Our website contains various information about our products and services but we know that time is precious and it’s helpful to have information to hand. Here are quick answers to our most frequently asked questions.
Investments can go down as well as up and you may get back less than you originally invested.
Laws and tax rules may change in the future without notice. This information takes no account of your personal circumstances which may have an impact on tax treatment.
The quickest, cheapest and easiest way to open an Account with us is online using our secure service. You can also apply by post by downloading an application form or through your financial adviser.
If you are opening an Account you will need to provide us with your residential address details including your postcode, plus your National Insurance number, date of birth, nationality and a valid email address.
If you are using our platform for the first time, anti-money laundering regulations mean you may also have to send us documents that we can use to verify your identify.
We are required to include this information when we report your trades and other transactions on stock market listed securities to our regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The FCA monitors all stock market transactions as part of their ongoing work to prevent market abuse.
Yes, as long as they are certified copies. We also accept originals and will return these to you once we have taken copies for our records
Please read our Identification Requirements Guide for the details.
We require your signature for certain transactions to verify your identify. We’ll send you a Welcome Pack when your Account has been opened and this will include a Specimen Signature form for you to complete and return to us. You can also download a copy in Forms and Literature.
We don’t accept applications by or on behalf of any US persons.
The minimum contribution amount is £50.
You can only buy or sell US stocks over the phone through our Dealing team, between 2.30pm and 9.00pm, Monday to Friday. But you’ll be charged at online rates. Our Investment Selector gives you a list of the stocks available.
You must also complete a W-8BEN form. It captures information we have to record for the US Internal Revenue Service and also means you can benefit from treaty relief on dividend and interest payments if you live in a country that has a relevant treaty with the US. You’ll have to complete the form again every 3 years.
You have 30 days to cancel an Account you have opened with us. Simply complete the Cancellation Notice provided to you in your Welcome Pack and return it to us within 30 days of opening your Account. You can also download a copy in Forms and Literature.
We charge flat Account fees for our platform services. These cover the basic ongoing cost to us of managing an Account for you and charges for other services you may ask us to provide - buying and selling investments for example. You can download our Charges Guide in Forms and Literature.
It’s cheaper to trade online, £9.99 a trade compared to £50 by phone or post. You can also benefit from a loyalty discount for online or telephone trading after 5 years. Full details can be found in our Charges Guide which can be found in Forms and Literature.
Debit card, Direct Debit (for regular payments), transfer from your bank account and cheque.
We’ll send you a password and Personal ID to use on our secure online service, where you (or your financial adviser) can manage your Account, including the payments you make. If you prefer, you can also give us payment instructions over the phone or by post. For the detail of how to pay using the different methods we offer, read our Platform Guide which you can find in Forms and Literature.
For ISAs and IDAs only you can pay into the Account. You can set up regular monthly or quarterly payments online by direct debit at any time. You can also send us your instructions by post by completing an Instruction Form. which can be found in Forms and Literature.
For SIPPs, anyone, including your employer, can pay into your Account but you can only get tax relief on your personal payments. These include payments you make from your own pocket or that anyone else, other than your employer or former employer, makes on your behalf.
If you are 18 or over and resident in the UK you can apply for a Stocks & Shares ISA.
If you are not a UK resident you can still open an ISA if you are performing duties as a Crown servant overseas (for example, serving in the armed forces or a diplomat) or married to / in a civil partnership with someone who is.
You must hold your Stocks & Shares ISA in your own name and you can only pay in to one Stocks & Shares ISA, one Innovative Finance ISA, one Lifetime ISA or one Cash ISA each tax year. Alliance Trust Savings only offer a Stocks & Shares ISA.
ISAs shelter your savings from tax. You can invest up to £20,000 (2019/2020 tax year) and access your money any time.
Only you can pay into the Account. You can set up regular monthly or quarterly payments online by direct debit at any time. You can also send us your instructions by post by completing an Instruction Form.
Yes, you can transfer your Cash ISAs or other Stocks & Shares ISAs into a Stocks & Shares ISA with Alliance Trust Savings. We charge flat Account fees that don’t grow with your investments, making our charges very competitive for larger ISA pots. See how we compare.
Transfers from previous tax years won’t count towards your ISA allowance for this year. But if you transfer an ISA that you opened this tax year the amount you’ve already paid in to it does still count.
Your current manager might charge you for transferring. We may not offer the same investments they did so you could be out of the market for a time during the transfer process.
