The West Brom has signalled its commitment to supporting first time buyers with the addition of a Help to Buy: ISA to its range of savings accounts.
Available to buyers saving specifically for their first home, the product offers an interest rate of 2.00% tax-free gross p.a/AER variable.
As well as enjoying the benefits of tax-free saving, customers could also qualify for a bonus payment of 25% from the government to put towards their home-buying plans.
Product applications can be made in any West Brom branch and accounts are also managed through the Society’s branches. Up to £1,200 can be deposited in the first calendar month and then up to £200 in subsequent months.
Interest is paid annually and must be credited to the account. Transfers in from other Help to Buy: ISAs and non-Help to Buy: ISAs are accepted.
Sophie Dwyer, the West Brom’s Product Manager for savings, said: “We have a good track record of lending to first time buyers to support their aspirations for home ownership, so adding a Help to Buy: ISA to our portfolio is a logical next step.
“It means we can offer assistance to those customers who want to get onto the property ladder but still need time to save the necessary funds for a deposit.
“If they can secure an additional contribution from the government, as well as a competitive rate of interest, then hopefully that savings goal can be achieved a little more quickly.”
The minimum government bonus payable to a saver with a Help to Buy: ISA is £400. In order to qualify, the account balance must be at least £1,600 at the time when the customer is ready to purchase their property. The maximum bonus receivable is £3,000 which would require savings of £12,000.
Withdrawals can be made from the West Brom’s Help to Buy: ISA at any time. However, any funds withdrawn before the account is closed will not be eligible for a government bonus. They also cannot be replaced at a later date.
The Help to Buy: ISA scheme defines a first time buyer as someone who does not own, and never has owned, a home anywhere in the UK or the world. The property they wish to purchase must be in the UK and cost £250,000 or less. The price limit increases to £450,000 for properties in London.
Full details of the scheme rules can be found at www.helptobuy.gov.uk/help-to-buy-isa. Tax benefits are subject to change and individual circumstances.
As well as savings, the West Brom provides a variety of mortgage products for homeowners. The Society’s low deposit mortgages enable customers to borrow up to 95% of the value of the property they wish to purchase, so are particularly suited to first time buyers.