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First time poster - HTB Switch for higher interest rate

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in ISAs & Tax-free Savings
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Kittyb22Kittyb22 Forumite
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in ISAs & Tax-free Savings
Hello Everyone, I’m new here and was hoping you could help me please.

I have been paying into a Halifax HTB ISA for a few years but they no longer offer the best interest rate so wanted to switch providers for a better rate (following Martin’s advice on this site!). I went into Barclays yesterday (currently offering best rate) expecting to be able to easily switch the entire HTB account (+ all its contents) to them. I’d been told this would be no problem when I phoned so set up the appointment but found that wasn’t the case. They told me they wouldn’t be able to transfer the whole amount and would only be able to take £1,200? When I queried this they said even if they requested to transfer the whole amount it would be rejected & sent back. So disappointed.. and such a waste of time!.. is what I was told yesterday correct? Can you not switch the full contents of a HTB ISA as you can a normal Cash ISA? (I had only wanted to open the new HTB & transfer the previous HTB ISA subscriptions into it.. haven’t subscribed to an ISA this year yet.. allowing me to subscribe to my LISA & maybe another ISA this year).

Any help you can give would be really appreciated, Thankyou.

Replies

  • edited 12 April 2019 at 11:41AM
    20SmthngSver20SmthngSver Forumite
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    edited 12 April 2019 at 11:41AM
    Hi.

    You should be able to, and it should have gone through. What rate are you getting with Halifax presently?

    Have you tried Virgin Money, Nationwide Building Society or NatWest? They are 2.5%, which is only 0.08% lower than Barclay's 2.58%, so you're talking about a marginal difference. Maybe you'd have more success with them (I personally would use Barclay's as a last resort as I've always found it a struggle dealing with them).

    Also, which region do you live in? As the following offer better rates:

    Penrith Building Society - 3%
    Tipton & Coseley Building Society - 2.95%
    Vernon Building Society - 2.85%
    Darlington Building Society - 2.8%
    Cumberland Building Society - 2.75%
    Newcastle Building Society - 2.56%
    Buckinghamshire Building Society - 2.5%

    Help to Buy ISA rates are better than Cash ISA rates. Also, you can subscribe to a Help to Buy ISA and a Lifetime ISA at the same time, so definitely look at Nottingham, Skipton and Newcastle building societies for the Lifetime ISA.

    Hope this helps.
  • eskbankereskbanker Forumite
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    Kittyb22 wrote: »
    I went into Barclays yesterday (currently offering best rate) expecting to be able to easily switch the entire HTB account (+ all its contents) to them. I’d been told this would be no problem when I phoned so set up the appointment but found that wasn’t the case. They told me they wouldn’t be able to transfer the whole amount and would only be able to take £1,200? When I queried this they said even if they requested to transfer the whole amount it would be rejected & sent back. So disappointed.. and such a waste of time!.. is what I was told yesterday correct?
    No, it's not correct - you are allowed to transfer the entire contents of a HTB ISA from one provider to another, but Barclays have history of their staff not knowing this, as it's been reported on here repeatedly, e.g. on this thread:
    eskbanker wrote: »
    There's no point in getting all worked up about perceived weaknesses in MSE's coverage, which is accurate - your complaint is with Barclays, who, not for the first time, are misinforming you.

    Refer them to their own Ts & Cs and ask where they're getting their invented limit from:
    Transfers-in

    5.1 In accordance with ISA Regulations, you are allowed to transfer current tax year and/or previous tax years’ ISA subscriptions to a Help to Buy: ISA at any time. When you transfer to a Barclays Cash ISA, we call this a ‘transfer-in’.

    5.2 You may transfer-in the funds held in existing ISAs, either with us or another ISA provider.

    5.3 When opening a Cash ISA with the intention of transferring another ISA into it no initial deposit is required.

    5.4 You may transfer-in an existing Help to Buy: ISA to your Help to Buy: ISA with Barclays.
  • gingercordialgingercordial Forumite
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    I recently switched my HTB ISA from Halifax to Nationwide. It is a tiny bit lower than Barclays at 2.5% not 2.58%, but they do know what they are doing and it all went through very smoothly. If Barclays don't know what they are doing for the sake of 0.08% interest I would certainly go with Nationwide.

    You do have to request paper forms to do it, but it was all complete within a week of me posting them in.
  • AlexlandAlexland Forumite
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    eskbanker is correct this is a common issue where the front line staff are not trained on the product to the depth required to answer your query. Somewhere behind the scenes will be an ISA transfer department where they will be a bit more specialised and clued up on these things.
  • Thankyou 20SmthngSver for your reply. I’m currently getting 2.25% with Halifax, so there are definitely slightly better rates to be had out there atm so I will persevere! Unfortunately I live in Scotland so none of the building societies would be any good but I appreciate you suggesting them, Thankyou.
  • Thankyou so much eskbanker for your reply. I was very interested to read that other people have encountered the same troubles at Barclays (it’s not just me!) - I had hunted around previous threads incase something had been mentioned before but hadn’t spotted any! Thankyou so much for including Barclays own T&C’s - seems amazing that their own staff aren’t aware! I will be armed with the proof now if I decide to venture back into Barclays! Thanks so much again.
  • Thanks for your reply Alexland. Such a shame their staff aren’t better clued but glad to know that I can “transfer-in” my HTB as I believed! I will aim to for the ISA transfer department if I decide to go back to them! Thanks so much again.
  • Thanks for replying Gingercordial. It’s good to know that you have just done the same and had a much better experience with Nationwide. I may it’s follow in your footsteps as it sounds more straightforward! Thanks again for your reply .
  • edited 14 April 2019 at 9:19AM
    20SmthngSver20SmthngSver Forumite
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    edited 14 April 2019 at 9:19AM
    Kittyb22 wrote: »
    Thankyou 20SmthngSver for your reply. I’m currently getting 2.25% with Halifax, so there are definitely slightly better rates to be had out there atm so I will persevere! Unfortunately I live in Scotland so none of the building societies would be any good but I appreciate you suggesting them, Thankyou.

    You're welcome. Ah, I see. The perk of Barclay's Help to Buy ISA is that they can pay interest monthly. But maybe try one of the others at 2.5% if you've had trouble? It's not uncommon with them unfortunately. An increase of 0.25% for you, especially if you've been saving in it for several years, would make a difference because of compounding. Up to if you think going with Barclay's for the extra 0.08% beyond the other three providers is worth it in terms of customer service etc.

    It may not be appealing but Yorkshire Building Society has multiple branches around Scotland. It is 2.25%, but they do increase their rates with BoE increases. I believe it started out at 2%. Someone to consider in your choosing; look at each providers historic rates for the Help to Buy ISA, and see if they have increased with previous rises in last 18 months. Barclay's did last time, and Nationwide I think.

    Let us know how you get on with it and what you go for. Good luck. :beer:
  • Thankyou 20SmthngSver.. I will let you know what I decide to go with.
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