Jeff Salway: New Isa rules a mystery to Scots savers

Jeff Salway. Picture: Jane Barlow
Jeff Salway. Picture: Jane Barlow
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Almost six in ten savers and investors north of the Border admit they don’t know how much they can put into a new individual savings account (Nisa) each year.

Research by Triodos Bank also found that 39 per cent of Scots don’t know the difference between cash Nisas and the stocks and shares version, while another 15 per cent said they didn’t realise there was more than one option available.

The amount that can be saved tax-efficiently through the wrappers was increased to £15,000 last Summer with the launch of the Nisa. But one in six savers believe the annual allowance is just £3,600, the cash limit seven years ago.

The ethical bank also uncovered a high level of interest in where Nisa cash is invested. One in four Scottish Nisa holders said they would rather avoid investing in a fund, pension or company involved in fracking, and would consider moving their money if they found that’s where it was invested.

“This research suggests savers and investors would benefit from better information on Nisa limits and greater transparency by banks in terms of how they use their customer’s Nisa savings,” said a spokesman for Triodos. “However, the reality is that 35 per cent don’t know what their savings and investments are being used for and 63 per cent of people with Nisas have never switched providers, this suggests that people are missing an opportunity to stick to their ethical principles.”