A GIA is a medium to long-term investment that could be a good option if you’ve used up your ISA allowance and don’t want to lock your money away in a pension. You will have access to a range of different investment opportunities and can invest a regular monthly amount, a lump sum – or both.

It could be suitable for someone who has used up their annual ISA allowance but still wants to invest additional money.  If you’re not sure if this account is right for you, please speak to your intermediary if you have one.

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Who can invest in a GIA?

You must be aged 18 or over.  Applications from overseas for some funds may be refused.  Speak to your intermediary, if you have one, to confirm if you’re eligible for your chosen investment.

Can GIAs be held jointly?

Yes, up to four individuals can invest jointly in a GIA as long as they share the same investment service with their intermediary.

Why does every customer get a GIA?

We give all of our customer’s access to a GIA regardless of the product they first buy. This is for one main reason - it allows you to add money to the cash facility within it to pay charges related to other products.

Taxation

Unlike an ISA or pension, there are no tax benefits for investing in a GIA. You pay income tax on any income you receive from the GIA, and capital gains tax on any realised gain you make on your GIA.  The tax paid will depend on your personal tax situation.

For full details on the taxation of GIAs, please refer to the GIA Key Features.

Investment limits

There’s no limit – you can invest as much as you like into a GIA. The minimum investment amount is £1.00.

You can top up your GIA at any time. If you’re currently making regular monthly contributions, you can add as much as you’d like.

If you’d like to add a lump sum, you can do it online

Important things to think about

The value of your invested money can fall as well as rise and you could get back less than you invest.

Each of the funds you choose to invest in will have its own specific risks.  Details of these are contained in the Key Investor Information Document (KIID) for each fund. It’s important to read each KIID for the funds you choose so you’re fully aware of the risks of each fund. 

Although there’s no fixed term, because the value of your invested money can fall in value, you should consider this a medium to long-term investment.  You should be prepared to hold the investment for at least five years - ideally longer.

The cash facility

The cash facility allows you to hold money in your GIA. This money can be used to invest into funds, to pay charges or paid out to your bank account.

You might also be able to re-direct and pay your ongoing ISA charges from your cash facility within your GIA, rather than pay them from your ISA. Please speak to your intermediary if you have one, to check if this would be an option for you.

Paying charges through the cash facility

All ongoing fees and charges for a product are normally paid out of the cash facility of that particular product. Any available cash is used first with any balance required being met by selling down assets in the product.

However, you can also pay for charges from other products through your GIA cash facility. Please see Paying your charges through your GIA for more information.

Interest

Any money in the cash facility accrues interest which is paid on a monthly basis. Interest is paid at the Bank of England base rate less 0.05%, this means that as at April 2018 this is 0.45% (base rate of 0.5% - 0.05%).

Adding money to the cash facility

You can add money by:

  • Logging in to your customer dashboard and following the top-up journey. This gives you the option to pay into your cash facility by debit card, bank transfer or cheque.
  • Direct Debit – you’ll need to complete the relevant form to set up a Direct Debit. 
  • Income from your investments – you can choose to leave the income you receive from any of your  investments in your cash account.

Transferring a GIA

You can transfer funds held elsewhere to us.  If the funds you hold elsewhere are available on our platform, your funds can simply be re-registered with us, meaning you don’t need to sell your funds held elsewhere and move them over to us.  This means your funds aren’t out of the market.

Your existing provider might charge an exit fee. Find out about the costs of transferring investment funds from your intermediary if you have one.

You can also transfer between products by moving funds from your GIA to an existing ISA or to a new ISA with ourselves. This offers the option to maximise your tax free ISA allowance if you haven't already reached your limit.

Can I transfer to another provider?

You can also transfer funds held with us out to another GIA provider. You can re-register funds off the platform if the new GIA provider offers the same funds. Please check carefully with the provider you’re intending to move to on the availability of your funds on their platform.

If you are not sure if transferring is right for you, please speak to your intermediary if you have one. You should be comfortable with the investment choices that you make as you may lose features, or other benefits when you transfer.