Clocks going forward? It must be ISA time

28th March 2014

It’s that time of the year again, when the clocks go forward, we’re back in British Summer Time and everyone who has managed to keep some cash aside (not easy in these straitened times) is being bombarded with adverts for ISAs.

Though it’s undoubtedly a good idea to save for a rainy day if you can, ploughing your way through the different rates, the introductory offers, and the confusing terms and conditions makes you sometimes want to stuff your money in a box under the mattress rather than face the prospect of choosing.

But if you are about to pick a new ISA provider – make sure you choose wisely. Our research shows that older consumers are those most likely to have a savings account, with three-quarters of the over-55s currently saving. Of these older savers, two thirds say they prefer a paper notification of any interest rate change. So if you’re thinking of swapping your provider, take special care to check what’s on offer. You may get better rates somewhere else, but have to sacrifice your paper notification, which could mean it’s more difficult to track any changes.

It is easy to get caught up in the urgency of ISAs this time of year, as the deadline approaches. And with the recently announced “NISA”, which means savers can put three times as much cash into a tax-free account, keeping an eye on rates will become even more of an issue. But, as with any new deal, make sure you read the small print, and think carefully if it means you may lose that access to paper.

Judith Donovan