Frequently asked questions
Opening an Active Savings Account
What is a fixed term deposit?
With a fixed term deposit you receive a set rate of interest, but you can’t withdraw your savings before they mature. Fixed terms typically run from 3 months up to 5 years. Depending on the product you will either receive regular interest payments with the money originally deposited repaid at the end of the term, or all interest along with the money originally deposited returned at the end of the term. You generally receive a higher rate of interest the longer you fix for.
What type of savings products can I access through Active Savings?
You can typically choose from easy access, limited access and fixed term savings. Fixed terms usually range from 1 month up to 5 years. At the moment Active Savings isn’t available in an ISA or SIPP. Remember that the products available will regularly change, depending on what our banking partners are offering at the time. This means that not all products will be available all the time.
What is the minimum amount I can open an Active Savings Account with?
You can start Active Savings with as little as £1. Please be aware the maximum payment you can make with a debit card is £99,999.00, although your bank may set lower limits. If you wish to add more than this to your Active Savings Account then you will need to make multiple debit card payments. You have 30 working days to choose a product or your money may be returned to you.
What if I change my mind about adding money to a fixed term product?
You can cancel an instruction to add money to a fixed term product at any time before the application deadline. If there is the option to cancel there will be a clock icon by the product in the account overview screen:
To cancel your instruction click the small arrow by the bank/building society name to expand the product details and select ‘cancel’ in the pending actions section.
Once the application deadline has passed you can no longer cancel your instruction. However some fixed term savings products may offer a cooling off period. Please check individual product summaries for details and only commit savings once you are happy with the terms.
Is there a limit to the number of products I can have within my Active Savings Account?
No, you can open as many products as you wish.
Can I save in an ISA or SIPP?
At the moment, we don’t offer a savings product in an ISA or SIPP although we hope to offer this in the future.
Do you offer easy access savings?
Yes, some of our partner banks and building societies can offer easy access through Active Savings. They may not offer easy access savings all the time, so there could be periods where we don’t have any easy access products available.
Who is eligible to open an account?
Any UK resident aged 18 or over. You can’t apply for an account if you live overseas or aren’t a UK resident for tax purposes.
What is the cash hub?
We are authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) as an electronic money institution, which means we must treat your money in a certain way.
- All money coming in and going out of your Active Savings Account goes through the cash hub.
- The cash hub is a segregated bank account, currently held with Barclays Bank plc, where your money will be safeguarded by us until you choose what to do with it. You won’t earn any interest on money held in the cash hub.
- When we receive your money into the cash hub, we’ll immediately issue your Active Savings Account with the same amount of electronic money (e-money) so you can put it into a savings product or withdraw it.
- E-money is simply an electronic monetary value, equal to your money held in the cash hub, which we are authorised by the FCA to hold on your behalf.
- You won’t earn any interest until you add your e-money to savings products. If you haven’t done this within 30 working days of the e-money being issued, we may return your money to you. We’ll let you know if we do.
Can I apply for a joint account, or an account for a child?
At the moment, you can only open an account in the name of an individual aged 18 or over.
Can I open an Active Savings Account without choosing a product?
Yes. To open an Active Savings Account you need to deposit a minimum of £1 from either your debit card or Fund and Share Account. Your deposit will be held in the cash hub and if you don’t choose a savings product within 30 working days your money may be returned to you.
What is e-money?
We are authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) as an electronic money institution, which means we must treat your money in a certain way.
When we receive your money into the cash hub, we’ll immediately issue your Active Savings Account with the same amount of electronic money (e-money) so you can put it into a savings product or withdraw it.
E-money is simply an electronic monetary value, equal to your money held in the cash hub, which we are authorised by the FCA to hold on your behalf.
What is a limited access product?
Limited access products allow you to withdraw your money when you like, but only a certain number of times a year without incurring a charge. If you exceed this number, you’ll usually be charged a number of days’ worth of interest based on the amount you’re withdrawing. For example, you may be able to withdraw twice a year without charge. But if you were looking to make a third withdrawal in the same year for a sum of £500, you could receive a charge equal to 50 days’ interest on the £500. Please see the product details page of the product you’re interested in for full information.
Managing your savings
Why do I only have 30 working days to choose my savings products, once my money is in the cash hub?
Your Active Savings Account is not a bank account and we reserve the right to return any money held within the cash hub after 30 working days of it being received, if you do not provide us with an instruction before then.
