Something I’ve never quite understood is why it takes some banks and building societies so long to transfer cash ISAs. After all, it’s a very simple process – bank A transfers your cash to Bank B who places it in your chosen cash ISA account, with a couple of notifications to HMRC along the way. It should take no more than a few days – in fact there’s no reason the process couldn’t be automated online and take place same day.
Well, reasonably good news. The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has ordered the banks and building societies to complete cash ISA transfers within 15 days from 31 December 2010 – the current limit is 23 days. And interest must start to accrue within 2 days of your money being received by the new bank.
Progress? Yes. But this still smacks of inefficiency and is 8 days too long in my view.
Banks and building societies will also have to show the rate of interest they’re paying you on cash ISA statements from 2012. Again, a good move, but why such a lethargic deadline? The banks have probably argued it’ll take this long to change systems etc. Yet when it comes to making changes that increase charges they seem able to move mountains almost overnight...