You can apply if you are 18 or over, a UK resident and:
Yes. You may be able to transfer from another registered pension scheme to your SIPP Account. We charge flat Account fees that don’t grow with your investments, making our charges very competitive for larger pension pots. See how we compare.
Your current registered pension scheme might charge you for transferring and you should work out the impact of any charges on your investment before going ahead.
Before initiating a transfer you should seek professional advice on the merits of the proposed transfer that is specific to your circumstances. Your existing pension may have valuable benefits which you might lose when you transfer.
You can’t transfer money to us from a private defined benefit scheme unless you have taken advice from a financial adviser with the right qualifications and they confirm it is in your best interests. The only exception is when the total transfer value of all your benefits in that scheme is less than £30,000.
No. Stakeholder pensions have to meet government set standards covering payments, charges and other terms and conditions. The charges for a SIPP may be higher than for a stakeholder pension.
We cannot give you financial advice. You should understand the risks and commitments of a SIPP Account before you invest.
If you feel that you need advice to decide if a SIPP account is right for you and you don’t have a financial adviser, you can search for one near you at www.unbiased.co.uk.
Read our guide to Getting the most from your pension savings for information on pension tax relief and how it works.
Where we claim tax relief on your behalf we do this at the end of each calendar month for all your net personal contributions made by the 5th of the month.
We then pay your tax relief into your Account on or around the 25th of the following month.
We will pay your tax relief into your SIPP’s Cash Deposit Account unless you post us a signed, written instruction asking us to pay it into another of your SIPP’s Cash Management Accounts.
You’re in control and there are no limits to how much you can access at any one time. But only a quarter of your savings can ever be paid tax free. The rest is taxed as income in the tax year (or years) it’s paid out.
Read our Accessing Your Pension Savings Guide to find out more.
You can also get free, impartial guidance on your options at Pension wise.
Yes, as well as our Making the most of your pension savings and Accessing your pension savings guides, we also offer a Guide to planning your life after work all of which can be found here. We also publish an annual Your Retirement magazine that you may find useful.
We will contact you 2 years prior to your chosen retirement date (which you will have given us when you opened your SIPP Account) and again 6 months before, reminding you of your options or accessing your SIPP savings and providing an up-to-date valuation of your Account.
If you are 18 or over and resident in the UK you can apply for an IDA. Charities, clubs and companies can also open an IDA.
Only you can pay into your Account. You can set up regular monthly or quarterly payments online by direct debit at any time, or send us an IDA Instructions Form. We also accept signed, attached email instructions for BACs payments providing we have your email address on file, or you can make a payment over the phone.
Yes, you can transfer investments from elsewhere to us without selling them first so long as we offer them through our Investment Dealing Account. We charge flat Account fees that don’t grow with your investments, making our charges very competitive for larger investment pots. See how we compare.
Your current provider might charge you for transferring.
No, but there are no investment limits either.
You can open a Junior ISA If you are 18 or over, resident in the UK and the parent or guardian of the child. A child aged 16 to 18 can also open a Junior ISA.
Once the Account is open, anyone can pay in providing they are a registered donor and pass security checks.
The maximum amount you can pay in for the 2019/2020 tax year is £4,368.
You can transfer both Junior ISAs from other providers and Child Trust Funds into your Junior ISA with us. You may be out of the market for a time during the transfer.
The child. They can control the investments from age 16 but can’t access them until age of 18 when the Junior ISA becomes an adult ISA in their name.
There is no tax to pay on income or investment growth inside a Junior ISA.
When a child turns 18 they become the legal owner of the Junior ISA and the Account transfers over into their name. We require an ISA Declaration Form to be signed and returned to us. Once this has been received you will receive a Personal ID and password and be able to access the Account.
You can open a Child SIPP If you are 18 or over, resident in the UK and the parent or guardian of the child.
Once the Account is open, anyone can pay in providing they are a registered donor and pass security checks.
The maximum amount you can invest for the 2019/2020 tax year is £3,600 including tax relief.
You may be able to transfer child savings from another registered pension scheme to your Child SIPP with us. You may be out of the market for a time during the transfer.
The child. They can control the investments from age 18 but, based on current tax and pension rules, won’t be able to access them until they are at least 55.
There is no tax to pay on income or investment growth inside a Child SIPP.
