ISAs explained with our branch colleagues
16 May 2024


As we kick off a brand-new tax year, and celebrate 25 years since ISAs were introduced, it’s a great opportunity to reassess your savings goals and make the most of the benefits ISAs have to offer.

However, we know that the world of ISAs can be a tricky one to navigate. Our branch colleagues get asked certain questions frequently, such as how many ISAs you’re allowed at once, the difference between fixed rate and easy access, and what the advantages are of transferring your funds.

Below, two colleagues from our Canterbury branch – Summer-Skye Petch, Customer Service Assistant, and James Sanders, Deputy Branch Manager – and two Customer Service Assistants from our Hempstead branch – Jack Beggs and Connie McFarland – answer some of these burning questions to help you understand ISAs a little more and give you savings confidence.

What are the benefits of cash ISAs?

The main benefit of a cash ISA is that the interest earned is completely tax free and doesn’t need to be declared to HMRC. Just remember the ISA allowance is currently set at £20,000 for this tax year. With a Kent Reliance ISA you can “top up” the same ISA each tax year so you can accumulate all those tax-free savings in one place. ISAs are also easy to transfer from one bank to another so you can shop around for the best rate possible.

What’s the difference between a fixed rate and easy access cash ISA?

The main difference is that a fixed rate runs for fixed period of time (depending on the term you choose) and the interest rate is fixed within this time frame, meaning it won’t go up or down. With an easy access account, the rate is variable and may fluctuate. With a fixed rate there are normally penalties if you wish to withdraw your funds during the fixed period, whereas with an easy access ISA there are normally no restrictions if you need to take your money out without notice.

Can I make frequent deposits into my ISA or am I restricted?

Many of our customers think they can only deposit into the account within the first 14 days. However, we allow our customers to pay into their ISA throughout the course of the account. This gives them more flexibility and allows them to maximise their £20,000 allowance.

How many cash ISAs am I allowed?

Depending on the provider you may be only allowed to have one throughout the tax year. However, our customers can save into as many ISAs as they would like as long as they don’t exceed the £20,000 allowance overall.

Do I need to open a new ISA to use my allowance or pay into existing one?

We often get asked this question, and the short answer is you can do either depending on your circumstances! We can give you information on the accounts you hold and our current rates, and then you can decide if it’s in your best interests to open a new account or pay into your existing one.

When should I consider transferring an existing ISA and what are the potential advantages?

If your ISA is maturing, you should have a look around to see what other products and interest rates are on offer from other banks and building societies as well as your existing provider. If a customer has an existing ISA, we can combine two ISAs without it affecting your annual tax-free allowance. However this request must be received within 30 days of your account being opened. ISA transfer are all done “bank to bank” so all you need to do is go to the new provider and request the transfer then they’ll do all the work for you.

We hope that this has answered some of the key questions you may have. If you want to maximise your tax-free allowance for the next year, why not check out the latest Kent Reliance ISAs