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How to transfer a stocks and shares ISA

The recent fee bomb dropped by Interactive Investor has caused many Monevator readers to think about a swift ISA transfer to other investment platforms. We presented our alternative picks here but what about the stocks and shares ISA transfer process itself? How tricky is it?

Well, there are a few things to think about, and because a fair wedge of Monevator readers are monogamous passive investors who don’t break up relationships unless they really have to, let’s do a quick guide to dumping your ISA provider.

How to transfer a stocks and shares ISA

Dear ISA provider… it’s not me, it’s you

The first thing to note is that a stocks and shares ISA can only be transferred to another stocks and shares ISA. That makes it slightly less flexible than a cash ISA, which can be emptied into a stocks and shares ISA if you fancy it.

That established, you have three options for extracting your ISA from the clammy hands of the unworthy:

1. Cash transfer

Your current platform sells your assets and transfers the cash directly to your new ISA provider. You choose new investments from scratch, making this option good for a brand new start, if things have got a little, ah, messy.

  • Your ISA’s anti-tax armour remains unbreached.
  • It should take about two weeks to transfer, but it could take up to six.
  • You are out of the markets as soon as your assets are sold and until you repurchase a fresh batch. That could go for or against you. No one knows.

2. Stock transfer

The existing contents of your ISA are transferred intact to your new provider. In other words, all your funds and shares are handed over without being sold or repurchased. This type of ISA transfer is often referred to as an in specie transfer, or as re-registration.

  • Again, your ISA’s tax status is not compromised.
  • It should take about four to six weeks but it often takes several weeks longer.
  • You remain in Mr Market at all times and are subject to his whims.
  • You won’t be able to trade until the transfer is complete.

3. DIY sell-off

Of course, you can always flog your assets yourself and use the proceeds to open up a new account with another ISA provider.

  • Your ISA’s tax powers are very much kyboshed in this scenario.1
  • Transfer out fees are avoided, though perhaps not account closure charges. Also note some platforms will pay your transfer fees to secure your business.
  • You’ll pay dealing fees to sell and buy anew.
  • You’ll be out of the market for a few days.

Stock transfer: The nitty-gritty

Personally, I would use a stock transfer all day long. The annual advance of a market can occur in just a few days and I’d hate myself if I missed out.

However, there are a couple of potential snag-ettes to watch out for with the ol’ in specie manoeuvre:

  • Contact your new provider and old provider to make sure they both play ball when it comes to in specie transfers.
  • Check that assets in your old ISA are available in your new one. If not, then talk to your new provider. Otherwise, incompatible assets are likely to be sold.
  • Different provider’s forms use different terminology to describe an in specie transfer. Check if you’re not sure which box to tick, and, whatever you do, avoid the box marked ‘liquidate’.
  • Your old provider is likely to impose a transfer out charge – just one last pound of flesh before you leave. This is typically £15 – £25 per fund or stock. Some new providers will pay these fees for you. (Occasionally, as with Interactive Investor currently, they might be waived. It never hurts to ask!)

To do list

If your old provider’s ‘just one last chance’ pleas have fallen on deaf ears and you’ve identified your new dream partner then completing your stocks and shares ISA transfer isn’t much more daunting than filling in a form:

  • Complete the ISA transfer forms provided by your new platform.
  • Ask your new provider if it will cover your transfer out fees.
  • Tell your old provider to close your account once the transfer is complete. You don’t want them pursuing you for inactivity charges.
  • Cancel your old direct debit and relax.

That’s about all you need to know. I’ve got a couple of bullet points left in the tips-gun though so let’s fire ’em off:

  • Your new platform should tell you when your account has transferred.
  • You can transfer your current year’s ISA, although new money can only be added when the transfer is complete.
  • ISA transfers do not count towards your current year’s allowance.
  • You can transfer some or all of your previous years’ ISAs.
  • You can even partially transfer an ISA. List the assets you’d like to transfer, though note that your old provider can refuse a partial transfer. You can’t partially transfer your current year’s ISA.
  • Document all your holdings (names, ISIN codes, quantities held) before you transfer. Take a screenshot of your holdings sitting in your old broker. This will come in very handy should any holdings go astray during the transfer.