Payments in also benefit from tax relief. To reach the £3,600 maximum payment in each year, only £2,880 has to be paid in directly. The rest (£720) is paid in as tax relief which we claim on your behalf.
You can open a First Steps IDA If you are 18 or over, resident in the UK. You don’t have to be the parent or guardian of the child to open a First Steps IDA.
Once the Account is open, anyone can pay in providing they are a registered donor and pass security checks.
There is no maximum payment amount.
If the Account is to be held in a Bare Trust you will have to tell us about this. You will need to send us the original or certified copies of your Bare Trust documents with your application. The Account will also incur our Supplementary Account charge. Please read our Charges Guide for the details on this.
You can transfer investments from elsewhere without selling them first so long as we offer them through our First Steps IDA.
The adult who opens the Account. You can think of a First Steps IDA as a way to hold and track investments you are making for a child separately from your own.
You need to complete our Transfer In Request Form for the relevant type of Account. You can find these in Forms and Literature. The form should be returned to us and we will make contact with your current provider to arrange the transfer.
If you are transferring an ISA or IDA it can take up to 30 working days. If you are transferring a SIPP it can take up to 60 working days.
If you would like to transfer your Account away from us to another provider you will need to contact them and complete their transfer forms. They will then forward the forms to us to action.
We don’t charge for transfers in, but we do charge for transfers out. Please refer to our Charges Guide for more information.
You can request a withdrawal from your ISA or IDA online at any time using the following steps:
Alternatively you can complete a Withdrawal Form. All Account holders are required to sign the form if you are withdrawing cash from a jointly held IDA.
You can only access your pension savings in your SIPP Account from age 55. How to access those savings may be one of the most important financial decisions you will ever make. Before you do anything, please read our Accessing your pension savings guide. It explains your options, how to access the advice and guidance you may need and how to give us your instructions once you’ve made up your mind.
For ISA and IDA Accounts there is no charge for withdrawals by cheque or transfer to your bank account by BACS (which is the standard method). If you ask us to pay you by CHAPS we will charge you £20.
When you start taking money out of your SIPP Account we may either increase your annual Account charge of make a one off charge depending on the instructions you give us. You will find the details in our Charges Guide.
If you withdraw or transfer out all the cash and investment(s) from an Account, we will automatically close it, as explained in our Terms and Conditions.
No we are unable to provide advice. If you are unsure of the suitability of our products or services, you should seek advice from a financial adviser. If you do not have a financial adviser, you can find one local to you through Unbiased or VouchedFor.
While we can’t offer advice, our Investing Hub offers research tools, ideas and information to help you make informed investment decisions.
Yes. We provide in depth research information on a wide range of investments which can be found in the Investing Hub and within the Research tab in your online Account.
We offer a loyalty discount for online and telephone trading for Accounts which have been opened for 5 years or more. Full details on our loyalty discount can be found in our Charges Guide that you can find in Forms and Literature.
Yes. For IDA Accounts, at the end of each tax year we’ll send you a tax certificate. This details any tax-relevant income payments received into your IDA during that tax year and you can use it as evidence of these with HMRC.
You will receive a valuation and statement covering all of your Accounts with us four times a year and you'll be able to check the current value of your Accounts online at any time by logging in to our secure online service.
|Account type||Document type||Date/timescale|
|Investment Dealing Account||Consolidated Tax Certificates (CTC)||Typically June each year|
|All Accounts||Statements & Valuations||Quarterly|
|All Accounts||Contract Note||Whenever you buy and sell investments, usually within 48 hours|
|SIPP||Statutory Money Purchase Illustration (SMPI)||Typically July each year|
You can find out more about these documents in our Platform Guide.
Yes you can. We charge £25 plus VAT a year or this service, taken from your Account in two instalments of £12.50 plus VAT each. We also charge £10 plus VAT for any one off paper valuations you request, and £15 plus VAT for paper duplicates of any documents we have already issued to you in any form (online or paper).
As a regulated firm, Alliance Trust Savings is required to maintain many controls and restrictions around the operation of its business to ensure the security of its customers’ investments and to mitigate the various risks faced by a financial institution.
For the detail on what this means and on how the Financial Services Compensation Scheme may apply to your investment and any money you have on deposit with us, please read Clarification on Investor Protection and the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.
We offer real-time trading during the hours of 8am – 4.30pm Monday to Friday.
Yes you can trade for as little as £1.50 on the Alliance Trust Savings platform, for full details go to our Monthly Investing webpage.
