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Savers who put cash into the new Lifetime ISAs are being warned they could lose almost half of what they earn in exit fees. The Lifetime ISA is set to launch in April next year and lets savers put away up to £4,000 a year between the ages of 18 and 50. People will then get a 25% bonus on their savings from the government when they retire. But experts warn that if savers dip into their cash pile before they reach 60, for any other reason than buying a first property or because of critical illness, the government bonus is clawed back and a 5% penalty will be applied. Research from AJ Bell, which sells investment funds, has found these charges would have a massive effect on savings. If someone saved the maximum allowable over 10 years, they would build up the ISA to £62,432 with 4% annual growth. But the exit charge would reduce this by £15,608, or 45% of all the growth over the previous decade. https://www.aspokesmansaid.com/money-and-insurance/stories/content-9527/warning-over-exit-fees-on-lifetime-isas http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/pensions/article-3778023/Lifetime-Isa-savers-face-stiff-25-penalty-early-withdrawals.html
Thousands of customers passed on from building societies and banks to Axa Wealth were not warned of the risk of investing in Isa funds and investment bonds and are in line for full compensation from any losses. AXA Wealth, part of the global AXA Group, has been fined £1.8m by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) for failing to give suitable investment advice to customers passed on to it from banks and building societies. The regulator said 26,000 customers were wrongly advised in a range of investment products while Axa staff pocketed lucrative bonuses for making the sales. According to the FCA, customers were put into stocks and shares Isas, open-ended investment companies (Oeics) and investment bonds without AXA assessing their attitude to risk and losses. The customers were mainly nearing retirement and largely not experienced investors. But AXA failed to confirm how much risk its customers were prepared to take or explain the dangers in clear terms. The FCA said AXA sold around 37,000 products to 26,000 customers between 15 September 2010 and 30 April 2012 in branches of Clydesdale Bank, Yorkshire Bank and the West Bromwich Building Society. More: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/investing/10306919/AXA-fined-1.8m-for-bad-advice-on-Isas.html
Has anyone heard of this happening to others since the transition of Abbey over to Santander? I set up an online 'Easy ISA' with Abbey back in 2006/2007 and used to manage it online via a passcode. I remember going into an AN branch one day back in 2008 and they couldn't find this account on their system, I was told because it was an online account only. I was reassured when I went home and logged in to my online banking, that I could still see the ISA. A couple of years passed and the name obviously changed to Santander, bringing about a new online banking system/interface. I forgot the log in details and didn't try and log in until recently. I requested new passcodes etc from the same branch (who still couldn't locate the ISA on their system) and now I've been able to log in again, I am horrified(!) to see no evidence of this ISA or any of my other account details prior to two years ago. I've logged this with their customer service ISA department, who wrote back to say they haven't been able to find it. I know it was there, with about 7k in it!! Even if they had provided acknowledgement that this ISA was once open, (with nothing in it even) I would be reassured...but they are saying they can't find it at all. I feel like I'm going mad, but I'm quite intelligent(!) and know I had some money in there. I've now logged this with the FOS but what else can I do?! I'm gutted! Stacey