That’s it. We’re done. Happy transferring.

Take it steady,

The Accumulator

  1. In other more boring words, the money you had tucked away in the ISA loses its tax protection. []
{ 44 comments… add one }
  • 1 gadgetmind June 19, 2012, 2:23 pm

    When I moved an ISA from Skandia to Hargreaves Lansdown, there were some holdings that HL wouldn’t let you buy on their platform, but they were happy to hold them there. I then slowly sold these when I thought the time was right, and most could be sold online, and the other HL did for free over the ‘phone.

    Yes, I was also both pleased and surprised!

  • 2 Andy June 19, 2012, 10:11 pm

    I recently transferred my ISA from Selftrade to Alliance using a stock transfer. Everything went fairly smoothly.

    I was however surprised when I logged into my Selftrade dealing account at a later to discover that I had a sizeable cash balance shown in my ISA account. The cash was due to some dividends arriving after the transfer had taken place. Selftrade transferred the cash on my request, but it is something to watch out for.

  • 3 Alex June 20, 2012, 12:24 pm

    1. The Accumulator, thanks, as ever, for this. Useful and timely.

    2. I’m off to X-O. I noted a few days ago a new [I think it’s new] ‘guarantee’ on their website – namely, to ‘never’ charge management or inactivity fees. Such a ‘guarantee’ is impressive: I am/was fearful of another Interactive Investor-style ‘change’ in pricing by my next broker – especially just after switching to them.

    3. I hope X-O don’t hike their dealing charge, though…

  • 4 Jim Bob June 21, 2012, 9:32 am

    The process seems to be going smoothly so far for my transfer from iii to TD, I’ve had it confirmed vis secdure message that iii will transfer dividends across to my new broker:

    Q: Please can you confirm how dividends will be treated once my account is closed? A number of my funds went XD in May and the dividend is due to be paid before the end of July.

    Should my account close before the end of July, will the dividends be paid to iii or TDW? If they are paid to iii will they be transferred across to my TDW account still within the ISA wrapper or will they be paid out to me directly by cheque/bank transfer losing their tax free ISA status?

    A: Your dividends will be transferred on to your new broker, therefore keeping all ISA dividends within your ISA wrapper.

    If you have any other queries please don’t hesitate to get in contact on 0845 200 3637.


    Chris Holt
    Customer Service Executive

  • 5 Alex June 21, 2012, 10:04 am

    ‘Chris Holt’ will now become an internet sensation… 🙂

  • 6 Alex June 21, 2012, 10:50 am

    …if he isn’t one already, that is.

  • 7 John June 21, 2012, 12:23 pm

    Here’s the latest on exit fees from ii issued 21 June (for the record) – pity they could not have issued this to start with!

    Fee Free Exit
    If you have fund holdings elsewhere, or currently place trades through a number of broking accounts, you are likely to benefit even more by consolidating your fund investments and other equity trades with us.

    We believe that these changes provide a real benefit for many of our customers, however if you do wish to close your account with us in light of these changes, we will make it as simple as possible and offer a fee free exit for all customers who do wish to close their account.
    We believe that any customers who do not agree with pricing changes are entitled to receive a fee free exit
    Any customers wishing to close their account should contact us by 5 pm on 31 July 2012 with their intention to close their account.
    Customers who want to transfer their holdings to a new broker will have their transfers completed free of charge if we have received the new brokers’ transfer request before 5pm on 31 July 2012
    If we have received a customer’s notice of intention to close their account or to transfer holdings as set out above before 5 pm on 30 June 2012, we will not apply the first quarterly fee while the transfer or closure process is underway. Otherwise we will refund the first quarterly fee as part of a fee free exit as set out above. If we have already received instructions regarding your account, you do not need to contact us again.
    We believe that this approach is the fairest and most straightforward way of operating our business and hope you agree. We are confident that our new pricing is unbiased across different investment types and fair across different customer groups. You can find out more information from the FAQs on our site or contact us on 0845 200 3637 if you have any additional questions.

    We look forward to supporting your trading and investment plans now and in the years to come.

