Banks and building societies snub Lifetime Isa launch

The government’s flagship savings programme, the Lifetime Isa (Lisa), has been snubbed by banks and building societies on the day it launches. None of them will be offering the product immediately. Only three providers will offer the Lisa this month, and they are all investment platforms which will operate a stocks and shares version only. The Lisa, the brainchild of former Chancellor George Osborne, offers savers a 25% annual bonus. The Treasury said other providers had already announced plans to launch Lisas. It added that it expected the market for Lisas, including cash accounts, to continue to grow this year as more providers put systems in place and developed their products.

The Lisa is designed for people who want to save for a house, or for retirement. Savers benefit from a government bonus of £1,000 a year, if they deposit the maximum amount of £4,000. But apart from in the first year, they will lose 25% of everything they take out of it, unless it is to buy a house, or unless they have reached the age of 60.