If you have a Fund and Share Account we’ll transfer your money there. If not we may return it to the source of payment or to your Nominated Bank Account. You will be notified if your money is returned. All interest and capital is returned to the cash hub when your fixed term ends.
How do I set up a Nominated Bank Account?
If you don’t already have a Nominated Bank Account linked to your HL Account, you can set one up when you open your Active Savings Account.
Can I withdraw from a fixed term deposit before the end date?
No, you cannot withdraw from a fixed term deposit before it reaches maturity, other than in extreme circumstances (for example some partner banks may allow withdrawals due to death or financial hardship). So please only commit savings you will not need access to before they mature.
How secure is my Active Savings Account?
We take the security of your Active Savings Account very seriously, which is why we’ve invested heavily in security features to protect you and your money. For more details please visit our Online Security Centre.
How do I withdraw my savings?
If you have money in a fixed term product you will need to wait until it matures and your savings returned to the cash hub before they can be withdrawn. Please remember you cannot usually withdraw money from fixed term products before they reach their maturity date. Any savings held in easy access will need to be moved across to the cash hub before they can be withdrawn.
You can typically withdraw your money from the cash hub to your Nominated Bank Account or (if you have one) your Fund and Share Account. However, if you withdraw money within 60 days of adding it to your Active Savings Account, we reserve the right to refund that money to the source of payment.
Withdrawals are typically sent via Faster payments, which usually complete within one working day. Other payments can take up to three working days to complete.
Where can I find the savings products that are available?
All available savings products are listed on the Active Savings section of our website and once you are logged into your Active Savings Account.
How do I open a new product?
You can open a new savings product at any time by logging into your HL Account and then selecting the ‘Rates’ tab in your Active Savings Account. You’ll then see a list of all the products available and can view more information and decide if you want to apply by clicking the ‘Details’ tab. You’ll need to top up your Active Savings Account and make sure you have available funds in the cash hub before you can open a new savings product.
How long does it take for payments to clear into/from my Active Savings Account?
You can add money to or withdraw money from the cash hub at any time. Below we provide a brief summary of how long it generally takes various payment types to clear.
- Debit card payments – one working day
- Cash transfers from a Fund and Share Account – same working day if instructed before 12pm, otherwise one working day
- Cash transfers to a Fund and Share Account - same working day if instructed before 4pm, otherwise one working day
- Withdrawals – up to three working days
What happens when my fixed term savings end?
Around 14 days before your savings product matures, we’ll send you an email to let you know what your options are. Once your savings product has matured, we’ll return your initial savings and any interest you have earned to the cash hub. You then have 30 working days to decide what to do, or your money may be returned to you.
How do I move money from an easy access product into a fixed term product/withdraw to my nominated bank account?
The first step is to withdraw your easy access savings back to the cash hub. Once you’ve given this instruction, you’ll be able to instruct us to add this money to a fixed term product/withdraw to your nominated bank account. If you’re withdrawing your savings it could take up to two working days for the money to be paid into your nominated bank account.
How long does it take to move easy access savings into the cash hub?
When you ask to move savings from easy access to the cash hub your instruction will usually be processed on the same day, and no longer than one working day. If you want to add this money to another savings product, withdraw it to your nominated bank account, or move it across to the Fund and Share Account you’ll be able to give us an onward instruction before the money has moved into the cash hub.
Will my easy access product be closed if I withdraw all savings?
No, it will remain open and you can add more money later without reapplying.
Interest payments, charges and tax
What tax information will be provided?
As part of your April bi-annual statement, we will send you a consolidated tax schedule which summarises all the interest you have received in the previous tax year from the products held in your Active Savings Account along with all your other holdings within Hargreaves Lansdown accounts. You are responsible for submitting this to HMRC with your tax return.
Do I pay any charges?
We don’t charge you directly, instead we charge our banking partners. This means the same or similar products offered directly by the banks and building societies may have different interest rates to those available on Active Savings.
How is the interest I receive taxed?
All interest is paid gross i.e without any tax deducted. Interest received from products held in your Active Savings Account, count towards your Personal Savings Allowance. You are responsible for paying any tax due on interest that exceeds your Personal Savings Allowance to HM Revenue and Customs.
Can interest be rolled up within a savings product?
If you have an easy access product any interest will accrue within the product, it won’t be paid out to the cash hub.
Some fixed term products allow interest to be rolled up, with the original deposit and all interest accrued paid out to you at maturity. For other fixed terms all interest will be paid back into the cash hub, and cannot be added back into the original product. Please check individual product summaries for details. Once in the cash hub any interest received will need to be added to a product within 30 working days, or it may be returned to you.
