Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs)

How do I choose an ISA Manager?

Things to bear in mind

Does the ISA manager offer the kind of ISA you want?

Managers may offer Maxi or Mini ISAs or both. They may offer cash ISAs, stocks and shares ISAs and life insurance ISAs, or only one or two of these. Some managers may offer ISAs that can include only that company’s own products. Others may offer a choice of their own or other companies’ products. Or they may offer ‘self-select’ ISAs, where you can choose from a wide range of shares and securities.

After 5 April 2005, life insurance can still be held in an ISA and will normally be part of the stocks and shares ISA. So, if you want to invest in both shares and life insurance you will need to find a single manager who can offer both.

What are the charges?

Make sure you know whether the ISA manager will charge for running your ISA, including any charges for withdrawals and transfers. CAT standard ISAs have limits on charges.

All ISA managers must be approved by the HMRC and authorised by the Financial Services Authority (FSA), but neither they nor any other Government Department have approved any ISAs.

Approval does not guarantee an ISA manager’s performance, or that the ISA investments will produce a satisfactory return. Appendix A and B (PDF 933K) provides a list of approved ISA and PEP managers.

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