When to consider transferring your ISA

There are lots of reasons why people transfer their existing ISA to another provider. It could be to do with investment choice, product, cost or even service. Whatever your reason, it’s important to make sure an ISA transfer is right for you before making the move. Our guide to ISAs should help here.

Reasons to transfer:

  • You’d like lower trading costs.

  • High fees are eating into your investments.

  • You'd like to access a wider range of investments, such as stocks and shares or ETFs.

  • Use a more user-friendly app or web platform.

  • Customer service that fits with your needs.

Important information: please remember any tax treatment depends on your individual circumstances and may be subject to change in the future. Before transferring an ISA you should check you will not lose valuable guarantees or be charged excessive transfer penalties. 

Why transfer your stocks and shares ISA to Freetrade

Commission-free
instant trades

No commissions for buying or selling stocks and unlimited instant trades during stock market opening hours.

Fractional shares for
US stocks

Invest from as little as £2.

Vast stock universe

Choose from thousands of UK and US stocks, ETFs and investment trusts. See our full stock list.

Low monthly fees

So your stocks and shares ISA can grow, without your
fees growing too.

Award-winning app

Access and manage your portfolio from anywhere.

No transfer or exit fees

We made switching from another ISA provider easy and free.

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Commission-free instant trades - No commissions for buying or selling stocks and unlimited instant trades during stock market opening hours

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Fractional shares

Fractional shares for US stocks, invest from as little as £2

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Award-winning app

Vast stock universe - Choose from thousands of UK and US stocks, ETFs and investment trusts

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ETFs & Investment Trusts

Low, flat fee that doesn’t grow with the size of your investments - only £3/month

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US and UK stocks

Award-winning app to manage your portfolio

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Fast, friendly support

No transfer or exit fees

Transfer a stocks and shares ISA to Freetrade

You can transfer your stocks and shares ISA from a different provider to Freetrade free of charge.

Any securities that you hold in your existing ISA that we are unable to transfer in specie can either be sold and transferred as cash or left with your current ISA manager, depending on ISA rules. With cash transfers, you are not invested so will miss out on market ups and downs during your transfer.

Transfer a cash ISA

Cash ISAs are one way to save but when it comes to growing your savings, a cash ISA might not be the best product to focus on.

Investing is one of the best ways to grow your savings over the long term, so it might be worth considering transferring to a stocks and shares ISA.

How to transfer your ISA

1

Upgrade your plan to Standard or Plus within the Freetrade app.

2

Open your ISA account by following the steps in-app.

3

Request your transfer by completing the online form.

4

Our team will drop you a message to confirm we’ve got your request and will start the transfer.

For more info, check our ISA transfer FAQs and our ISA terms & conditions, ISA charges and 'What is a stocks and shares ISA' guide. You can read more about the Freetrade ISA on our stocks and shares ISA page.

Which ISAs can I transfer?

You can transfer any existing cash, stocks & shares or innovative ISA to Freetrade by completing this questionnaire.

There are two options when transferring your ISA to Freetrade. You can transfer as cash or if you’d like to keep your portfolio intact you can transfer ‘in specie’.

In specie transfers might take longer than cash transfers and it’s important to check if the stocks in your existing ISA are in the Freetrade stock universe first.

Any securities that you hold in your existing ISA that we are unable to transfer in specie can either be sold and transferred as cash or left with your current ISA manager.It’s free to transfer your existing ISA to Freetrade but before starting, check for any exit fees, your current provider may charge.

We do not accept transfers of Lifetime or Help to Buy ISAs.

What can I invest in?

See which are the most traded shares by the total value of buy orders over the past week on the Freetrade app.

US, UK and European stocks

Invest in thousands of companies listed on the LSE, NYSE, NASDAQ and across Europe.

ETFs

Choose from a wide range of exchange-traded funds covering index funds, stock and bond ETFs from providers like Vanguard, iShares and Invesco, as well as HSBC and Xtrackers.

REITs

Diversify your investments with REITs, which allow you to add residential or commercial real estate assets to your portfolio without the hassle of buying and managing the properties yourself.

Investment trusts

Choose from over 150 investment trusts to diversify your portfolio across a wide range of sectors, geographical areas and markets worldwide.

Transferring to another provider

If you decide to leave Freetrade, there is no fee to transfer away and close your Freetrade ISA. You can transfer out as cash or stock. At the moment, to transfer any non-UK securities away from Freetrade you will have to sell them first and transfer the amount as cash. 