    Yours sincerely

  • 8 Jonno June 27, 2012, 1:46 pm

    Question for anyone who can help —
    If I choose “liquidate” – is that the same as option (1) above?
    If iii are waiving the exit fees, does that just mean their normal ‘transfer out’ charges, or does it effectively mean I am selling up all holdings and transferring everything as cash, with no charge attached?

    I want to sell up and start again anyway – my other option is to sell everything in iii for £10/stock and just transfer the cash balance. So am I avoiding some charges here?

  • 9 The Accumulator June 27, 2012, 5:28 pm

    Yep, if you liquidate then you’ll turn your stocks and shares into cash. I don’t know about the fine detail of iii’s definition of free-fee. Perhaps just call them directly, unless other readers can offer their personal experience?

  • 10 William Duff October 6, 2012, 4:56 pm

    My friend transferring a share ISA – single investment trust holding (Cit.of London) and is being charged a total of £97 by Halifax to move the units to TDWaterhouse. Does this seem like a normal charge? They were charging for automatic re-investments, which reduced the gain, as well as admin fees. I wondered how this compared with other providers?

  • 11 The Accumulator October 6, 2012, 7:58 pm

    William, that’s pretty bad. Normally it would be something like £15 – £25 per investment, plus VAT.

  • 12 Bob December 20, 2012, 7:33 pm

    Thanks for the article. I’m trying to do an ‘in specie’ transfer from Fidelity to HL. At present this is not possible (cash transfer only) however I am told from 2013 onwards as a result of the Retail Distribution Review that all providers will be forced to offer this option.

    As such, I shall be waiting until January to perform the transfer. Like the author, I would much prefer this transfer to be done as stock rather than cash.

  • 13 gadgetmind December 20, 2012, 8:12 pm

    @Bob – I’ll be interested to know how you get on as I’m still seeing mixed messages regards when ‘in specie’ will be faster, cheapers, and universal. I have done it in the past, and it worked well. Where providers haven’t been up to it, I’ve disinvested into cash, and the market has always risen for the weeks (yes!) I’ve been out.

  • 14 Bob December 27, 2012, 4:51 pm

    Here’s the response from Fidelity when I asked whether they would allow ‘in specie’ transfers:

    Thank you for contacting Fidelity regarding Re-registration of your ISA holdings to another provider.

    I confirm that upon implementation of the Retail Distribution Review you will be able to re-register your holdings to another provider, without any limitation.

    I’ll give it a go in the new year & let you know how I get on.
    In terms of charges, I find Fidelity broadly competitive but their website is rubbish, logging in a pain, telephone support is often overseas and holding individual stock is done through a separate platform (Charles Stanley) and the integration between that platform and Fidelity’s is very poor. In comparison, the HL platform which I use for my SIPP is a breeze. The only negatives with HL in my experience are that they do not handle dividend reinvestment well. There are also cheaper providers if you have smaller holdings but the capped charges appeal for larger holdings.

  • 15 Bob March 29, 2013, 2:17 am

    Well now nearly 4 months on from my last post and after making the initial transfer application around 10 weeks ago, I have still yet to receive all of my fund holdings across to my HL account.

    Without describing the gory details, the delays have been down to 3 things, in decreasing order of magnitude:

    – Until RDR, Fidelity never used to allow in specie transfers (at least to HL). Now that they do, according to HL at least, they are inundated with requests to do so and are being very slow due to a large backlog

    – Administrative screwup from HL whereby they twice wrongly stated that the funds/shares were held outwith an ISA meaning I had to submit 2 applications

    – The fact I can’t get mail directed to the west african oil rig where I spend half the year. This caused around a week of delay (because I didn’t get the letter telling me of the administrative screw up above until I got home – I told them to contact me by e-mail of secure messaging through their site – they didn’t)

    So my current position is that 4 out of 5 of my funds & a small cash holding has been transferred. The fund and my 3 individual stock holdings totalling over £30k are wafting in the ether somewhere and are not visible on either the Fidelity or HL account.

