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‘Nationwide has lost my Isa savings’

Which? helps a saver who’s trying to move her Isa to a new provider

‘Nationwide has lost my Isa savings’

Do you have an issue you need to put right? Which? is here to help get your consumer problems sorted.

Dear Which?,

I applied to transfer my cash Isa to Nationwide from Kent Reliance.

I received several texts saying that the transfer was progressing, and contacted Kent Reliance, who confirmed that the money was transferred electronically and the account was closed.

Nationwide, however, said that the transfer couldn’t be completed, and it hadn’t received the money.

Where is my money?

Claire T-P, Oxfordshire

Put to Rights

Joanne Padilla, Which? Money Helpline adviser, says:

Having both firms appear to wash their hands of your savings sounds immensely stressful, but thankfully your money wasn’t lost.

You called Nationwide, which asked you to contact Kent Reliance to get the details required for the transfer. When you gave these to Nationwide, the transfer was completed – but you should never have had to intervene.

Transferring an Isa to a different provider should be an easy way to grow your savings, by increasing the interest they’re earning, all within these tax-free accounts.

Unlike a savings account, you shouldn’t move the money yourself, which could mean it loses its tax-free status. Instead, you should fill out a transfer form supplied by your new provider, and they will move the money for you.

For a cash Isa, this should take no longer than 15 working days; for other Isas the limit is 30 working days.

Nationwide promises that new Isa customers will receive interest from the day the transfer request is made, so you didn’t lose out. However, you were still waiting on a £50 switching bonus, so we advised you to complain.

Nationwide apologised to you and eventually offered £125 compensation, plus the £50 bonus.

After Which? highlighted similar cases to yours, Nationwide told us it had seen ‘unprecedented demand’ for Isas in March and April and consequently around 2,300 applications took longer than 15 days. It said it was processing these as fast as possible.

Need to know

  • Always transfer Isa savings by using an Isa transfer form from your new provider.
  • Cash Isa transfers should take no longer than 15 working days.
  • If the transfer takes longer, complain to your provider. If you don’t get a satisfactory response, contact the Financial Ombudsman Service.

Get in touch. If you’ve got a consumer rights problem you need put right email us at yourstory@which.co.uk.

Please be aware that we cannot help with, or respond to, every email that we receive. The inbox is monitored periodically during office hours, Monday-Friday 9am-5pm.

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