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first direct launches 5.00 per cent cash e-ISA

17 Feb 2006

first direct , the UK's most recommended bank1, has launched the latest issue of its popular e-ISA, with a fixed rate equivalent to 5.00 per cent2 AER until 1 September 2006. It's one of the best instant access cash ISA rates for balances from £13.

Savers transferring their full cash ISA allowance of £3,000 into the e-ISA from a taxable instant access savings account (paying an average of 2.75 per cent4) could earn almost twice as much interest5 over the bonus rate period.

The first direct e-ISA offers:

  • a market-leading rate equivalent to 5.00 per cent AER fixed until 1 September 2006, the rate will then revert to the standard ISA rate at the time (currently 4.00 per cent AER);
  • £1 minimum opening balance;
  • maximum subscription limit of £3,000 in each tax year;
  • no withdrawal or transfer fees;
  • easy online application;
  • interest calculated daily and paid monthly;
  • 24 hour easy access at;
  • no need to open a first direct current account.

Ben Dunn, head of marketing at first direct said: "It's easy to forget the obvious: the time to save money is when you have some. A cash cushion is one of the comfiest things to own and it's not every day that you get to almost double your interest."

"With another edition of our market-leading e-ISA and a taxable e-Savings Account paying 5.00 per cent AER, we've shown that first direct is not just the best bank for customer service - we're also a seriously good home for your savings."

Savers can invest from just £1 and will enjoy the equivalent of 5.00 per cent AER until September regardless of any further Bank of England interest rate cuts. On 1 September the account will revert to first direct 's standard ISA rate at the time.

Customers interested in first direct 's e-ISA can visit


For further information please contact Jo Thorne on 020 7992 1574 or at

Notes to editors:

1. Source: MORI 2004.

2. 5.00 per cent (AER) is fixed until 30/8/06, after which it will revert to the ISA rate at that time. The first direct e-ISA pays 5.00 per cent AER until 1/9/06 then 4.00 per cent, which is equivalent to 4.54 per cent AER between 17/2/06 and 17/3/07.

3. Based on an instant access mini cash ISA from £1 from Halifax. Source:

4. Source: Moneyfacts average savings account interest rate.

5. 2.751 per cent (Gross) is based on deposit accounts with a balance of £2,500 and does not include tax-free accounts. Source:

first direct has been the UK's most recommended bank, and has had the most satisfied customers, for the last 13 years consecutively (which is when the research began), according to research from MORI and Research International.

The HSBC Group
first direct is a division of HSBC Bank plc, and a member of the HSBC Group. Serving over 110 million customers worldwide, the HSBC Group has over 9,700 offices in 77 countries and territories in Europe, the Asia-Pacific region, the Americas, the Middle East and Africa. With assets of US$1,467 billion at 30 June 2005, HSBC is one of the world's largest banking and financial services organisations. HSBC is marketed worldwide as 'the world's local bank'.

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