    HL are saying they are waiting on some info from Fidelity they’ve asked for 6 times and Fidelity say they ‘fulfilled their obligtions’ over a month ago…………all in all, noone has really covered themselves in glory and I’m wondering if it’s really worth the bother…………

    Suppose I might get a free pen out of HL…………

  • 16 gadgetmind March 29, 2013, 8:39 am

    That these transfers should involve more than a few buttons to be pushed shows that certain people need to either fix their systems or get booted out of a job to make way for people who can organise this kind of thing.

    They all had plenty of notice that “in specie” was coming.

  • 17 The Investor March 29, 2013, 10:23 am

    @Bob — What a car crash. Do use lose 10 weeks out of the market? Some people said being concerned about that was OTT when we wrote about it recently, but I think your experience suggests not — especially given the start to the year you might have missed. Hope you get more than a pen.

    @Gadgetmind — Well, finally the banks work like that — I can transfer from my personal account to an unrelated business account and see the money disappearing in one window and appearing in another near-instantly. But that’s taken 15 years, so I wouldn’t hold your breath on funds, unfortunately!

  • 18 Bob March 29, 2013, 12:02 pm

    @The Investor – Remaining out of the marked was my main concern and of course the reason I went ‘in specie’ in the first place. I’m a ‘buy and forget about it’ kind of investor within my ISA so the lack of availability isn’t such an issue for me but I have been very carefully checking (at least with thost that have gone through successfully) that I have not been financially disadvantaged.
    So far…..
    For those funds which have been transferred thus far, the HL ‘buy’ price matched the ‘sell’ price on the Fidelity exit statement, which in turn was a pretty good price on the day referenced against an online quote from another platform.
    I’m particularly keen to check the remaining fund prices whcn if finally shows up because it is a Japanese index holding which after drip feeding in for around 6 years is finally starting to bear some fruit.

    I’ll post back when it’s all done and dusted………..don’t hold your breath.

  • 19 The Investor March 29, 2013, 1:07 pm

    @Bob — Thanks for the extra detail. Please do come back when all’s done, very valuable sharing.

  • 20 The Accumulator March 29, 2013, 2:06 pm

    I’m just imagining the mushroom cloud that would be rising above my head if this was happening to me. You sound like you’re dealing with it with great forbearance, Bob. I think you’re line ‘is it really worth the bother’ is a warning to investors like me who get a bit overexcited every time they spot a 0.1% saving.

  • 21 Bob May 6, 2013, 9:18 am

    Well the transfer is finally complete.
    I reckon the whole process took around 3 months. A joke when you think about it. My faith in HL customer services has been severely eroded.

    This was compounded further when:
    My intention for this year’s ISA allowance (given I have little appetite for purchasing new stock at this point) is to finally put my Scottish and Southern Energy dividends beyond the reach of the tax man by transferring the holding from Bank of Scotland Share dealing to HL and then Bed and ISAing part of the holding (up to the limit) into my Stocks and Shares ISA.
    Despite being absolutely clear about only wishing to transfer a single holding and even being contacted by an HL agent to confirm my wishes, HL applied for a transfer of all of my BoS stock (for which BoS charge a £25 per holding fee). I was only alerted to the error when BoS (to their credit) wrote to me wanting their fee payment and authority to transfer.

    I don’t know whether it’s bad luck, ineptitude, lack of interest or because it’s easy to make screw ups using computer-automated systems but I’ve noticed a general decline in the service you get from providers in general. I currently have an open case with the Energy Ombudsman against Npower who decided to transfer my gas and electricity to another provider without my consent. In this instance the reasons probably include all of the above but it’s their inability to a) recognise and b) rectify a mistake that particularly grates.

    On a completely different note, a word of warning about Bank of Scotland (Halifax) sharedealing…………they class themselves as an ‘intermediary broker’ meaning that they will not accept a W8-BEN form to avoid US witholding tax, instead they insist that you send it to the IRS direct. You read the IRS guidance and they are quite clear – don’t send the form to us, send it to your broker. My other brokers are quite happy to accept the form just not BoS.
    They make a major song and dance about their access to all these weird and wonderful markets yet provide no mechanism for reclaiming the tax from which a UK resident is exempt whilst dealing in them.

    My gripe-fest over, I’m off for a lie down.

