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Launched 6th April 2016, the IFISA gives investors the opportunity to use their tax-free ISA allowance to invest in peer-to-peer loans and crowdfunded debt securities.
The IFISA is available to UK residents and Crown employees aged 18 and over, with a valid National Insurance number.
The tax-free ISA allowance for the 2019/2020 tax year is £20,000. You can also transfer in additional funds from your other existing ISAs.
You can only subscribe to one of each type of ISA per tax year. As such, you can only subscribe to one IFISA per tax year.
For example ― your annual tax-free £20,000 ISA allowance could be invested in a cash ISA, or in a Stocks and Shares ISA, or in an Innovative Finance ISA ― or it could be invested across a combination of the three types of ISA. The combined amount of monies invested must not exceed the ISA allowance limit for the relevant tax year.
No. An IFISA is not the same as a cash ISA. Investing in an IFSA carries more risk than a cash deposit, and investments are not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (the ‘FSCS’).
No, your IFISA holdings will be reported by the HMRC-authorised ISA Manager for you. You do not need to take any action in this respect.
Cogress Ltd has created two affiliate companies (registered in England and Wales), Cogress Finance Plc and Cogress Lending Ltd.
Cogress Finance Plc will issue the IFISA-eligible bonds, the Cogress Finance Property Bonds (the ‘Bonds’ or ‘Bond Series’).
The funds raised from these Bonds will be loaned, through Cogress Lending Ltd, to a portfolio of property development projects expertly-selected and approved by the Cogress’ management team in accordance with a well-defined loan criteria (further details can be found in the Cogress Finance Property Bonds Brochure).
These loans will accrue interest which is repayable to IFISA bond holders.
Cogress Finance Plc will use the services of Cogress Ltd and its affiliate companies to, amongst others, select and monitor the projects to which IFISA funds are loaned.
Further details can be found in the Cogress Finance Property Bonds Brochure. Click here to Download
You can transfer some or all of your existing ISA holdings to the Cogress IFISA. We will not charge any fees for the transfer but please be aware some ISA providers will charge you a transfer out fee to do so. If you wish to transfer money from an existing ISA, simply log in and complete our online “Transfer In Form”.
You do not need to wait until the end of the tax year to transfer your ISA, you can do it at any time.
Cogress Finance Plc is an affiliate of Cogress Ltd and is the bond issuer. Cogress Finance Plc is a company registered in England and Wales.
We currently offer three bond series. Your returns depend on your initial investment amount and the terms of the specific bond that you select. The Bonds qualify to be held in an IFISA wrapper so that interest can be earned tax-free. Interest payments are not guaranteed and your capital is at risk.
Tax treatment depends on your individual circumstances and is subject to change in the future and HMRC requirements.
To read more about our Bonds, click here.
In Bond Series 1 & 2, interest is paid at the end of your investment term (i.e., upon maturity of the bond). In Bond Series 3, interest is paid every six months.
Investors can choose from a variety of bonds with different minimum durations, ranging from three to five years.
After the first year, investors in Bond Series 3 have the flexibility to withdraw some or all of their funds with a 90-day notice period, provided the total funds being withdrawn from the product within that 90-day period does not exceed 25% of the total value of all bonds issued within that product.
Where an investor’s withdrawal request cannot be facilitated within a 90-day period, the request will be carried over to the next available 90-day period on a first come, first served basis.
You cannot withdraw your funds from Bond Series 1 or 2 before the end of the minimum term. However, Bond Series 3 operates 90-day access terms. This means that you can withdraw all or some of your investment with 90 days’ notice, but only after the initial 12 month holding period.
Should you request a withdrawal, your funds will be returned to your bank account 90 days after you give notice to withdraw, providing the aggregate funds being requested in that quarter are less than 25% of the total Bond Series 3 issuance. Should the withdrawals requested in that quarter exceed 25% of the total deployed ISA funds, then the remaining balance will be transferred out in the next available 90 day period.
The minimum investment amount is £1,000.
Bond funds will be loaned to property projects that comply with the following criteria:
Borrowers will typically be developers with a demonstrable track record of completed projects and experience in the size and scope of the project they are presenting. Borrowers with no previous development experience will not be considered. The property projects will all have planning permission in place and will typically be residential, mixed-use or commercial.
Your funds will begin to accrue interest once a Bond Certificate has been issued. This is a legal document detailing your rights as the bond holder and the terms between you and the Bond Issuer (Cogress Finance Plc).
Cogress Finance Plc endeavours to issue bonds to investors on a monthly basis. However, it reserves the right to defer issuance of bonds until enough subscriptions are pending (£100,000).
Investors’ funds will be invested in bonds, the proceeds of which will be loaned to multiple development projects provided that they adhere to the relevant lending criteria. This helps to reduce your exposure to risk, but means that you cannot select specific projects to invest in.
Cogress’ live development investment opportunities are high-risk, illiquid investments. As such, they are exclusively available to certified investors, who invest directly in projects of their choice. Minimum investments start at £20,000 and funds are invested in equity or second charge mezzanine loans typically with loan to value levels of 80%+. Returns would generally be subject to income tax for individual investors.
In contrast, Cogress Finance Plc’s bonds have a minimum investment amount of £1,000 and are available to investors who certify that they will not invest more than 10% of their net assets per year in shares, bonds, funds or other securities that are not listed on a stock exchange.
Bond holders’ investment is diversified and deployed across a number of development projects according to the lending policy of the bond which includes an upper limit on the loan to value of 75%; investors cannot select specific projects in which to invest.
When held in an IFISA, returns are fixed and will be tax-free.
There are no fees charged to Bond Holders
Cogress Finance Plc charges a £25 fee to transfer bonds to another individual.
To make an investment, you must first register on our platform. Once you have done so, you will be able to select your preferred bond and how much you wish to invest. Once the process is complete, you will receive email confirmation of your investment. As soon as the funds are drawn down, your Bond Certificate will be issued and you will begin to accrue interest.