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Individual Savings Account Administration (FA5)

Individual Savings Account Administration (FA5) develops your understanding of investment issues, together with detailed guidance on the administration of individual savings accounts.

The default Enrolment option for this unit includes:

  • Latest version of the core learning content, in digital format only.
  • Assessment entry.

Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs) often referred to as an investment wrapper, allows cash or other assets to be held in a tax-free environment. Introduced in 1999 to encourage individual investment, ISAs have since been the main vehicle for saving and investing tax efficiently.

This study text looks at the main features and uses and main rules surrounding ISAs, including a review of the main features and types of ISAs, their tax treatment and the main uses of ISAs. It then moves on to the regulations that surround ISAs, how they are made, the role of HMRC in connection with the administration of ISA schemes and the obligations on firms in respect of anti-money laundering and the safekeeping of client assets.

It considers eligibility conditions, the application process, rules surrounding what constitute acceptable investments within ISAs, how dealing takes place and how trades are cleared and settled. It looks at tax treatment of income, how corporate actions should be dealt with and the submission of tax claims and returns to HMRC.

It views the rules involved in managing an ISA, including ISA manager obligations, investor reporting, the range of statistical returns ISA managers make to HMRC and how HMRC audits ISA managers to check their compliance with the rules.

Building a successful career in personal finance

Individual Savings Account Administration (FA5) provides the essential knowledge and skills needed for a range of administrative and operational investment roles, including individual savings account administration.

Learning outcomes

At the end of this unit, candidates should be able to demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of:

  • the main features and uses of Individual Savings Accounts;
  • ISA investors and applications;
  • ISA withdrawals, closure, deaths of investors, transfers;
  • HMRC rules concerning ISAs.


  • 60 minute exam
  • 50 multiple choice questions
  • 70% nominal pass mark (the actual pass mark may vary from one session to another to ensure consistency in pass standards)
  • The 2021 pass rate for this unit was 71%

Study material - editions available

2022-23 edition (applicable to exams sat 01 Sep 2022 to 31 Aug 2023)