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Leeds Building Society chief calls on Chancellor to help savers

Looking ahead to this week’s Budget, Leeds Building Society Chief Executive Peter Hill is calling on George Osborne to help savers by allowing them to put more of their money into tax-free investments.

Peter is urging the Chancellor of the Exchequer to increase ISA allowances – for the current financial year these stand at £5,760 for a Cash ISA, or £11,520 for a Stocks and Shares ISA (or combination of the two). These allowances will increase to £5,940 or £11,880, respectively, for the financial year 2014/5.

“As a minimum, we support the Building Societies Association in its view that the allowance for Cash ISAs should be brought up to the level permitted for Stocks and Shares ISAs,” said Peter Hill, Leeds Building Society Chief Executive.

“I would like the Chancellor to go further and increase the annual subscription permitted for Cash ISAs to £25,000, which would significantly increase the proportion of tax-free interest savers could earn on their nest egg.

“A key part of our business model as a building society is based on providing security and value for savers - we want to do what we can to support savers and encourage sustainable and responsible long-term financial behaviour.

“For that reason we have streamlined and improved our savings range to remove unnecessary complexity and taken steps to ensure all our savings accounts pay at least 0.5%, equivalent to today’s Bank Base Rate, which benefits a significant number of our members. Last year on average we paid 2.33% across our range compared to the market average of 1.73%*.

“The Chancellor needs to make life easier for those millions of savers who have suffered in the low interest rate environment. We know our members value security and peace of mind and many investers favour cash as the least-risky savings choice.

“Increasing the tax-free savings allowance would act as an extra incentive to more people to start and keep the savings habit, which surely was a key aim of creating ISAs in the first place.”

Ends

Notes to Editors

* CACI Data, October 2013 – CACI is an independent company that provides Financial Services benchmarking data and covers 86% of the high street cash savings market

Leeds Building Society has 67 branches throughout the UK, Gibraltar and Ireland and assets of £11.2bn (as at 31 December 2013). The Society has operated from the centre of Leeds since 1886.