Nutty

How to transfer a Stocks and Shares ISA

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Fact checked.
Updated
May 19, 2024

In a nutshell

Transferring a Stocks and Shares ISA is super easy. Your new ISA provider will handle everything for you. All you need to do is sign up and fill out an ISA transfer form. After that, your money will turn up in your new ISA account (usually within 30 days).

Already have a Stocks and Shares ISA but want to move it to a new ISA provider? No problem. We'll explain all. 

We’ll also run through the best Stocks and Shares ISAs, if you’re looking to compare and move to a better provider – with better investment performance, lower fees, or a bigger range of investment options.

You can also transfer your Stocks and Shares ISA to another type of ISA too, such as a Cash ISA or Lifetime ISA. We’ll cover what these are and how to do it below.

Can you transfer a Stocks and Shares ISA to another provider?

First things first, if you’re wondering if it’s possible to transfer your ISA to another provider, yes it is! In fact, the government has put processes in place to make sure it’s all handled smoothly and within a good time frame (30 days).

Everything will remain the same, except you'll be with your shiny new ISA provider. You’ll still have the same amount remaining of your ISA allowance remaining (more on that below).

How to transfer a Stocks and Shares ISA

And there’s even better news, it’s super easy to transfer a Stocks & Shares ISA too. All you need to do is find a great new provider if you haven’t already (we’ll cover the best Stocks & Shares ISAs below), and open an ISA account. After that, simply let your new provider know that you want to transfer your old ISA over and they’ll take care of all the paperwork.

You’ll have to fill out an official form called an ISA transfer form, which your new provider will give you, just to confirm you want to transfer the ISA officially, and how much you’d like to transfer (if not all of it).

How to transfer a Stocks and Shares ISA

There’s only one rule! Don’t withdraw any money from your current provider and then deposit it into your new ISA – as the money you add this way will count towards your annual ISA allowance (the government allows you to save up to £20,000 tax-free every tax year). So, if you do this you might not be able to add as much as you'd like to within this tax current year.

ISA transfer rules

Note: the tax year runs from April 6th to April 5th the following year.

If you have less than £20,000 in your ISA (and most of us do have less), and you’re not going to add more this current tax year to go over the limit, then it doesn’t actually matter too much if you withdraw your cash from your current ISA and deposit it into your new ISA. You’ll be below the contribution limit for the year anyway. 

Nuts About Money tip: it’s often easier for your new ISA provider to transfer it for you.

Do you have to transfer all of your money?

Nope. You can transfer as little or as much as you like. Transferring just a bit of your cash or investments is called a 'partial transfer'.

Just let your new provider know how much you'd like to transfer and they'll sort it for you (don't worry, they will ask this when you apply for the transfer).

The best expert-managed Stocks & Shares ISAs

Not sure where to find the best ISA providers? Here's our recommendation for the best managed Stocks and Shares ISAs – that’s where the experts handle the investing and aim to grow your money over time.

Best investment platforms

Not found a great new ISA yet? Here’s the best options to help you pick.

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Expert advice
Moneyfarm rated 5 stars

Moneyfarm

Moneyfarm is a great option for saving and investing (both ISAs and pensions). It's easy to use and their experts can help you with any questions or guidance you need.

They have one of the top performing investment records, and great socially responsible investing options too. Plus, you can save cash and get a high interest rate.

The fees are low, and reduce as you save more. Plus, the customer service is outstanding.

Learn more

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Pros

  • Great for beginners and hands-off investors
  • Easy to use
  • ISA
  • Pension
  • Free personal investment advisor
  • Great track record for growing money
  • Socially responsible options
  • Invest cash for a high return

Cons

  • Have to invest at least £500
  • Not much else!

Capital at risk.

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Get 3 months fee-free

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&me rated 5 stars

&me

&me makes saving and investing super simple – one of the best things you can do for your financial future.

They work with M&G (a very large financial firm), whose experts handle everything and grow your money over time. There’s also consultants on hand to help you every step of the way.

The fees are low, and the service is great. 5 stars from us.

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Wealthify rated 4 stars

Wealthify

Wealthify makes investing simple. You pick from a few simple options and the experts take care of the rest.

It's perfect for beginners and you can get started from just £1.

The fees are reasonable, however the socially responsible option is on the higher side.

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Capital at risk. Tax rules on savings could change in future.

Best investment platforms

Not found a great new ISA yet? Here’s the best options to help you pick.

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The best self-managed Stocks & Shares ISAs

You can also make your own investments, rather than leaving it to the experts – but it’s only recommended for experienced investors. If you do want to do this, here’s the best self-select ISAs:

Best investment platforms

Not found a great new ISA yet? Here’s the best options to help you pick.

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Free share up to £100 - use code NUTS

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Best ISA
Trading 212 rated 5 stars

Trading 212

Trading 212 is a platform built for everyone in mind – there's over 2,000,000 customers! It’s great for beginners to get started, and perfect for experienced investors too with a huge range of investment options.

It’s also the cheapest platform out there, completely commission free, and the lowest fees when buying foreign stocks.

Learn more

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Not investment advice. Investments can rise and fall, and your capital is at risk.

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Welcome bonus up to £50 & up to £2,500 bonus for transferring an ISA.

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Cheapest (ETFs only)
InvestEngine rated 5 stars

InvestEngine

InvestEngine is great for investing in exchange-traded funds (ETFs). That’s all they do – and they're very good at it.

It's so low cost, there's in fact no InvestEngine fees at all (to make your own investments).

And for the experts to manage your investments, it's only 0.25% per year.

There's a great range of ETFs (over 550), and the app is pretty great too.

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Capital at risk. (T&Cs apply.)

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Best traditional
AJ Bell rated 5 stars

AJ Bell

AJ Bell is well established, with a good reputation.

It's one of the cheapest traditional stock brokers out there (charging a low annual fee).

There's a huge range of investment options – pretty much every investment out there (including both funds and shares).

The customer service is great too.

Overall, it's one of the best options.

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How long does an ISA transfer take?

Transferring a Stocks and Shares ISAs shouldn't take longer than 30 days to complete. This is an official guideline set by the government, and you should get in touch with your ISA provider if it’s taking longer than this (they are being naughty!).

You can also then complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service (the people who make sure financial customers are treating their customers fairly), who will look into the issue.

By the way, transferring Stocks and Shares ISAs is a bit longer than a Cash ISA to another Cash ISA. Transferring a Cash ISA should only take 15 days.

What is a Stocks & Shares ISA?

Just want to be 100% what a Stocks & Share ISA is? Let’s run through it. 

It’s an investment account that lets you save and invest (e.g. buying stocks and shares) completely tax-free! So, you won’t pay any Capital Gains Tax, Income Tax or Dividend Tax. This can be a massive saving when you are saving for the long-term (recommended). How great is that?!

Stocks & Shares ISA

They’re a great way to grow your money over the long-term, as long as you use a safe and sensible investment strategy (such as letting the experts handle things) and are considered much better than simply saving cash for long-term savings.

You can invest up to £20,000 per tax year (April 6th to April 5th the following year), called your annual ISA allowance, and is the total limit across of the different types of ISAs – so a Cash ISA (for cash savings), Lifetime ISA (to save for your first home), and an Innovative Finance ISA (for lending your money directly to other people via platform), all combined.

ISA allowance

Note: Stocks and Shares ISAs are also commonly called investment ISAs.

Transferring to different types of ISAs

Transferring a Cash ISA to a Stocks and Shares ISA

You also have the option to transfer a Cash ISA to a Stocks and Shares ISA if you want to.

A Cash ISA is simply an ISA for your cash savings, where you’ll earn interest (usually a fixed percentage every year). You can do this in the same way as transferring a Stocks and Shares ISA, just let your new provider know you want to transfer your Cash ISA.

Cash ISA

Transferring a Stocks and Shares ISA to a Cash ISA

The same process goes for transferring an investment ISA to a Cash ISA – simply let your new provider know that you want to transfer your ISA across, and they’ll handle everything (after completing an ISA transfer form).

Transferring a Lifetime ISA to a Stocks and Shares ISA

A Lifetime ISA is another type of government savings account where you can save completely tax-free, but you can only use it to buy your first home, or you’ll have to wait until you’re 60 to access the money. And, they have a great benefit, you’ll get a massive 25% bonus on your contributions. You can add up to £4,000 each year.

Lifetime ISA

It’s often not a good idea to transfer a Lifetime ISA to a Stocks and Shares ISA as you’ll have to pay a hefty fee of 25% of the total balance. Which works out as more than the 25% bonus you get from the government on your contributions. But, it is possible, and works in exactly the same way, your new ISA provider will handle everything.

Transferring a Stocks and Shares ISA to a Lifetime ISA 

You can also transfer a Stocks and Shares ISA to a Lifetime ISA, and again, this works in the same way, your new provider will handle everything. However, your previous ISA balance will count towards your £4,000 annual allowance for a Lifetime ISA for this current year. So you won’t be able to transfer more than £4,000 until the next tax year.

Lifetime ISA allowance

Fees involved

There can be some fees involved with ISA transfers, and these depend on which ISA provider you are currently using, these vary across providers too. 

Some may charge an ISA transfer fee, or an exit fee, but this is very uncommon – and if they do, it’s probably a sign that they’re not a great provider in the first place and transferring is a great idea.

The most common fees are transaction fees to sell your investments within your Stocks and Shares ISA account, and turn them into cash, if needed. This shouldn't be a huge amount – but it could be. Your provider should let you know about any cost involved.

Let’s recap the ISA transfer rules

So there we have it – how to transfer a Stocks and Shares ISA. Pretty straightforward really isn’t it? Simply sign up with a new ISA provider, and let them know you want to transfer your old ISA from your existing provider over to them, and they’ll take care of everything – you just need to complete an ISA transfer form.

If you’ve found a great new ISA provider, it’s often a good idea to transfer all your old ISAs to benefit from potentially lower fees, a wider range of investments and potentially better investment growth over time.

Stocks and Shares long-term performance

If you haven’t found a great new ISA provider yet, we’ve researched all the best out there. Here's all the best Stocks and Shares ISAs.

That’s it – your money will be with your new provider in no time!

Best investment platforms

Not found a great new ISA yet? Here’s the best options to help you pick.

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Best investment platforms

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