Yes, you can purchase bundles of 10, 25 or 50 online trades at a reduced charge. Full details can be found here.
You can place a trade in securities or a fund order through your online Account. Full details on how to do this can be found in our Get Connected Guide.
These are explained in our Platform Guide. You should also read section 7.13.1 of our Terms and Conditions which explains the default process we will follow if you don’t ask us to do something else. Both of these documents can be found in Forms and Literature.
You can do this using the following steps:
Unless you ask us to set a different amount, we will implement the instructions you give us each time the relevant income available reaches £100 or more. You can set a different amount using the Instruction Form for your Account type, available in Forms and Literature.
This option is available for ISA and IDA Accounts. Please complete and return our Income Withdrawal Form.
We pay income out on the 12th of every month and can only guarantee to pay out income that’s been received into your Account by the 5th of the month.
An Initial Public Offering (IPO) is a type of public offering of the first sale of shares from a company to retail investors. The company will announce its intention to float on the London Stock Exchange and publish its full prospectus and expected price range. As an approved intermediary, customers of Alliance Trust Savings can request subscriptions in the offer (see timetable for dates). You must read the prospectus before making an application.
A Share Offer is when a company who has previously listed shares on the London Stock Exchange offers secondary shares. The Company will publish its full prospectus and expected price of the secondary offer of ordinary shares (please note this can be an expected range and does not constitute a guarantee). Customers of Alliance Trust Savings can request subscriptions in the offer. You must read the prospectus before making an application.
The prospectus is the document on the basis of which shares in the company are being offered. It includes information about the company and the terms on which the shares are being sold. Before you decide to apply for the IPO or Share Offer, you must read the prospectus to ensure you are making an informed investment decision. Alliance Trust Savings does not give financial or investment advice. If you are unsure as to the suitability of any particular investment, you should seek professional financial advice. You will be asked to confirm that you have read the relevant disclosures and the prospectus before we will accept any subscription from you.
The investment will be an equity listed on the London Stock Exchange. It is subject to the Listing Rules, Prospectus Rules and the Disclosure and Transparency Rules and the rules of the London Stock Exchange.
You must be over the age of 18 to invest on behalf of yourself or a child for Child Accounts.
We will only accept applications for customers resident in the UK. This can sometimes include the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man. It’s important you read the individual prospectus for full eligibility requirements.
Never rush to take part in an IPO simply because you believe it will go up in value. You must research the stock or fund thoroughly.
Identities of existing shareholders. Are they selling down their holdings at IPO, and if so, why?
How much money is being raised? Any cash raised from existing shareholders selling stock won't go to the company. The business will only get cash if it issues new shares at the IPO.
If the business is getting new money, how will it be spent? Will it help reduce debt, will it go towards an acquisition, it is being used to pay directors bonuses?
Study the admission document which will detail all the financial risks to the business. Look for details about any court cases, intellectual property infringement or contract disputes, as these are the most common bits of information to appear.
Try and spot the assets owned by a company, which will be listed in its admission document. It is always good to see a balance sheet propped up by physical assets, be it property or cash, rather than intangible assets which are brands, trademarks and patents.
Look at the board of the company – where do their skills lie? Are they likely to have good business connections? Do they have relevant expertise? You would be amazed at how many companies are run by people who have never done the relevant type of work in the past.
Is the business strategy easy to understand? If it isn't, you may wish to seek professional Financial Advice.
If you are a self-directed investor, you can invest directly through your online Account. If you do not yet have an Account with us, you can open one here.
Once you are logged in you simply need to select the Account you wish to invest in, click through to the Trading Centre and choose the IPO that you wish to subscribe. You can also invest by phone by calling us at 01382 573737. Please note that charges differ for online and telephone trading. Full details can be found in our Charges Guide.
If you have a financial adviser, please consult them prior to applying. They can also invest on your behalf by calling 08000 326 323. Lines are open 8am to 5pm Monday to Friday. Calls may be recorded for training and monitoring purposes.
The minimum application amount will be set by the company. For example most IPO and Share Offers will be set at a minimum of £1,000. The minimum will apply per Account with Alliance Trust Savings. There may also be a maximum application amount (£). Both of these figures will be confirmed in the prospectus. When subscribing via Alliance Trust Savings you can only invest subject to agreed increments for e.g. £100. This is specific to each IPO/Share Offer. Please see the prospectus for full information.
