Responding to a super complaint

Celebrating 10 years of the Cash ISA Transfer Service

Most of us will know that a cash ISA – standing for Individual Savings Account – is similar to a regular savings account, but there is no tax to pay on any of the interest you earn. In the UK you can put away up to £20,000 in a cash ISA every tax year and different types of cash ISAs are available such as fixed rate ISAs and variable rate cash ISAs1.

You can transfer your Individual Savings Account (ISA) from one provider to another at any time2 – transferring to a different type of ISA or to the same type of ISA.

To switch providers, you just need contact the ISA provider you want to move to and fill out an ISA transfer form to move your account and ISA transfers should take no longer than 15 working days for transfers between cash ISAs or 30 calendar days for other types of transfer.

Responding to a super complaint

As well as responsibility for the launch and live operation of the Current Account Switching Service (CASS) it was also my privilege to launch a Cash ISA Transfer Service in October 2012 – a service that both automated a paper based process and ensured that ISA providers could meet the HMRC determined switch timeframes.

The Cash ISA Transfer Service was developed in response to feedback a super-complaint raised by Which? The concern raised was with the speed of Cash ISA transfers which, prior to 2012, could breach the industry SLA of fifteen working days. 

Bacs won the tender to build and develop a service that improved speed and efficiency by automating the communication between the two financial organisations involved in the transfer saving time, resource and paper.

94% market coverage

Currently offered by 77 Cash ISA providers this number has grown significantly since the original members of the Bacs committee who initially joined in 2012.

The service has gone from strength to strength over the past 10 years, to the point where 94% of all ISA transfers go through our service compared to the paper-based service. 

5.7 million automated transfers

Over the last decade Bacs and now Pay.UK (the current custodians of the Cash ISA Transfer Service) have facilitated 5.7 million automated Cash ISA transfers, which has continued to work as smoothly and efficiently as the day it launched – with a double celebration of a decade of complaint-free service.

Easy and efficient 

Whether in pursuit of a better interest rate or to bring their accounts under one roof with one provider it is important that Cash ISA’s can be transferred easily and efficiently – another innovation delivered during my time as CEO of Bacs, Faster Payments and CHAPS.

With interest rates (slowly) rising I’m sure that the number of Cash ISA providers participating in the automated service will grow and ensure that when we transfer our Cash ISAs between providers the process will be super smooth and efficient.


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