debit from your Linked Account, we will request payment directly from your account.
  • Once payment has been received, we'll send you a welcome letter and your ISA certificate.

You can log onto your account and view this at anytime using your existing username and passwords.

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How do I top up my Birmingham Midshires cash ISA?

Providing your existing ISA allows top ups, i.e. is not a fixed rate ISA or index linked ISA that is no longer on offer, you can top up your ISA within the current tax year's ISA allowance of £20,000 (see 'Can I withdraw and re-deposit into my Cash ISA?' for more information).

Please ensure cheques are received by 5th April 2018 at the latest to be credited to your ISA in the current tax year.

Alternatively you could arrange a payment to be sent electronically from your bank, please check the timescales for receipt of payment to ensure we receive this before the 5th April 2018.

For transfers from existing Birmingham Midshires accounts this can be actioned the same day. Please ensure we receive instructions before 3pm on 2nd April for transfers to be credited to your ISA in the current tax year. If you didn't subscribe in 2017/2018 tax year to your Birmingham Midshires ISA we will require a signed declaration unless you are simply redepositing money that you have withdrawn from your ISA in the same tax year, if you are unsure please call 0345 602 2828.

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Can I withdraw and re-deposit into my cash ISA?

From 6th April 2016, changes to the ISA regulations mean you will be able to withdraw and replace funds from some of our cash ISAs without affecting your yearly ISA allowance providing you replace the funds in the same tax year you withdraw them. When all withdrawn funds have been replaced, any further payments to your account will be treated as part of your yearly ISA allowance. You can withdraw up to the total balance of your Account, but if you have less than £1 in your Account it will be closed.

Can I close an ISA?

You can close a cash ISA within 14 days of your application being completed and still open another cash ISA within the same tax year. After the first 14 days, you can still close your account at any time and withdraw your money, but you will lose your tax free entitlement if you don't transfer to another ISA, and depending on you ISA conditions, you may be subject to an early withdrawal charge.

If the reason for closing your ISA is to change to another provider, you should transfer your ISA to ensure you keep the favourable tax treatment. Please see Can I transfer current or previous ISA subscriptions question for more detail on transfers.

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Can I open a cash ISA and subsequently close it, then open another in the same tax year?

You can close a cash ISA within 14 days of your application being completed. If you do so within 14 days you can still open another cash ISA within the same tax year, providing you do so within that tax year.

After the first 14 days, you can still close your account at any time but you may lose your tax free entitlement for that tax year, unless you transfer to another ISA. If you'd like to close your account at any time, please write to our savings team at:


BM Savings team
Birmingham Midshires
Pendeford Business Park
Wobaston Road
Wolverhampton
WV9 5HA


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Can I transfer current or previous ISA subscriptions?

An ISA must be transferred directly between the old provider and the new provider. You cannot make this move yourself by closing the first ISA and paying the money into a new ISA as you will lose your ISA's tax free status.

A cash ISA can be transferred into either another cash ISA, a stocks and shares ISA, an innovative finance ISA or a lifetime ISA. A stocks and shares ISA, an innovative finance ISA or a lifetime ISA can be transferred to a cash ISA.

Previous ISA subscriptions can be transferred in part, but current year subscriptions must be transferred in full. Check with your current provider if switching fees apply.

Transferring your cash ISA from another provider to an existing Birmingham Midshires cash ISA

Providing your existing Birmingham Midshires cash ISA allows transfers in, you can request the transfer by completing the ISA transfer form and returning it by post to the address within the form. This can only be used if you have an existing cash ISA with Birmingham Midshires. The transfer process should take 15 bank working days from receipt of your transfer form. If the transfer is going to take longer we'll pay you interest at your new rate from the 16th bank working day, as long as your previous ISA was ready to be transferred (i.e. not subject to a notice period or fixed term) when your existing provider received our request. For more information about the new ISA Transfer Guidelines, please visit the BBA Website.

Transferring your stocks and shares ISA, innovative finance ISA or lifetime ISA from another provider to an existing Birmingham Midshires cash ISA

Providing your existing Birmingham Midshires cash ISA allows transfers in, you can request the transfer by completing the ISA transfer form and returning it by post to the address within the form. This can only be used if you have an existing cash ISA with Birmingham Midshires.

The transfer process should take no more than 30 calendar days from receipt of your transfer form. Your current ISA manager may impose exit charges or other costs associated with transfer. You will be responsible for paying these charges so please check with your current provider.

If you are transferring from a stocks and shares ISA or an innovative finance ISA the investments you currently hold will have to be sold. It is possible that you could lose out if there is a rise in the market whilst the transfer is being completed and we do not accept liability for any such loss. Charges will also apply on a transfer from a Lifetime ISA and any stocks held in a Lifetime ISA will have to be sold.

Transferring your Birmingham Midshires cash ISA to another provider

You'll need to contact the ISA provider to arrange the transfer. If your account is subject to closure/withdrawal restrictions, such as a notice period, or is a fixed rate account which has yet to mature, transferring may result in a loss of interest if you wish to transfer before the end of the restriction period. Depending on when the transfer is made, you may get back less than you originally deposited. Please check your account details before requesting a transfer. Also, any subscriptions you have made this tax year must be transferred in full. If you have made any withdrawals from a previous years' subscriptions and not replaced them before you ask to transfer your whole balance and close your account, you will not be able to replace these funds once the ISA transfer process starts. This will reduce the amount of money you are able to save tax free in your Account.

Moving your existing Birmingham Midshires cash ISA to another Birmingham Midshires cash ISA

We currently only offer this facility for our postal ISAs. If you want to move your existing BM ISA to a Birmingham Midshires postal cash ISA, you can apply online or by calling us on 0345 602 2828 for an application form.

On the back of the application form, select 'I'd like to transfer funds' from my existing Birmingham Midshires ISA and quote your current ISA account number.

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Can you tell me if you are members of a Compensation Scheme?

We are members of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. For further information about the scheme (including the amount covered and eligibility to claim), see our Financial Services Compensation Scheme section or call us on 0345 602 2828, refer to the FSCS website at www.FSCS.org.uk or call 020 7892 7300 or 0800 678 1100.

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How do I make a complaint?

To make a complaint about your ISA please see our complaints procedure.

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FSCS – protecting your money. Find out more here.

Gross rate means that we will not deduct tax automatically from your interest. You are responsible for paying any tax due to HM Revenue and Customs.

AER means Annual Equivalent Rate. AER illustrates what your interest rate would be if interest was paid and compounded each year and allows you to easily compare different offers.

Tax free is the contractual rate of interest payable where interest is exempt from income tax.

For telephone line opening times, please read the information in our contact section. Calls may be monitored and recorded for security and training purposes. If you're calling from outside the UK, please dial +441902 428 311.


© Birmingham Midshires
This site is intended for UK residents unless otherwise stated.
Birmingham Midshires is a division of Bank of Scotland plc which is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority under registration number 169628. Registered office: The Mound, Edinburgh EH1 1YZ. Registered in Scotland No. SC327000.
To contact the FCA Consumer helpline, please ring 0800 111 6768. Alternatively call the Money Advice Service on 0300 500 5000 or visit www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk.