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).
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.
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?
Here’s where it can be a bit confusing – if you want to transfer some, but not all of your cash (a partial transfer). Here’s how it works.
If you have paid into your Stocks & Shares ISA this current tax year, you’ll have to transfer everything you’ve paid in so far this year.
If you want to transfer money and investments from previous tax years, you can transfer as much as you like, either all of it, or just a part of it. Simply let your new ISA provider know how much you’d like to transfer (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.
Moneyfarm is one of the best options out there for saving and investing. It's super easy to use – the experts simply take care of everything. And, they're on hand to help you with guidance and any questions too.
They have one of the top performing investment records, and great socially responsible investing options.
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:
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.
Get a free share worth up to £100 when you use the promo code NUTS. Enjoy!
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?!
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.
However, you can only pay into one Stocks and Shares ISA per year.
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.
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.
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.
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.
If you haven’t found a great new ISA provider yet, we’ve researched all the best out there, and here’s our top recommendations:
Managed by experts
Managed by you
That’s it – your money will be with your new provider in no time!
If you’re still unsure, it could be a good idea to speak to a financial advisor. You can find a great one with Unbiased¹.
Best investment platforms
Not found a great new ISA yet? Here’s the best options to help you pick.
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