Help to Buy: ISA - Savings | Ulster Bank

Help to Buy: ISA

Receive a bonus of up to £3000 from the UK Government towards your new home with a Help to Buy: ISA
Don't miss out, you only have until 30th November 2019 to apply!

Apply for a Help to Buy: ISA Jump to Summary Box

Saving a deposit to buy your first home can be a challenge, but now there's a way you can get a helping hand.

Save up to £1,200 in the first calendar month, then up to £200 per calendar month (please note that the later in the month you first fund the less time you will have to add funds for the month. For example if you deposit some of your allowance on the 25th January, you have until 31st January to use the rest of your monthly allowance)

Earn 2.50% AER / 2.47% tax-free on your savings

When you are ready to buy your first home you'll qualify for a 25% UK Government bonus on amounts saved between £1,600 & £12,000

The UK Government bonus is paid on property prices up to £450,000 in London and £250,000 elsewhere in the UK. It is paid towards the completion cost of your first home (and not towards the deposit)

When you are ready to buy your first home you should request to close your Ulster Bank Help to Buy:ISA. Once closed we will send you a Closing Document that your conveyancer (e.g. solicitor) will need to claim the bonus from the UK Government. Do not withdraw funds before closing your account and please allow 5 days for account closure and a further 5 days for the Closing Document to be sent. 

Please read the Summary Box below before applying and full scheme rules can be found at:



Summary Box

Account name: Help to Buy: ISA

1. What is the interest rate?

Balance AER (variable) Tax-free p.a. (variable)
£1+ 2.50% 2.47%


Interest is calculated daily and paid into your account on the first business day of the month and at account closure. You'll be able to see and access the interest in your account on the following day.


2. Can Ulster Bank change the interest rate?


Yes, these rates are variable. They may be changed for any of the reasons set out in General Term 9.2 of the Savings Account Terms (PDF, 605k), e.g. to take account of Bank of England base rate changes or changes in the rates paid by other banks. If the rates are going down we’ll give you at least 14 days’ notice. If they are going up, we’ll inform you before the change or shortly afterwards. Term 9.2 (PDF, 605k) contains details of the notice we’ll give you.

3. What would the estimated balance be after 12 months based on a range of deposits?


Initial deposit at account opening (month 1) Monthly deposit (months 2-12) Balance after 12 months (including monthly deposit over 11 months and the interest earned)
£1,200.00 £100 £2,343.73
£1,200.00 £200 £3,457.48


These are only examples and do not take into account your individual circumstances. They assume that no further deposits or withdrawals are made; there is no change to interest rates; and any interest earned stays in the account.

4. How do I open and manage my account?



To open a Help to Buy: ISA you must:

  • be aged 16 years or over 
  • be resident in the UK for tax purposes
  • be a first time house buyer, under the Government's Help tp Buy: ISA Scheme Rules
  • hold the account solely in your name

You must:

  • not have subscribed to another cash ISA or have subscribed more than the overall subscription limit in total to a stocks or shares ISA an innovative finance ISA and a lifetime ISA in the same tax year (subject to subscribing to a Ulster Bank cash ISA explained below)
  • not hold another Help to Buy: ISA or have received a bonus under the Help to Buy: ISA Scheme, which is part of a UK Government Scheme to help individuals to buy their first home

Our Help to Buy: ISA Key Features document includes information about the scheme and how to access the Scheme Rules which contain detailed requirements relating to opening and operating a Help to Buy: ISA.


Subscribing to both an Ulster Bank cash ISA and an Ulster Bank Help to Buy: ISA

You may subscribe to another cash ISA in the same tax year as you subscribe to a Help to Buy: ISA provided that:

  • the other ISA is held with us and 
  • you don’t subscribe more than the annual subscription limit between the Help to Buy: ISA and the other cash ISA

The annual subscription limit for the tax year 6 April 2019 to 5 April 2020 is £20,000    

You can open your account in branch, online or on our mobile app. Once opened, you can manage your account in branch, online, by telephone or by using our mobile app.

If we become aware after your account is open that you are not eligible under the Help to Buy: ISA Scheme Rules, we may convert your account to a Cash ISA with 28 days notice.

Balance and ISA allowance

There is no minimum deposit required to open a Help to Buy: ISA.

You can deposit a maximum of:

  • £1,200 in the first calendar month you make a deposit to your Help to Buy: ISA; and
  • £200 in every subsequent calendar month thereafter


Transferring an existing ISA to your Help to Buy: ISA

You may transfer an existing:

  • cash ISA to your Help to Buy: ISA provided you don't exceed the maximum monthly allowances or
  • Help to Buy: ISA with another ISA manager to your Ulster Bank Help to Buy: ISA provided that your full balance is transferred and your existing Help to Buy: ISA is closed

 Full details can be found here 

5. Can I withdraw money?


Yes. No notice is required. You can withdraw money: in branch or by transfer to any other account based in the UK (online, by telephone or on the mobile app). 

However, due to the monthly subscription limit you will only be able to make payments up to £200 a month in total so by making withdrawals you may reduce or take longer to save for your bonus.

Please note that you will not be able to claim the Government bonus on any money you have withdrawn from your Help to Buy: ISA.

You can transfer your Help to Buy: ISA to another ISA manager.

6. Additional information


Closing your Help to Buy: ISA and claiming your bonus


When you are ready to buy your first home you must request to close your Help to Buy: ISA. You can do this by giving written notice to your branch either by post or by handing it in. Any withdrawals you make before closing your account will reduce the value of the bonus you can claim.

We will then arrange to close your account, which can take up to 5 working days.

Within 5 working days of your account being closed, we will send you a Closing Document, which your conveyancer (the party acting on your behalf to purchase the property) will need to claim the bonus from the UK Government. 

You have up to 12 months from closing your Help to Buy: ISA to claim your bonus but this should be done as soon as possible to make sure the bonus is received before you are due to complete the purchase of your new home.

The bonus will be paid directly to your conveyancer, who will add it to your deposit and mortgage funds to make up the total purchase price of your new home.

Please note your closing balance must be at least £1,600 in order to obtain a bonus, so opening  an account does not guarantee you will be entitled to a bonus. The maximum bonus you can earn is £3,000.

Additionally, there is a maximum property price beyond which a bonus will not be payable

For more information on the Help to Buy: ISA Scheme (including how to claim your bonus from HM Treasury), please refer to the Help to Buy: ISA Scheme Rules at




The interest payable is tax-free. The tax treatment may be subject to change in the future and depends on your individual circumstances.



AER (Annual Equivalent Rate):

This is a notional rate used for interest bearing accounts, which illustrates the interest rate if paid and compounded each year. It helps you to compare the effective rates of credit interest on different accounts.


Per annum (per year).


Interest which is exempt from UK income tax.

Add your signposting title here… Help to Buy: ISA Explained

Financial Services Compensation Scheme

Your eligible deposits with Ulster Bank are protected up to a total of £85,000 by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, the UK's deposit protection scheme. 


Find out more  about the scheme and how it protects your money.

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