Help to Buy: ISA

Make the most of the Government's 25% bonus towards your first home

Please read the summary box before applying

At a glance Help to Buy: Backed by HM Government

Interest rates

Features and benefits

Keep in mind

Withdrawals

Access

Earn 1.50% tax free/AER variable

  • Open the account with £1 up to £1,000 – this must be received within 21 days of account opening
  • Save from £1 to £200 each month (including the month of account opening) by standing order to be received by 25th of each month
  • There are no restrictions on withdrawals (although you will not be able to claim any Help to Buy: ISA bonus on the funds you withdraw and it will take longer to save enough to qualify for the maximum bonus)
  • Transfers into our cash ISAs take advantage of our ISA promise. You will be able to transfer the full balance from another Help to Buy: ISA or up to £1,000 from any other ISAs
  • Manage your account in branch, on the telephone or through our Internet Banking.

To apply, you must be 16 or over and a first-time buyer saving for your first home. You will need your National Insurance number. Remember, the Help to Buy: ISA is a cash ISA and you can only add contributions into one cash ISA in a tax year.

To receive your bonus, you must:

  • close your account in branch in one transaction when you are ready to buy your first UK property (up to the value of £250,000 outside London and £450,000 inside London). Any costs incurred before the completion of the property purchase cannot be covered by the bonus
  • provide your Help to Buy: ISA closing documents to your conveyancer and they will claim the bonus on your behalf
  • Unlimited.
  • You won’t be able to claim any Help to Buy: ISA bonus on the funds you withdraw
  • Online
  • Branch
  • Phone

Earn 1.50% tax free/AER variable

Features and benefits

  • Open the account with £1 up to £1,000 – this must be received within 21 days of account opening
  • Save from £1 to £200 each month (including the month of account opening) by standing order to be received by 25th of each month
  • There are no restrictions on withdrawals (although you will not be able to claim any Help to Buy: ISA bonus on the funds you withdraw and it will take longer to save enough to qualify for the maximum bonus)
  • Transfers into our cash ISAs take advantage of our ISA promise. You will be able to transfer the full balance from another Help to Buy: ISA or up to £1,000 from any other ISAs
  • Manage your account in branch, on the telephone or through our Internet Banking.

Keep in mind

To apply, you must be 16 or over and a first-time buyer saving for your first home. You will need your National Insurance number. Remember, the Help to Buy: ISA is a cash ISA and you can only add contributions into one cash ISA in a tax year.

To receive your bonus, you must:

  • close your account in branch in one transaction when you are ready to buy your first UK property (up to the value of £250,000 outside London and £450,000 inside London). Any costs incurred before the completion of the property purchase cannot be covered by the bonus
  • provide your Help to Buy: ISA closing documents to your conveyancer and they will claim the bonus on your behalf

Withdrawals

  • Unlimited.
  • You won’t be able to claim any Help to Buy: ISA bonus on the funds you withdraw

Access

  • Online
  • Branch
  • Phone

Summary Box - Help to Buy ISA

1. What is the interest rate?

It’s a variable rate as shown in the table below

Your balanceAnnual interest
Tax freeAER
£1+
1.50%
1.50%
  • Your interest is paid annually on the anniversary of the account opening.

2. Can Bank of Scotland change the interest rate?

Yes.

As this account pays a variable rate of interest the rate can change over time. For example we might review the interest rate if the Bank of England bank rate changes. We’ll always let you know of any planned changes to the rate. Our terms and conditions explain when and how we do this.

3. What might the future balance be?

Below is an example of what the future balance might be, after interest has been paid:

Initial depositRegular depositTax free rateBalance at 12 months
£1,000
£100
1.50%
£2,224.00

This example assumes that:

  • You don’t withdraw any money and interest isn’t paid out of the account
  • The interest rate stays the same
  • You make regular deposits in the middle of each month

In addition, the UK government will pay a 25% bonus on your final balance. The minimum bonus of £400 is payable on closing balances of £1,600. The maximum bonus of £3,000 is paid on closing balances of £12,000 or more.

4. How do I open and manage my account?

This account can be opened and managed in branch, by phone or online.

Saving together? If you’re planning to purchase your home with another first time buyer, you can both open a Help to Buy: ISA and claim government bonuses of up to £3,000 each.

Opening this account

You are eligible for this account if you are:

  • 16 or over
  •  a resident in the UK (for tax purposes)
  • a first-time buyer saving for your first home

To open this account you will need to:

  • open the account in your sole name
  • open the account with between £1 and £1,000
  • ensure funds are received within 21 days of account opening

You can transfer funds to a Help to Buy: ISA from an existing ISA. For transferring in from a Lloyds ISA, read our internal transfer guide (pdf) for more information. Otherwise, read our external transfer guide (pdf).

Managing this account

  • You can pay in up to £200 in any calendar month. This should be paid by standing order and received by the 25th of the month (this can include the month you open your ISA).
  • ISAs have an annual limit this tax year of £15240 for new contributions, and you can’t pay more than this limit into any combination of permitted ISAs within the same tax year.
  • Keep in mind the Help to Buy: ISA is a cash ISA and you can only add new contributions into one cash ISA in a tax year.
  • The Help to Buy: ISA allowance is lower than the overall ISA allowance. If you want to reach the full ISA limit in a tax year, you’ll have to invest any other new contributions into a stocks and shares ISA and/or an innovative finance ISA.

5. Can I withdraw money?

Yes. 
You can make unlimited withdrawals or close the account at any time in branch, but it’s important to note that you won’t be able to claim any Help to Buy: ISA bonus on the funds you withdraw.

If you choose to close the account and move the money to a non-ISA account, your savings will lose their tax-free status. The tax treatment depends on your individual circumstances and may change in future.

6. Additional information

Receiving your bonus

To start the claim for your bonus, you need to :

  • close your account in branch in one transaction when you are ready to purchase your first UK property (up to the value of £250,000 outside London and £450,000 inside London). Any costs incurred before the completion of the property purchase cannot be covered by the bonus.
  • provide your Help to Buy: ISA closing documents to your conveyancer and they will claim the bonus on your behalf.

Definitions

Tax free is the rate of interest payable to you where your interest is exempt from income tax.

AER stands for Annual Equivalent Rate and illustrates what the interest rate would be if interest was paid and compounded once each year. As every advertisement for a savings product which quotes an interest rate will include an AER, it makes it easier for you to compare what return you can expect from your savings over time.

Common enquiries


If you have any more questions, you will find our most frequently asked ISA questions in the common enquiries page.

FSCS


Eligible deposits with us are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). For further information about the compensation provided by the FSCS, refer to the FSCS website at www.fscs.org.uk/. You can also visit our Financial Services Compensation Scheme page for more details.

FSCS logo

Open a Help to Buy: ISA today.

Open a Help to Buy: ISA

We recommend that you download and read the account conditions (PDF) carefully as they form a legal contract with us. If there is anything you do not understand, please contact us before you agree to them (as part of the application). For further information you can visit: http://www.helptobuy.gov.uk/isa.

Tax treatment depends on your individual circumstances and may change.

Please note:

Rates of interest are subject to change. Rates effective from 0.00am on 15/11/2016
For a definition of AER, tax free and other terms please view our savings glossary.