    Great site, keep up the good work


  • 22 The Accumulator May 6, 2013, 11:00 pm

    What an odyssey. Thanks for the update, Bob, and I’m glad it’s finally over for you. I have to get out of TD Direct in the next couple of months. Hope I don’t suffer the same fate.

  • 23 Jack June 21, 2013, 4:24 pm

    Interesting to read the comments on this page. Just wanted to share my experiences with transferring from Fidelity to HL. Similar to Bob, it’s been 6 weeks since I requested a transfer of ISA funds and so far only one was completed earlier in the week. The other fund is still in limbo awaiting the transfer. In the meantime I am out of the market and cannot deal on the fund (effectively losing money as I wanted to deal on it). I don’t recall seeing this stated on the transfer forms or on either providers website. Is there any formal maximum time frame from which transfers have to be completed?

    It seems crazy for ISA fund holders to bear the risk for 6 weeks or more simply to transfer the fund from Fidelity to HL.

    What would be the process to complain about this?

  • 24 Charles Forgan July 2, 2013, 5:56 pm

    My and my wife’s stocks and shares ISAs were managed by Gerrards on Teesside. Barclays Wealth took over Gerrards, closed the Teesside office and moved our ISAs to their Newcastle office. Recently my contact there revealed himself to be a private banker, not a stockbroker, and assessing my needs recommended our ISAs should be transferred to another unit of Barclays called Advisory Plus. I accepted, and forms were signed early February.

    Five months on my wife’s ISA is nowhere to be seen. My own came through a month ago but with one investment missing. It has since been added to the schedule, but no cost detail is yet shown for any holding.

    On the face of it, this would appear to be an internal transfer between one department of Barclays to another, and should not present difficulty. Despite enquiries and complaints no satisfactory explanation has been forthcoming, no redress offered and no date for completion set, and I have absolutely no idea what is going on. I can only presume that the back office handling the transfer is in meltdown, and that no one dares to tell me so.

    I dare not move the business from Barclays whilst it is in limbo between departments. I must wait till my investments are gathered again in one place. Otherwise we could be years sorting out the muddle.

    There is a time limit set for the transfers of cash ISAs. Is there a similar limit for stocks and shares ISAs?

    The situation is Kafkaesque. What is to be done?

  • 25 Mike November 21, 2013, 2:27 pm

    Reading the ISA transfer thread I have now decided its not worth the hassle and would like to say thanks for the range of shared experiences.

  • 26 The Accumulator June 14, 2014, 6:35 pm

    Interesting comment from reader DianaW on another thread:

    Just stumbled over the latest kink in the process of transferring an ISA away from HL – unexpected late receipts.
    HL’s online record of the ISA account disappeared completely several weeks ago, after they’d recorded the fund managers’ de-registration confirmations – but apparently that didn’t mean no further activity on the account.
    Their half-yearly investment report (to 30th April) revealed that a series of UTI cash payments and tax credits had later been credited to the account, but mysteriously without triggering the restoration of the online account – which would have let me discover the new receipts in time to invest them for transfer in specie, rather than having the balance transferred in untrackable cash.
    Then considerably more receipts apparently appeared – completely unrecorded – after 30th April, of which I’ve only become aware after talking to HL about other aspects of the report resulted in their checking the progress of the transfer of both ISA and SIPP accounts.


  • 27 The Accumulator June 14, 2014, 6:54 pm

    Some readers have reported painful experiences when transferring assets from one broker to another – especially on the comment thread quoted above.

    There’s no question this is not a smooth experience in many cases. I’ve personally transferred three accounts and each one has taken at least a couple of months to complete.

    The oddest part by far is seeing funds disappear from your old broker but not appear for some weeks at your new broker.

    My funds didn’t arrive all at once at the new broker either. They tend to arrive fitfully with one laggard arriving about a month after the first.

    Now you can spend hours on the phone talking to inexperienced call centre agents about where the hell your fund is or you can wait a while on the assumption that the fund exists somewhere and will materialise sooner or later.

    I took the latter route, checked in every now and then and sure enough the funds turned up eventually.

    What I urge you to do is fully record your holdings at your old broker before you start transferring to your new broker. Take a screenshot, record names, codes and quantities held. If there should be a dispute later on then you will know exactly what you own and can kick up a stink if anything’s gone walkies.

