Need Help: Help to Buy ISA problem

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Hello,

Recently in the new tax year, I opened a Help to Buy ISA with Halifax and had paid £1,200 into the account. However, since then I had found out that Santander was offering a Help to Buy ISA with 4% interest instead of Halifax's 2.5% so I visited Halifax and they explained that I can decide to close the account and open the Help to Buy ISA with Santander instead as I was still within a 14 day cancellation period since opening the account.

So I closed the account with Halifax and they transferred the money back into my savings account and I went to Santander to try and open a Help to Buy ISA there instead. The guy I spoke to there asked me if I had contributed to another ISA in the same tax year so I explained that I did with Halifax but I had closed the account with 14 days. He then explained to me that he can't open the Help to Buy ISA account for me because even though I had cancelled within the 14 day period, I still had contributed money in the tax year so I will have to wait until next year.

Is he correct? I really do hope that I won't need to wait until next year as I do want to start building up a Help to Buy ISA. If he is correct, then could I still go back to Halifax and reopen the Help to Buy ISA I had previously? Any advice would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance.

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  • Westie983
    Westie983 Posts: 5,213 Ambassador
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    Hello,

    Recently in the new tax year, I opened a Help to Buy ISA with Halifax and had paid £1,200 into the account. However, since then I had found out that Santander was offering a Help to Buy ISA with 4% interest instead of Halifax's 2.5% so I visited Halifax and they explained that I can decide to close the account and open the Help to Buy ISA with Santander instead as I was still within a 14 day cancellation period since opening the account.

    So I closed the account with Halifax and they transferred the money back into my savings account and I went to Santander to try and open a Help to Buy ISA there instead. The guy I spoke to there asked me if I had contributed to another ISA in the same tax year so I explained that I did with Halifax but I had closed the account with 14 days. He then explained to me that he can't open the Help to Buy ISA account for me because even though I had cancelled within the 14 day period, I still had contributed money in the tax year so I will have to wait until next year.

    Is he correct? I really do hope that I won't need to wait until next year as I do want to start building up a Help to Buy ISA. If he is correct, then could I still go back to Halifax and reopen the Help to Buy ISA I had previously? Any advice would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance.

    I would have thought the advisor at Halifax would have told you existing customers keep the 4%, the lower rate is for new customers only.

    Yes as you have closed the ISA you have already contributed into an ISA this tax year. I think you would have to wait till next year but not sure.

    You would have been able to reopen the help to buy isa if a house purchase has fallen through but I'm not sure if you will be able to, as its reopened with the solicitors letter.

    Suggest you go back and speak to the Halifax see if they can help, either in branch or over the phone.
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  • xylophone
    xylophone Posts: 44,585 Forumite
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    http://static.halifax.co.uk/assets/pdf/isas/pdf/cash-isa-account-conditions.pdf

    "Your right to cancel

    We hope you’re happy with the savings account you’ve chosen. However, if you aren’t, you have 14 days starting from the day after your account is opened (or, where you have opened your account by phone, from the date you receive your conditions if that is later) to cancel it without charge. (If you cancel a cash ISA, you’ll still be able to open another cash ISA in the same tax year.) Just give us your notice in writing and send this to: Halifax PO Box 548, Leeds, LS1 1WU, or, if you have a Junior Cash ISA speak to a member of staff in one of our branches. This right does not apply to fixed rate fixed term accounts, other than our ISA Saver Fixed.

    Whenever you cancel, we’ll repay any credit balance outstanding and pay
    interest on the account for the time your money was with us. Even if you miss the 14 day deadline, you may still close your account, as explained in the account conditions. (If you close a cash ISA in these circumstances, you will not be able to open another cash ISA, either with us or with another provider, in the same tax year.)
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