What is a Stocks and Shares ISA?

A Stocks and Shares ISA is a savings account that you can put a range of investments into.

You pay no tax on any money you make from those investments - for example, through dividends, interest, income or growth.

To open a Stocks and Shares ISA through Nationwide, you will need to choose an investment through one of our financial advisers.

Bear in mind, you can only open one Stocks and Shares ISA each tax year, which starts on 6 April.

How does a Stocks and Shares ISA work?

We explain the basics of Stocks and Shares ISAs in this handy 2 minute video:

Show transcript
If you're 18 or over a stocks and shares ISA

could give you a chance of growing your money

as long as you're happy to put your money away,

ideally for at least six years.

Although you can still take money out whenever you want.

How do stocks and shares ISAs work?

Put simply, with a stocks and shares ISA,

you can hold different types of investments.

You won't pay any income or capital gains tax on any returns,

and you won't pay any more tax on any dividends or interest you receive.

You'll have to be happy about taking a risk with your money.

That's because the value of your investments

can go down as well as up.

And you may not get back what you invested.

Anything else we need to know?

Well, there are certain limits, like the ISA yearly allowance.

Let's explain.

At the start of every new tax year,

you'll get a new yearly allowance.

That's the maximum amount you can pay into an ISA

in the tax year.

You can put the whole of your yearly allowance into cash ISAs,

or into a stocks and shares ISA,

or you can mix it between the two.

You just need to keep to one cash ISA provider

and one stocks and shares ISA provider within a tax year.

But you can't carry forward any unused allowance

into the next tax year.

If you'd like to find out more

or would like to open a Nationwide ISA,

go to nationwide.co.uk

and simply search ISA.

How much can you put into a Stocks and Shares ISA?

There's a limit to how much you can pay into ISAs each year. This is your ISA allowance.

Your ISA allowance is £20,000 for the 2023/24 tax year. The tax year starts on 6 April each year.

You can split your allowance between a Stocks and Shares ISA and a Cash ISA, or you can put it all in one of them.

Withdraw your money at any time

You can take your money out of a Stocks and Shares ISA at any point, or switch investments, without any penalty charges.

What does tax efficient mean?

When you use a Stocks and Shares ISA, 'tax efficient' means:

  • No tax on your investment return.
  • No further tax to pay on any dividends or interest received.
  • No Capital Gains Tax (CGT), which may be relevant if you have used up your annual CGT allowance.


This information is based on our current understanding of HMRC tax rules, so it may change and will be personal to your circumstances. For the latest information, please check gov.uk (opens in a new window)

To apply for a Stocks and Shares ISA

You need to:

  • Have not opened a Stocks and Shares ISA since 6 April.
  • Have some or all of your ISA allowance remaining.
  • Be aged 18 or over.
  • Be a UK resident.
  • Be a Nationwide member.

You’re a member when you have a Nationwide mortgage, savings or current account.

Find out more about Nationwide membership


Investing is a long-term strategy and you should be comfortable with investing for at least 6 years. If you decide to invest, remember that the value of your investments can go down as well as up and you may get back less than you originally invested.

General Investment Account

Already got plans for your ISA allowance?

There’s no limit on how much you can pay into this account, but any investment return may be taxed.

Investing through Nationwide

We’ve worked with Aegon, our trusted investments provider, to bring you a range of carefully selected funds.

By investing through us, you can:

  • Invest with a lump sum, monthly payments or both.

  • Maximise your ISA allowance with a Stocks and Shares ISA, or we offer a General Investment Account.

  • Get quarterly statements on your investment's performance

  • Keep an eye on your investments and make any changes by logging in to Aegon’s dashboard

  • Withdraw your money and switch between investments without penalty charges.

Bear in mind, we offer the investments and access to Aegon's dashboard as a package. They may be available separately through other providers.

Who are Aegon

Aegon are our investments provider, and one of the largest asset management companies in the UK. We’ve worked with them to create the range of funds we offer to our members, expertly balancing expected returns and risk.

Ask our investment experts

Our financial advisers are employed by Nationwide to offer honest, trustworthy and expert advice. If you don’t want to invest, you won’t pay a penny.

To get advice, you'll need to be able to invest at least:

  • £400 a month
  • Or a lump sum of £20,000
  • Or a lower lump sum investment followed by a series of monthly payments