    Having a full record of ownership neutralised any anxiety I felt about being caught in a nether world of ‘he said, she said’ between two brokers if things had gone seriously awry.

    In short, expect the transfer to take a ridiculous amount of time, keep your instructions as simple as possible if you want to avoid stress, document everything and prepare for disappointment if you expect Rolls Royce service.

    I’d still rather switch than pay excessive fees though.

  • 28 Steve October 17, 2014, 7:59 pm

    Not sure if there’s any point asking this here on an old post, but I’ll give it a go.

    I’ve got some ISAs holding (expensive) M&G and L&G index tracking funds (0.45% and 0.56% annual fee, respectively). The M&G and L&G ISAs aren’t “platforms” with a wide-range of funds, so I can’t just switch to cheaper funds in-place, I need to transfer out.

    Unfortunately my current ISA provider (after initially telling me they did) will not accept in-specie transfers for these funds. I really really don’t want to do a cash transfer and be out of the market for up to six weeks if I can help it. (In an ideal world, I’d have transferred in specie, then switched 10-20% at a time over a few days into a cheaper fund tracking the same index.)

    Does anyone have any thoughts on how best to handle this? I’ve come up with:

    a) Sell out in the expensive ISAs to leave cash in there and simultaneously make an investment outside my ISA using funds borrowed from my offset mortgage account. I can then do a cash transfer without being out of the market. At that point I can sell the outside my ISA investment while buying inside the ISA and restore the funds to my offset account. Downsides – this will cost a lot in extra interest due on the mortgage, and may create tax paperwork. (I doubt I’ll actually exceed my capital gains allowance, I assume I have to make some kind of declaration anyway; I’ve never owned any shares outside an ISA before, so I’m not sure.)

    b) See if I can do partial transfers out of those ISAs and faff around doing multiple cash transfers of the contributions corresponding to individual tax years; this effectively allows me to avoid being out of the market except for £10k-ish at a time for each transaction. Downsides – I’m not sure if this is allowed by the ISAs I want to leave, it seems a big faff, it might create extra transfer out fees.

    c) Just suck it up and do the transfer in cash in one go. Perhaps wait for a time of year when the market tends to be quieter in an attempt to minimise the potential downside of being out of the market. Is there such a time? Simple. Downside – I’m out of the market for six weeks, so inevitably the FTSE will double during that period.

    d) Accept the high fees on those funds and just leave the money where it is. The zero effort approach. Downsides – I’d feel I’m being shafted and letting them get away with it, the investments remain locked away and I can’t touch them even for rebalancing purposes.

    e) Switch to another over-priced, probably actively managed fund, from the limited range available on each of the existing ISAs, making sure I choose one which is available on my current ISA platform. I can then do an in-specie transfer. Downside – I’ll probably get stung with entry and/or exit fees on the actively managed fund, not to mention that the value might fluctuate wildly due to the manager’s actions while I’m holding it.

    Any thoughts would be welcome, or recommendations of good UK forums where I could maybe ask this.

  • 29 The Accumulator October 19, 2014, 5:23 pm

    @ Steve – I’m sure I’m missing something but have you tried looking for another ISA provider that will allow for in specie transfers of these funds (assuming the blockage is with the provider you are looking to transfer to)?

    Re: (c) I wouldn’t bother trying to find the ‘right’ time of year. It doesn’t exist.

    At least with (a) you can calculate the costs incurred and pit them against the approximate costs you’ll incur by enduring more years of (d). Could be a sobering analysis either way.

    You could try The Motley Fool forum for further ideas but it seems to me you’ve thought it through pretty well already and just need to decide which option you find least unpalatable.

  • 30 Steve October 20, 2014, 9:07 pm

    Thanks for the reply. I haven’t yet tried to locate another ISA provider that will accept a transfer in, but it’s got to be worth a try.

