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ISA: One year on

14 June 2017

It has been one year since Paragon Bank launched its first cash ISA products, and what an eventful year it has been. Whilst we have been developing our ISA range and bringing new accounts the market, a lot has happened. Donald Trump became America’s oldest elected President, Theresa May triggered Article 50 and we lost popstar George Michael. But we’re going to tell you more about what we’ve been up to.

Our ISA statistics

Since our first product launched on 27 July 2016, we have opened almost 24,000 ISA accounts, of which around 50% included transfers from other providers. Our aim in the ISA market, is to offer better rates for our customers, and 90% of ISA customers chose us for our competitive rates.

We’re still receiving a high volume of ISA requests, opening on average 3,000 new accounts each month in 2017.

ISA transfers are becoming increasingly fast, with 85% of ISA transfers across all providers in Q1 2017 being completed in just seven days. This has increased from the 66% that was previously noted by the FCA*, making it more desirable than ever for customers to move their money for a better rate.

Most common ISA questions

With the increasing amount of ISA transfers, and the popularity of our accounts remaining high, we thought we’d answer a few of your most commonly asked questions.

Q - What is the difference between your personal savings allowance and ISA allowance?
A - The personal savings allowance means that, if you are a basic rate tax payer, you will be able to earn up to £1000 tax free on your savings each year. You can receive the personal savings allowance tax relief on any savings account except an ISA. With an ISA, you can save up to £20,000 a year and any return you receive will be tax free now and into the future, regardless of your tax band. You are also able to add to an ISA each year.

Q - I’ve built up a lot of savings in Cash ISAs. What can I do to make sure I’m making the most of them?
A – If you’ve already built up a big pot of savings in a Cash ISA, check regularly to make sure that your savings are earning a competitive interest rate. If not, consider transferring your money to an alternative provider.

If you’ve got an Easy Access account, then you should be able to move your money quite quickly. For Fixed Rate accounts, make sure you’re aware of any restrictions before starting the process. Whatever type of account you’ve got, remember to follow the ISA transfer process to protect the tax-free status of your savings.

Q – What is the process of transferring an ISA and how easy is it?
A – First things first, you will need to apply for an ISA account with us, unless of course you already have one. Once your account has been approved we will send you a transfer form, which you will then need to fill out and send back to us. Once we have received this we can get the ball rolling. We aim to have your transferred funds in to your new Paragon Bank account within seven working days.

Paragon Bank offers a range of both Easy Access and Fixed Rate Cash ISAs. If you would like to know more about ISAs, take a look at our Easy Access Cash ISA account guide or our Fixed Rate Cash ISA account guide.

*British Bankers Association (BBA) Cash ISA Transfer Performance – Q1 2017

Paragon Bank PLC is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Registered in England number 05390593. Registered office 51 Homer Road, Solihull, West Midlands B91 3QJ. Paragon Bank PLC is registered on the Financial Services Register under the firm reference number 604551