ISA online access causing a fuss

13 November 2007
Customers are finding it impossible to access their ISAs online because 78 per cent of accounts have limited internet-banking services, according to Abbey.

Research shows that only 36 per cent of so called “easy access” cash mini ISA accounts offer a web-banking service, however, while the high street banks are considered bad, the worst offenders are building societies.

A shocking 78 per cent of ISAs held by building societies do not permit internet access to holders, raising concerns for many savers who typically manage their accounts online.

While modern banking would suggest that between online, telephone and in-branch options, customers would be spoilt for choice when it comes to managing their money, the reality is quite different.

Out of the main ISA providers, 27 per cent of accounts offer just one way of banking while only 69 per cent offer branch access, 35 per cent offer telephone access and 58 per cent offer postal access.

Abbey’s research into the availability of ISAs has flagged up the accessibility issue and customers are now being warned to check their banking options when choosing their cash mini ISA.

Reza Attar Zadeh, Director of Savings and Investments at Abbey, comments: “Accessibility is an important issue when selecting an ISA. Primarily, the account has to offer a form of management that you are both comfortable and experienced with. “

According to research by Birmingham Midshires, just over half of young people have an online account and 15 per cent save money into a tax-free ISA. With the number of young people opening up savings accounts having doubled during the third quarter of the year, it would appear to be a wise move for account providers to offer to the more web savvy customer the option of online access.

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