  • 31 stuartb March 16, 2016, 3:04 pm

    I am currently with a % fee broker/platform and I’m looking to switch to a fixed fee broker/platform. I’m also looking to ensure that I am in the lowest cost tracker funds for a balanced portfolio. I’m not currently. Before I move, I’m taking advantage of £0 fund switching on the current platform so that when I do the in specie move, I’m already in the right funds and don’t then need to pay a bunch of trading fees. This includes consolidating funds where for example I’ve held more than one in a particular sector to date (I think I did this to see how different funds performed). I’ve just done 8 switches across mine and my spouse’s ISAs which would have otherwise cost me £100. Not the end of the world, but worth thinking about.

    Can anyone offer a view as to whether there are any reasons apart from the above chronicled challenges for switching broker at the moment? I saw mention in some comments of “waiting for brokers to settle” and note that some have recently changed charging structures etc.

    I’m planning to move to Halifax as I don’t plan many trades (certainly not on funds in our ISAs) and can use a different broker if I want to do anything more active on shares (e.g. x-o). The £12.50 p.a. ISA admin charge looks like the best deal for me on this basis or am I missing something?

  • 32 The Accumulator March 18, 2016, 9:44 pm

    Hi Stuart – things have settled. Occasionally a broker will change their structure (for example Alliance Trust on May 1) but the pace of change is much slower now than two years ago. For peace of mind sake, it’s as well to settle for being among the cheapest as opposed to the absolute cheapest at all times or else I dishonour my ancestors 😉
    The differences are fairly small once you’ve found a competitive home and Halifax is certainly that.

  • 33 stuartb March 21, 2016, 10:58 am

    Thanks for that – I’m Selftrade for that reason – a few too many murmurs of discontent with service. It’s a shame to be leaving current broker as service as been good when I’ve called. Just getting too expensive on a % basis for a passive approach.

  • 34 Thijs November 10, 2016, 5:32 pm

    Hi All,

    I’m looking to start investing in a number of Tracker Funds with a long-term goal (20+ years). My initial idea was to open a Stocks and Shares ISA, however I’m originally from the Netherlands and plan on moving back to the Netherlands within the next five years. Does anyone know if there would be any possibility to transfer my investments without transferring out in cash and potentially lose money because of being out of the market plus having to pay a fee for an international money transfer? I’ve looked all over the internet but didn’t come across someone with a similar issue yet. Any tips would be welcome, many thanks in advance.

  • 35 The Investor November 10, 2016, 8:46 pm

    @Thijs — I’m not really knowledgeable about that, I’m afraid. Here’s a couple of posts that might give you pointers for where to find your answers though:



  • 36 Bluejeansman March 20, 2019, 4:48 pm

    I am still not clear on how many stocks and shares ISA one can open in a given year. Is it at most one ?

    Consider 2 possibilities :
    1) I wish to invest £20,000 in Stocks n shares ISA this year. Can I open a Stocks n shares ISA with 2 different providers and split the £20,000 between them ? I dont think so.

    2) Suppose I contributed £20,000 the previous year on a Stocks n shares ISA with provider A. Suppose that this year I have already contributed £20,000 Stocks n shares ISA into provider B. Now at some point this year, I find a better provider (provider C) , so I would like to transfer some of the funds (from either provider A or provider B) into Provider C. Am I allowed to do this, or do I need to wait till next financial year to even open an empty Stocks n shares ISA account with Provider 3 ?

    Any good Government links on this ? I just want to understand the rules.


  • 37 Bluejeansman March 21, 2019, 1:20 pm

    I have this bad habit of writing in a verbose way that people easily get bored reading it.

    So I will ask the question again hopefully in a simple way : Can I open a stocks and shares ISA with 2 different providers in a given tax year (but make the £20,000 contribution to only one of them) ? is it allowed ?

    Hope someone is reading this … Thanks

  • 38 The Investor March 21, 2019, 1:37 pm

    @Bluejeansman — As I understand the rules, from memory you can only open one new stocks and share ISA a year. It can be with a new provider. You can put new money into any one S&S ISA in a particular year. So assuming you were funding your new S&S ISA, your other S&S ISAs could not receive new money that year. They can of course remain invested. Next year you could choose one of you existing S&S ISAs to put money into, or again open a new one. Basically it’s new money into one S&S ISA a year, presumably to help the government/taxman keep track if it wants to (I don’t know that it actually does, it’s probably more an honesty and potential back check scenario, but that’s just a guess from an always rule-following person!)

