October 02, 2012 19:00 ET

ISA Promise Helps Savers Pocket GBP 12.5m

YORKSHIRE, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Oct. 2, 2012) - Since launching two years ago, the Halifax ISA Promise has increased the ISA pots of UK savers by an extra £12.5 million in interest.

Halifax ISA Promise came into effect on 2 October 2010 to challenge the market by addressing key issues customers face during the lifetime of their cash ISA.

Most significantly, as part of the Promise, Halifax committed to paying interest from the first day it receives an ISA transfer application, dealing with one of the greatest frustrations ISA savers had when faced with delays in the transfer process.

Richard Fearon, Head of Halifax Savings says: "We are extremely pleased with the success of the ISA Promise. It has made a real difference to our customers and, as the commitments we made two years ago continue to be adopted by others, we are proud to have led the market in addressing this key customer frustration."

The Halifax ISA Promise also addressed the issues of access to 'best buy' deals only being available to new customers, the lack of transparency of interest rates and advance notification of when any initial reward or fixed rate was due to end.

As a result, all Halifax cash ISA accounts are now available to both new and existing customers, interest rates are clearly displayed on statements and online, and all Halifax cash ISA customers receive advance notice when any initial reward or fixed rate is due to end.

ISA Savings across the UK

The average cash ISA balance currently stands at £8,678, which is equivalent to a third (32%) of gross average annual earnings.

The highest average balance is in East Anglia (£9,269) and the lowest in Scotland (£6,438), which is a difference of 44%. East Midlands, London and the South East also have average balances above £9,000.

ISA balance as a percentage of earnings is the highest in Wales and Northern Ireland (39%), and the lowest in London (23%) and Scotland (26%).

Table 1 - Average ISA Balances*
Regions Average ISA Balance Per Customer £ As % of gross annual average earnings
North 8,572 38 %
North West 8,673 36 %
Yorkshire and Humberside 8,679 37 %
West Midlands 8,508 36 %
East Midlands 9,082 37 %
East Anglia 9,269 33 %
Greater London 9,051 23 %
South East 9,090 30 %
South West 8,624 36 %
Wales 8,870 39 %
Scotland 6,438 26 %
Northern Ireland 8,434 39 %
UK 8,678 32 %
*Source: Halifax Savings Database: Month End Customer Balances August 2012 Annual average earnings from the ONS

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