Help to buy ISA Bonus

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in ISAs & Tax-free Savings
2 replies 498 views
PhilD427324PhilD427324 Forumite
4 Posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in ISAs & Tax-free Savings
Hi

On Monday I went into my local branch to request to close my Help to Buy ISA as I'm due to complete on my house Thursday. My girlfriend did the same at her local branch (Different branch to mine) and got the required documents stating the closing balance. Whereas the woman dealing with me decided to transfer the money out of my ISA into my current account and then close the account with a balance of £0 (Which I never told her to do), my solicitor came back to me and informed me I can't claim the bonus as my closing balance is £0!!!

I have raised this with the banks complaints team who admitted they were in the wrong but told me they had 5 days to get this rectified and left it at that. I reported everything to the financial ombudsman and after mentioning this to the bank half an hour later they supplied me with the closing statement showing my correct final balance. I have now submitted this and fingers crossed I get my bonus before completion. The bank have fully admitted fault and given me a £75.00 compensation which I'm not really happy with having spent 2 hours on the phone and 3 trips to the branch and only getting somewhere after threatening them with the ombudsman.

My questions are, if I don't get my bonus before we complete tomorrow is that it? Do I have any hope of getting it from the bank? Is there a way of submitting the bonus to the government after we have completed?

Should I be happy with the £75.00 compensation? I'm self employed and have missed out on a full day of work due to the stress & time spent on the phone.

Sorry for the long post and any help is appreciated.

Replies

  • eskbankereskbanker Forumite
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    Your solicitor should have advised you to start the closure process well before Monday if you're completing tomorrow! Clause 8.1 of the conveyancer guidelines at https://www.helptobuyisaadmin.org.uk/sites/default/files/conveyancer-guidelines-aug-17.pdf specify:
    The time taken to close a Help to Buy: ISA account, together with the processing and payment time required by the Scheme Administrator will be at least 12 business days in most circumstances. Therefore, Eligible Conveyancers should commence the process with this timeframe in mind.
    Highlight this to your solicitor and ask what they're prepared to do to resolve this for you....
    My questions are, if I don't get my bonus before we complete tomorrow is that it? Do I have any hope of getting it from the bank? Is there a way of submitting the bonus to the government after we have completed?
    Note that the bonus doesn't come from the bank or go to the government, it comes from the scheme administrator (a government agency), following submission of a claim by your solicitor.
  • Thank you for the reply.
    eskbanker wrote: »
    Your solicitor should have advised you to start the closure process well before Monday if you're completing tomorrow! Clause 8.1 of the conveyancer guidelines at specify:Highlight this to your solicitor and ask what they're prepared to do to resolve this for you....

    Note that the bonus doesn't come from the bank or go to the government, it comes from the scheme administrator (a government agency), following submission of a claim by your solicitor.

    I have been very disappointed with our solicitor, I suppose it is what I get for going with the builders recommended solicitor, the £1000 towards solicitor fees I have potentially broke even with the lost Help to Buy bonus.

    I will definitely be questioning the solicitor as to why I wasn't advised to close the Help to Buy ISA earlier. Thanks for Clause 8.1
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