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first direct urges savers to review their accounts

03 Aug 2011

Four in ten don't know how much their savings pay out

Research by first direct has found that almost half of us (47.7%) only hold one savings account, at the same time, less than half of savers know exactly how much they have saved.  Even more surprisingly nearly four in ten (36.9%) savers don't know what interest rate they're being paid for their hard earned cash and a similar number (34%) rarely or never check their balance, all highlighting a serious lack of awareness when it comes to savings accounts.

Bruno Genovese, Head of Savings at first direct commented:

"In the current environment it's worrying to see what little attention people are paying to their savings.  It's important for people to review their savings regularly. Only then can they ensure they have the best account for their needs and have made the most of their tax free allowance."

To help those savers yet to invest their tax free allowance first direct are currently offering an online Cash e-ISA which remains fixed at 2.75% AER until 31 August 2012 giving people plenty of opportunity to invest their full limit of £5,340 before the end of the tax year next April.

Unlike some competitors first direct 's fixed rate account allows customers to make unlimited withdrawals up to their yearly Cash ISA allowance without loss of interest.  The account is also perfect for those with fewer savings, only £1 is required to open the account.

Competitor comparison



Fixed until

Minimum deposit?

Withdrawal permitted?

Interest lost?

first direct

2.75% AER





Northern Rock

3.20% AER






2.60% AER



Not in fixed term

Yes upon early closure


2.50% AER



Not in fixed term

Yes upon early closure

(Source: 26/07/11)

For further information please contact Amanda Brown on 01132766700 or and Rebecca Hirst on 01132766899 or



Notes to Editors

Research carried out by Opinion Matters amongst a sample of 1001 at the end of June (specifically between 22nd and 29th June 2011.)

Best Online ISA Provider - Your Money Awards 2010

Best Cash ISA Provider - Moneywise Awards 2011

'Your Money' award for the Best Online ISA Provider 2011

After the fixed period first direct 's Cash ISA reverts to its standard variable rate, currently 0.20% AER (0.20% tax-free)

first direct cash e-ISA details

  • start saving from just £1
  • transfer any ISA balances to us, held with other providers, from previous or current tax years. (Transfers from existing first direct ISAs are not permitted)
  • make the most of your ISA allowance
  • immediate access to your money by internal transfer to another first direct account (transfers to accounts held elsewhere may take longer)*
  • online statements
  • no maximum limits on the amount that can be transferred to our cash e-ISA from another cash ISA held with another provider.

* once ISA subscription limit for a tax year is reached then for the remainder of that tax year it is not possible to reinvest any money previously withdrawn from the ISA.

How much can I subscribe to an ISA?

Because of their tax advantages ISAs are subject to annual subscription limits. The overall ISA subscription limit is £10,680 for tax year 6 April 2011 to 5 April 2012 for anyone eligible to invest in an ISA. Up to £5,340 of this overall limit can be saved in a cash ISA with one provider. The remainder of the £10,680 can be invested in a stocks and shares ISA with either the same or another provider. Alternatively, the full £10,680 can be invested in a stocks and shares ISA with one provider.

What is an ISA?

An ISA is a tax efficient way of saving or investing as all income and capital gains arising within an ISA are exempt from any personal liability to UK income tax and capital gains tax.

There are two types of ISA:

  • stocks and shares
  • cash

A payment by you into an ISA in any tax year is called a subscription. You can only subscribe to one of each type of ISA per tax year.

Please note that each year all ISA providers are required to report details of ISA subscriptions made by their customers to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) so that HMRC can check that individuals do not exceed the limits.

ISAs may be transferred to another ISA with the same or a different ISA provider. When an ISA is transferred in this way, the amount transferred is not a subscription and therefore does not count towards the subscription limits explained above. It is not possible to transfer a stocks and shares ISA to a cash ISA.

Transfer any ISA balances to us, held with other providers, from previous or current tax years. (Transfers from existing first direct cash ISAs to another first direct cash ISA are not permitted.)

AER: The Annual Equivalent Rate is the notional rate which illustrates what the tax-free rate would be if interest was paid and compounded each year. Tax status of ISAs are subject to statutory change.

Tax-free: free from personal liability to any UK Income tax and Capital Gains Tax.

Tax treatment depends on individual circumstances and may be subject to change in the future.


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