How do Stocks and Shares ISAs work?

Think of a Stocks and Shares ISA as a wrapper that sits around the investments in your portfolio. This wrapper means you have no tax to pay on any dividends, growth, interest or income you get from them.

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

To open a Stocks and Shares ISA with Nationwide, you can:

  • choose an investment online, or
  • get investment advice with a Financial Adviser.

What is an ISA?

An Individual Savings Account (ISA) is a tax efficient way to save or invest. But there are limits on how much you can pay in — this is the ISA allowance. You can choose how to split your ISA allowance — either save with Cash ISAs, invest with Stocks and Shares ISAs or do both.


For 2021/22, the total ISA allowance is £20,000. Each tax year starts on 6 April. You can have more than one Stocks and Shares ISA, but you can only pay into one per tax year.

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 (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.
  • Have £20 or more to invest.
  • 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


The value of your investment can go down as well as up, so you may get back less than you originally invested.

It’s important to invest for at least 6 years to help ride out any changes in the market. That said, you can take out your money at any time.

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 with Nationwide

To keep things simple, we offer a small range of managed investment funds, each designed to reflect an attitude to risk. This range is brought to you by Nationwide and provided by our trusted third-party, Aegon.

We offer 2 types of investment account for your fund: Stocks and Shares ISA or General Investment Account.

You can invest a lump sum, monthly payments, or both. And, once your investment is set up, you can top up anytime and withdraw your money without penalties.

Before you apply, consider which options best suit your needs or take advice to get a personalised recommendation.

Want to learn more? Read our Nationwide investments guide

How to invest

There are 2 ways to invest with Nationwide.