Your new provider may not be able to accept transfers of all securities you hold with Freetrade.

We will always reach out to you and we’ll never sell any stocks on your behalf. Your future broker can send an electronic transfer request to us at: transfer@freetrade.io.

ISA transfer FAQs

What is an ISA transfer?

An ISA transfer is the ability to move assets held with one ISA manager to another, keeping the investments within the tax-efficient wrapper. Brokers must allow a client to transfer their ISA freely, however, are not obliged to facilitate the transfer in every way possible (many, like Freetrade, offer just cash transfers out).

Which ISA can I transfer?

You can transfer either a Cash, Stocks & Shares or Innovative ISA to Freetrade. We do not accept transfers of Lifetime or Help to Buy ISAs.

Can I transfer my existing stocks, or do I have to sell them and transfer cash?

If the stocks in your existing ISA are in our universe, you can transfer them without selling. If not, you’ll need to sell them for cash. Then that cash can move over too in the same transfer.

How long does it take?

Cash ISA – Up to 4 weeks generally.
Stocks and shares ISA – Up to 6 weeks on generally.

The time a transfer takes can vary on the above times, with various factors affecting the progress (sale instructions, broker working timeframes, conversations between broker and client to confirm information). There seems to be an industry-wide delay at the moment due to COVID, with certain brokers having longer hold-ups than others.

How to transfer shares into an ISA?

Shares can only be transferred into your ISA with Freetrade if they are currently held in an ISA elsewhere.

When the client instructs the transfer, we send this to the current provider requesting a valuation of assets. Once received, we review what can and cannot be held, then contact the client about any positions that  cannot be held with Freetrade or transferred in specie.

It may not be possible to transfer in non-UK securities depending on how these are held with your current ISA manager, depending on ISA rules. We cannot also currently accept transfers in of stocks listed on European exchanges. These positions will have to be sold and transferred as cash.

If applicable, sale instructions are made, and for stock coming across in specie (as stock), trade and settlement dates are requested. On trade date, matching messages between the two brokers are entered into the market, and then the shares are transferred on settlement date. Following  settlement, cash balances are sent to the receiving provider, alongside completion documents.

How much of my ISA can I transfer?

If you are transferring an ISA from previous years, you can partially transfer your holdings. Current year subscriptions are not able to be split, so it must be transferred in full.

Is transferring my ISA impacting my allowance?

No, transferring an ISA keeps investments in the tax wrapper, and so will not count further toward your allowance.

Can I transfer an ISA to a SIPP?

No, you cannot directly transfer your stocks and shares ISA to a SIPP. You could sell your ISA holdings and then buy them back in a SIPP, much like a bed and ISA.  

When is the best time to transfer an ISA? 

There is no ideal time to transfer an ISA. The end or beginning of a tax year may mean the process takes longer as more people are thinking about their ISAs at that time. But even this isn’t necessarily going to be a problem.

How many times can I transfer my ISA?

You can transfer your ISA as many times as you like — there are no limits. 

Can I transfer my ISA to my children or spouse?

ISAs can be inherited by your spouse but you must have been married to them or in a civil partnership with them. This is done via an inherited ISA allowance.

Your children can inherit your ISA holdings but the ISA will not retain its tax-efficient status if they do.
Inheritance tax is a complex subject and ISAs are no exception. If you are interested in learning more about the subject then it’s worth speaking to a financial advisor before you make any big decisions. Please remember tax treatment depends on your individual circumstances and may be subject to change in the future.

Can I withdraw money from my stocks and shares ISA?

Yes, once you sell any shares you hold then you can withdraw them as cash. But be careful here. The moment that cash is out of your ISA account, it loses its tax-efficient status and if you want to deposit it again, it will come from part of your annual allowance.

It's worth noting that if you deposit cash and don’t invest it, you can withdraw it without it impacting your allowance. But this isn’t always the case. Please remember any tax treatment depends on your individual circumstances and may be subject to change in the future.  

What people say about Freetrade

Great stocks and shares ISA super cheap to trade. Rapidly deploying new features. Love it.
– Charlie
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Have moved my ISA over from Hargreaves Lansdown as the simplicity was driving easier/better investment decisions and better returns.
– Rob
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Great app for personal investing - great UI design and new stocks coming all the time.
– Lucy
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