The British Isa, proposed by Chancellor Jeremy Hunt, aims to encourage investment in UK-focused assets by offering an additional £5,000 allowance on top of the existing £20,000 annual Isa allowance.

Here’s what we know and don’t know about it:

What we know:

– The British Isa is expected to be a separate account, providing investors with an extra allowance.
– The Treasury has initiated a consultation process, with a deadline of June 6, indicating that the earliest the British Isa could be implemented is in the 2025/26 tax year.

What we don’t know:

– Details regarding what constitutes a “UK-focused asset” are yet to be determined. However, the rules governing personal equity plans (PEPs), which preceded Isas, may serve as a blueprint.
– It’s unclear whether exchange-traded funds (ETFs) will be included in the British Isa.

Who might open a British Isa:

– Individuals who already maximize their £20,000 Isa allowance are likely candidates for opening a British Isa.
– Wealthier Isa holders who contribute the maximum amount to stocks and shares Isas are potential users.

Is investing in the British Isa a good idea?

– While the British Isa may not enhance portfolio diversification, it presents an opportunity for investors interested in the UK stock market.
– Historically, UK stocks have underperformed global markets, but current valuations indicate potential value opportunities.
– UK companies, despite their global leadership in various industries, have cheaper valuations compared to overseas counterparts, making them attractive investments.
– Potential investments within the British Isa could include ETFs like the Vanguard FTSE 250 ETF and investment trusts such as City of London and Fidelity Special Values.