The ThinCats ISA is coming soon
You could earn a projected return of 7-8%* tax-free with the ThinCats ISA
Investing can soon be done inside a tax-free wrapper through a ThinCats ISA account, meaning that all returns through this account will be tax-free. You can register your interest below and we will let you know when the ThinCats ISA is launched, which we anticipate will be early in the 2018/19 tax year. Investors will be invited to open a ThinCats ISA in the order that they registered, with existing clients given priority.
The ThinCats ISA is an Innovative Finance ISA. In 2016 the UK government introduced a new type of Individual Savings Account – The Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA). This type of ISA enables you to invest your money via a peer to peer lending platform, such as ThinCats, although only by platforms that have been fully authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and approved by HMRC. Other types of ISA – such as the Stocks and Shares ISA – do not permit you to invest via a peer to peer lending platform.
*Projected return excludes any fees. Your actual return may be higher or lower and your capital is at risk. Future forecast is not a reliable indicator to future returns. More about risks and returns.
Now that we are fully authorised by the FCA we are developing the ThinCats ISA product. You can register your interest below and we will update you as we make progress. Registering now will also ensure that you are amongst the first to be offered the product when it becomes available.
Frequently Asked Questions
No, only UK residents over the age of 18 can open an ISA. There are certain very limited exceptions to this regulation, such British Forces Posted Overseas. If you think that this might apply to you, please contact us and we can confirm the situation for you.
Now that we are fully authorised by the FCA we are developing the ThinCats ISA product. If you pre-register your interest we will contact you as soon as we start accepting applications.
A new IFISA account must be set up, even if you have an existing ThinCats account. This means that you will have separate login details for the two and you will have a different membership number and reference for when transferring in funds.
The overall ISA limit for the 2017-2018 tax year is £20,000 and this can be split between a Cash ISA, a Stocks and Shares ISA and an Innovative Finance ISA as the investor wishes. However, you can also transfer in an unlimited amount from existing ISAs set up in previous years.
There is no minimum period that you have to keep your IFISA in order to qualify for the tax relief but peer to peer loans tend to be over periods from 1 to 5 years and you need to take that commitment into account when making your investment decision. ThinCats operates a ‘secondary market’ to help those needing to get back to cash and at the same time providing an opportunity for those investors seeking to build a widely diversified portfolio faster. If you want to access your money before the end of the loan term you may sell your loan parts to other investors. We charge a 1% fee for selling on the secondary market. Not all loans are deemed suitable for sale on the secondary market for a range of reasons (such as missed payments). Also, due to the nature of the Secondary Market the price you will receive, and the ability to sell the loan will depend on the supply and demand at the time that you wish to sell your loan (that is, there need to be willing buyers of your loan).
You can withdraw any un-invested cash in your account, this will normally be processed within 3 working days upon request. Withdrawing funds already committed to loans depends on your ability to sell those loans on the secondary market and then transferring the cash.
To earn interest on your ThinCats ISA money you will need to invest in loans to businesses, via the ThinCats platform and hold these investments in your ISA account. Your money only earns interest when it is lent to a business.
The interest you earn depends on the rates you invest at, which is determined by the auction process. There are two types of auctions; fixed where the borrower offers a single fixed interest rate and the loan is filled on a first-come-first-served basis, and variable, where you get to set the interest rate you want to receive (within the terms of the loan), and the software automatically selects the lowest rates to make up the loan. The interest you receive will be tax-free.
You are able to transfer your IFISA to different providers subject to any rules and restrictions they impose. However, you are only permitted to transfers cash balances, not loans themselves. This means that in order to transfer funds out of your ThinCats account you will need to try to sell any remaining loans on the secondary market. This is not always possible, or may not happen immediately (see ‘How Can I Access My Money?’). Accordingly, you may not be able to transfer your IFISA as quickly as you wish, or in some cases at all.
You can transfer the whole or part of a previous year ISA. However, if you wish to transfer your current year IFISA, you must transfer the whole of it. There is a minimum of £5,000 or the account balance, whichever is the lower, for ThinCats to accept the transfer request from the new ISA manager.
It is important to note that you need to request such a transfer from your new ISA manager. You must not attempt to do the transfer yourself by withdrawing funds and investing them into a new ISA account as you may lose your existing IFISA.
You may transfer from your Cash ISAs and Stocks and Shares ISAs into your ThinCats ISA subject to your existing ISA provider’s terms and conditions. Simply open a ThinCats ISA account and then complete the Transfer In form. You will need to print and return this to us as we will need your signature to confirm your instructions to your old ISA manager. We will then handle the rest of the process with your old ISA manager. Timescales for the transfer vary considerably depending on your old ISA manager, but it should be completed within 30 days.
It is important to note that you need to follow this process and you must not attempt to do the transfer yourself by withdrawing funds and investing them into a new ThinCats ISA account as you may lose your existing ISA.
No, the ISA regulations do not permit this.
It is important to understand that by investing through a ThinCats ISA your capital is at risk. You are making direct loans to corporate businesses, and if for some reason they fail to repay, there is a chance your money will be lost or there will be a delay in repayment. Additionally, your money is not covered for compensation in the event of loss by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. Read our risks section for further details.