You may invest in our Stocks and Shares ISA either using cleared funds from previous subscriptions or by a new cash contribution. New cash will be classed as an ISA subscription in the current tax year and be part of your annual ISA limits. Please consider the increment amounts before subscribing. For details on annual tax allowances, please see our tax tables.
If a Share Offer is oversubscribed, your subscription may be scaled back and any excess funds will remain within your ISA or SIPP for example. Please note that if you are fully subscribed for the tax year and you decide to withdraw money from your ISA, this money cannot be put back into your ISA within the same tax year. Similarly any excess funds into the SIPP will be treated under normal pension rules and generally you cannot get access to your money until age 55.
Timetables for all the IPOs and Share Offers can be found in our IPO Hub. If you wish to subscribe via Alliance Trust Savings you can log into your online Account and select the Account you wish to apply for the shares if you have more than one Account with us. Then select IPO within the Trading Centre where you can place a subscription for the offer. Alternatively, you can phone to subscribe. If you do not have an Account with us you will need to open an Account first. Normal Account charges will apply, please see our Charges Guide for more details. Subscriptions will be taken until the offer close date. Please note that the timetable may change at short notice and we cannot be held responsible for any delays in allocating your shares.
We will only allow you to sell shares when the allocation process is fully completed. This is referred to as the start of unconditional dealing.
You can only buy shares in the company with Alliance Trust Savings after the forecasted date for unconditional dealing (shares available to trade date see timetable.)
The share allocation policy announcement date will be provided in the IPO timetable. We allocate your shares as soon as possible after the earliest forecasted date for the unconditional dealing. The page will be updated to confirm to confirm the allocation policy and any scale back if applicable.
We will be acting as your agent and may receive a fee from the company which will not impact your subscription amount. The agreement specifically prohibits us from returning this fee to you. If in the future you intend to transfer your shares to another provider or into a share certificate, charges may apply. There may also be a dealing charge for subscribing the IPO or Share Offer. Please see our Charges Guide for more details.
Information about current share offers and IPOs can be found here.
Yes. If you are a self-directed investor (you don’t invest through a financial adviser) you can opt-in to receive IPO alerts in your Preference Centre within your online Account. Login now to sign up.
We hold your investments through our ‘nominee’ company. You still own the rights to the underlying investment (you are the ‘beneficial owner’) but the nominee is the legal owner. The companies that you have invested in will therefore communicate with us as the nominee rather than directly with you. We won't send the information on to you or exercise any voting rights, unless you ask us to.
However, there are certain corporate events where we do require an instruction from you. Please read to our Platform Guide for more information on these services.
Yes, you can find the Terms here.
Yes. When you are logged in, you are protected with AES 256 bit transport layer security – industry standard security that protects the web’s most important websites.
Look after your security details – remember that our Customer Services Team will never ask you to tell us your Password in order to access your plans. Your Personal ID and Password are the key to accessing your Account(s) and information online. You should keep these in a safe place, never share them with anyone else, and change your password regularly to ensure its security.
Prices for any UK equities, investment trusts or ETF’s held within your Account will update every 15 minutes during market hours 8am to 4.30pm (market hours may vary for non-UK stocks). Fund prices update on a daily basis, overnight.
If you would like someone else to have access to view and/or discuss your Account or trade on your behalf, you can complete a Third-Party Authority Form.
At Alliance Trust Savings we value your business and care about your experience with us. If, for any reason, you are not entirely satisfied with our service, we want to hear from you so we can put matters right, and where appropriate, take steps to prevent the problem happening again.
If you have a complaint about our service you can contact our Customer Relations Team in writing or by email or phone:
Customer Relations Team,
Alliance Trust Savings Limited,
PO Box 164,
8 West Marketgait,
Simply provide details of your complaint to our Customer Service Team representative who will then pass them on to our Customer Relations Team.
Phone: +44 (0)1382 573737
If you are not satisfied with our response to your complaint, you can contact the Financial Ombudsman Service by writing to The Financial Ombudsman Service, Exchange Tower, London, E14 9SR or calling 08000 234 567.
For more information, read our Complaints leaflet.
Alliance Trust Savings Limited is a subsidiary of Alliance Trust PLC and is registered in Scotland No. SC 98767, registered office, PO Box 164, 8 West Marketgait, Dundee DD1 9YP; is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority, firm reference number 116115. Alliance Trust Savings gives no financial or investment advice.