    You can also put money into one or more of the other ISA types (e.g. Lifetime ISA, cash ISA) up to the £20K limit all-in.

    I believe that’s how it works but please note this IS NOT personal advice, please do your own research as required. Cheers! 🙂

  • 39 The Investor March 21, 2019, 1:37 pm

    p.s. You probably know this, but to be clear “year” here means tax year — April 6th to April 5th next year.

  • 40 Bluejeansman March 21, 2019, 4:22 pm

    Thanks a lot for the response !! much appreciated.

    > you can only open one new stocks and share ISA a year.

    Oh my ! Thats going to make things a bit tough …let me explain what I am after : will try to be brief …

    I have already have my stocks and shares ISA with L&G and HL from previous years.

    I am thinking of becoming non resident later in June. When I am away, I want to leave my stocks and shares ISA invested with a couple of “good” providers before I become non resident. Once I am non resident, I dont want any hassle of the ISA provider kicking me out or putting a million restrictions on my ISA account. I need a couple of providers for redundancy/backup, just in case one kicks me out for the sin of being non resident.

    – L&G is good as it is, but I cant have Vanguard funds, hence thinking of moving out of L&G.
    – HL is good, but at 0.45% for funds, I will be forced to go with ETF portfolio. I prefer Vanguard funds to ETFs.

    So I wanted to transfer out the money to couple of “good” providers (maybe even three) that I am happy with who wont make my life too hard when I am out. I have got a few providers in mind shortlisted, (interactive investor, Alliance Trust, Vanguard direct, Charles Stanley Direct), but given the plethora of rules/restrictions/conditions/costs each one is imposing to non residents, it is going to take me a while to decide to pick 2 out of these.

    I thought there was no restriction on how many stocks and shares ISA you can open per year, if the intent is only to transfer previous year’s ISAs.

    But from your response, looks like I would need to choose one before 5th April and then I get few months time to choose the other one. And if I made a mistake in choosing the provider, it would be too late, and I would have to wait till April 2020 ? Vow ! So much commitment is not expected even in a marriage these days, with people free to get divorced at a moment’s notice.

    My, so many restrictions on how to invest my own money ! I wonder who the government are trying to help here.

  • 41 Bluejeansman March 21, 2019, 4:33 pm

    Consider this scenario : Tax year starts, you opened a new stocks and shares ISA wth provider X, contributed £20,000. Few months pass, and you dont like the service and want to move to a new provider Y, transfer some of your old money as well from previous years into Y, and perhaps also empty out the £20,000 from X into Y. Can you not do this ? Do you need to wait till new tax year to change your mind ?

  • 42 Bluejeansman March 21, 2019, 5:50 pm

    Just called up Alliance Trust and spoke to a more knowledgeable customer service rep. She confirmed that I can indeed open as many stocks and shares ISA as I like, but can contribute the £20,000 to only one per year. But if I want to transfer ISA from another provider, it is fine to do so.

    So I can open a new stocks ISA this year, contribute 20,000 – and then open another brand new stocks ISA with another provider, complete a transfer form to move my old money from previous years into this brand new one.

    I cant find a government site link tho’.

  • 43 Bluejeansman March 21, 2019, 6:03 pm

    Called up Charles Stanley Direct and they also confirmed the same : that I can open a stocks n shares ISA with them for this current tax year with the intent of ** transferring a previous year’s ISA ** even tho I might have opened a stocks n shares ISA with another provider for this same current tax year and already contributed the £20,000 into it.

    I am also lucky to work for a company where we have a pensions adviser, and he also confirmed the same.

    I am not the brightest guy around and easily confused, so it is good to get this reassurance from 2 different customer service rep and my pensions adviser.

    Only thing that still bothers me is : I cant find any authoritative government links (i.e from the folks that make the rules) and newspaper articles are quite vague on this specific point.


  • 44 Bluejeansman March 22, 2019, 12:12 am

    I posted on bogleheads as well and got a good response from a knowledgeable and helpful veteran on that forum. Just sharing it here for knowledge …


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