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ISA Season Hots up With a Number of New Launches

March 14, 2012

CHESTER, England, March 14, 2012 /PRNewswire/ –

        - Rate is still king as 67 per cent* look for highest paying ISA
        - Less than a month to go to make the most of this year's ISA allowance

With the end of 2011/12 tax year less than a month away, savers are urged to make use
of this year’s ISA allowance, and check their current ISA rate, as a flurry of new
launches means they may be able to get a better rate, according to MoneySupermarket.com.

A number of new cash ISA [http://www.moneysupermarket.com/savings/cash-isas ] products
have recently been launched, including Cheshire Building Society offering a two-year fixed
rate ISA at 4.0 per cent with a minimum investment of GBP1,000, and The AA launched an
easy access cash ISA at 3.50 per cent, which includes a bonus rate of 3.00 per cent;
however these do not accept transfers in of existing ISA funds. Santander, Barclays and
Halifax have also launched new products ahead of the 5th April tax deadline. Year-on -year
ISA rates** are continuing to rise which means those with older ISAs may be sat on lower
rates than the current top 10 average of 3.13 per cent.

A recent site poll run by Britain’s number one comparison site found two thirds of
consumers look for the highest rate of interest offered when choosing a cash ISA. A
further twelve per cent are more concerned whether an ISA accepts transfer in. Only two
per cent would choose an ISA from their own bank/building society.

Kevin Mountford, head of banking at MoneySupermarket, said: “We are really starting to
see the ISA market hot up with a number of providers announcing new products in the last
few weeks. With less than a month to go until the end of this year’s tax year, savers
should be ensuring they are using their maximum cash ISA allowance of GBP5,340 where
possible to take advantage of the valuable tax free benefits offered. Our research shows,
basic rate taxpayers would be GBP3,800 richer if they had used their full cash ISA
allowance each year since they were launched in 12 years ago rather than putting the same
amount in an easy access savings account [http://www.moneysupermarket.com/savings ]. This
rises to GBP7,300 for higher rate taxpayers. Anyone with a savings pot paying income tax
and not using an ISA is throwing money to the tax man.

“Although it is tempting to be attracted to headline rates, it is also clear savers
need to look at the finer detail of the product such as whether it offers an introductory
bonus or accepts transfers in. As a first step, those with older ISA funds need to be
aware of the current rate they are on and switch to a better deal if necessary. It is now
very easy to transfer an ISA with many providers paying interest immediately, even before
the funds have arrived in the account. However, make sure you follow the ISA switching
rules otherwise your savings could lose their tax free status. ”

Anyone looking for the latest ISA deals should visit

http://www.moneysupermarket.com/investments/isas

Notes to Editors:

*Webpoll results: What’s the most important feature you look for when choosing a cash
ISA?

        - Highest rate of interest (67.1%)
        - An account that accepts transfers in (11.9%)
        - A rate without an introductory bonus (4.2%)
        - An account that allows withdrawals (7.2%)
        - An account from my bank/building society (1.5%)
        - None of the above, I invest only in stocks and shares ISAs (3%)
        - None of the above, I don't have an ISA (3.9%)
        - I don't know (1.1%)

Total Votes: 2,739

Voting Ended: 10/03/2012

**Table to show ISA comparisons 2010-2012

Easy Access Cash ISAs

        Top ISA 2010
                                                                     AER
            Provider                  Product                   (March 2010)
                                                                    3.20%
                                                            (Includes a bonus of
        Santander              Flexi Cash ISA Issue 2       2.70% for 12 months)
                                                                    3.10%
                                                            (Includes a bonus of
        Barclays                     Golden ISA             1.00% for 12 months)
                                                                    2.75%
                                                            (Includes a bonus of
        Nationwide BS                  e-ISA               1.00% until 30/06/2011)
        Top ISA 2011
                                                                     AER
            Provider                  Product                   (March 2011)
                                                                    3.30%
                                                            (Includes 2.8% bonus
        Santander               Flexible ISA Issue 3           for 12 months)
                                                                    3.25%
                                                            (Includes 2.8% bonus
        Barclays                     Golden ISA                for 12 months)
                                                                    3.20%
                                                            (Includes 2.70% bonus
        Halifax                Cash ISA Direct Reward          for 12 months)
        Top ISA 2012
            Provider                  Product                        AER
                                                                    3.50%
                                                            (Includes 3.00% bonus
        The AA            AA Internet Access ISA (Issue 3)     for 12 months)
                                                                    3.35%
                                                            (Includes 2.35% bonus
        Cheshire BS          Direct Cash ISA (Issue 1)        until 30/09/2013)
                                                                    3.30%
                                                            (Includes 2.80% bonus
        Santander                Direct ISA Issue 9            for 12 months)

Sourced by MoneySupermarket.com 12th March 2012

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        For further information please contact:

        Paul Lawler
        PR Manager Financial Services
        +44(0)1244-370371
        +44(0)787-237-9545
        paul.lawler@moneysupermarket.com

SOURCE moneysupermarket.com


Source: PR Newswire