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Helping hand for customers saving for first home

5th February 2018 Print

Building society 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 However, any funds withdrawn before the account is closed will not be eligible for a government bonus.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 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.

The West Brom is the UK’s seventh largest building society based in West Bromwich in the West Midlands. It operates a network of 37 branches throughout the region.