The value of investments and the income they produce can fall as well as rise. You may get back less than you invested.

Equity based investments do not afford the same capital security as a deposit account.

Tax treatment varies according to individual circumstances and is subject to change.

National Savings & Trusts are not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

It is important to note that the value of investments and income from them may go down. You may not get back the original amount invested and the levels, basis and reliefs of taxation are subject to change. This is not intended as an exhaustive guide.

This at-a-glance guide is designed to give you a quick snapshot of a range of different investment vehicles available.

Deposits may be held in:

  • Commercial banks
  • Building societies
  • ISAs

National Savings and Investments have a number of different instruments*:

  • Premium Bonds
  • Income Bonds
  • Investment account

Asset-backed investments can be held in:

  • Shares
    • Issued by companies to raise money
    • Dividends related to profitability (taxable if exceed Dividend Allowance)
    • Potential Capital Gains Tax on realised gains when shares sold
  • Gilt-edged Securities
    • Government guaranteed
    • Fixed rate of interest or coupon
    • Interest liable for tax (unless covered by allowances such as Personal Savings Allowance)
    • Full nominal value repaid at redemption date
    • Some Gilts index linked
    • No Capital Gains Tax on Gilts
  • Unit trusts
    • Investors’ money pooled to form large funds
    • Medium to long-term investments in stocks and shares and other asset types
    • Broad spread for greater security
    • Professional fund management
    • Units priced on the basis of the value of the underlying investments
    • Income distributed or re-invested
    • Income liable for tax (unless covered by allowances such as Personal Savings Allowance or Dividend Allowance)
    • Potential for Capital Gains Tax

  • Cash ISA
    The overall limit for investment in ISAs in 2024/2025 is £20,000 and the whole amount can be placed in a Cash ISA if required. It’s possible to transfer Stocks and Shares ISAs into a Cash ISA and vice versa.

  • Stocks and Shares ISA
    In 2024/2025, you can invest the full £20,000 ISA allowance into a  Stocks and Shares ISA if you wish. Investors do not pay any personal tax on income or gains.

  • Open ended investment companies (OEICs) or unit trusts 
    • Pooled investments run by limited companies
    • Medium to long term investments
    • Professionally managed
    • Single pricing based on the net asset value
    • Charges expressed separately
    • The funds are 'open-ended' 
  • Investment bonds
    • Single premium (i.e. lump sum investment)
    • Non qualifying life assurance policy
    • Medium to long-term investments
    • With profit or unit-linked
    • Withdrawals possible
    • No personal liability for basic rate Income Tax or Capital Gains Tax (assuming a UK bond)
    • Withdrawals may trigger a liability to higher rates of tax or personal allowance

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) does not regulate advice on cash deposits or National Savings & Investments products.