When will I receive any interest?
How interest will be paid varies by product.
For easy access savings interest accrues daily and is paid on the first working day of the month. Any interest received accrues within the product rather than being paid out to the cash hub.
For fixed term savings interest is typically paid annually into the cash hub. Products running for less than a year will have both the capital and all interest repaid into the cash hub at maturity. Please see individual product summaries for details.
Please note that some products calculate interest up to and including the maturity date. This means your money will earn an extra day of interest, but it will be returned to the cash hub on the working day following maturity.
When interest payments are made into the cash hub they can then be withdrawn or saved into a new product. Once in the cash hub any interest received will need to be added to a product within 30 working days, or it may be returned to you.
Can my interest rate change?
If the rate on your savings product is variable then it can go up or down at any time. For more information you can see the Terms and Conditions within the summary box before opening the product. If your rate does change you will be given two weeks’ notice.
If the rate on your savings product is fixed then it will stay the same until the product matures.
What is the Financial Services Compensation Scheme?
The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) is the UK's deposit guarantee scheme. It pays compensation to consumers in the unlikely event a financial services firm (covered by the scheme) they save or invest with stops trading. For banks and building societies for eligible deposits the compensation limit is £85,000 per banking licence.
How is my money held?
All money you put into Active Savings first goes into the cash hub. It is held in a pooled client trust account with Barclays Bank in the name of HLSL Nominee Limited.
Your money will be deposited with partner banks/building societies in either a Pooled Account or Direct Account. You’ll be told which type on the product summary page.
Most savings products available through Active Savings are held in Pooled Accounts in the name of HLSL Nominee Limited. Your money will be held with other Active Savings clients who have also deposited in that product. In the unlikely event of the default or insolvency of the partner bank, any shortfall in the Pooled Account would be shared proportionately by you and other Active Savings clients in the product. In these circumstances, your eligible deposits with our partner bank(s) will be protected up to £85,000 under the FSCS.
Your money will be held by the partner bank in a client account in your name. The terms and conditions for the savings product you choose will outline the banks obligations to you when holding your money. In the unlikely event of the default or insolvency of the partner bank your eligible deposits with our partner bank(s) will be protected up to £85,000 under the FSCS.
How are my savings protected?
All of our partner banks are authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and are covered by the FSCS. This means that if a partner bank were to fail and is unable to pay its debts, the FSCS will compensate you for any eligible deposits you hold with that bank, up to £85,000. Any deposits you hold with the partner bank above this limit will not be covered by the FSCS, but could still be reclaimed from the bank through the insolvency process (there are no guarantees and it could take some time to claim).
What does the FSCS limit apply to?
The £85,000 compensation limit applies to the combined amount that you hold in all products held under a single banking licence. It does not apply by savings product or bank brand. This means that when considering how to spread deposits or how to maintain FSCS cover, you should consider the following:
- Any cash you hold outside Active Savings with a partner bank or Barclays, will count towards your overall limit with that bank
- Some banks and building societies share banking licences. Deposits with banks under the same licence are protected up to £85,000 in total. A list of banks and building societies under the same banking licence can be found here
- The limit applies to the combined amount held across all products held under a single banking licence
- The limit includes any interest you earn on the amounts deposited with a particular bank or building society
- For more information, please visit the FSCS website
Transferring between HL accounts
How do I transfer money from my Active Savings Account to my Fund and Share Account?
It’s simple to transfer. Just select ‘Transfer to other account’ on the My Savings tab and follow the instructions. Please note you can only transfer savings held in the cash hub. If you want to transfer savings from one of your fixed term products you’ll need to wait for it to mature.
How long does it take to transfer money between my Active Savings Account and Fund and Share Account?
Fund and Share Account to Active Savings Account – instructions received before 12pm on a working day will be processed on the same day. All other instructions will be processed on the next working day.
Active Savings Account to Fund and Share Account - instructions received before 4pm on a working day will be processed on the same day. All other instructions will be processed on the next working day.
Can I transfer money between my Active Savings Account and Fund and Share Account?
Yes, you can transfer any money in the cash hub into your Fund and Share Account online. You can also transfer any un-invested cash held in your Fund and Share Account into your Active Savings Account.
If you wish to transfer from your Fund and Share Account, any investments will need to be sold and the trades settled first. To give us your instruction you’ll need to go into the cash tab in your Fund and Share Account and choose the option to ‘Transfer money’.