Abbey National have been out for some time marketing their very attractive Isa rates. An Isa, for those who do not know it, is an investment vehicle which is free of tax. Starting from the financial year 2008-9 it is possible to invest up to 3,600 Pounds in a Cash Isa.
With an interest rate of 6.255 Abbey's promise was surely more attractive than my current Isa provider.
I called Abbey National more or less one month before my Isa was due for renewal and although I was transferred between few departments, in the end I managed to speak to a very nice lady who opened the account for me.
5 Days later I received the application to be filled in via post. I must say that I had also applied for their saving account, which I will review separately, however, on the Isa application I noted that the address they had on the letter is different from the one they ask you to return the papers on the separate application form for the transfer from your provider. I called their support centre and was told than in fact both are correct.
I then filled in the form and noticed that there was not enough information to put the details of my current 2 Isas. I sent them a letter with his information and the copy of the identification forms. I then went away for 10 days and by the time I came back there was a letter form Isa with a different form which I had to be filled.
I called them and found out that they could not take my instructions on the letter and I had to fill in the form. I did so, and resent the whole thing out. My money were transferred after more or less 2 extra weeks.
I cannot say I am not happy, but I find that surely they could do better with their forms. I still do not understand why they did not send me the correct form in the first place.
Well what can you say about an ISA that the government hasnt already told us? Alot. The Abbey National offer an ISA to any one over the age of 16, but an account can be opened in the parents/guardians name(s) for those younger than this. Also when the person reaches 16 the account can be change over very easly. The minimum opening amount is £1, and then after thismoney can be added whenever you wish, as long as you do not reach the maximum deposit limit of £3000 PER YEAR. Withdrawels can be made whenever you require , but obviously you lose interest on the amount debited. Talking about interest ! This is payed annually at the begginging of the financial year ( about april 6th i think, correct me if i'm wrong and i shall alter it). Abbey National have a "tiered" interest system where the bigger your balance the higher interest rate you recieve. Rates are guaranteed to be above inflation and normally are about 6% with £3000, and 4.5% with as less as £1. You can choose whether you want the intereat payed into the ISA account or you may have it payed into another account of your choice. (even an account from another bank / building society). The main reason why people opt for these accounts is that they are TAX-FREE :-). A welcome relief in a world where TAX is everywhere! The governent introduced ISA's about 2-3 years aand guarentee to keep them running for another 7-8 years. This means that if you start now , in 8 years time you could have £24,000 earning TAX FREE interest at about 6%......if you've got the money to put in obviously! I switched to a Abbey National ISA because i relised that i had disposable income that was effectively going to pot on boozing and stuff. However now i have a direct debit that puts so much in every month, and still leaves me some to go down the pub. Any questions please post a comment, and i will answer them ASAP