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Cash interest explained

You will receive interest on balances in your platform cash account at the prevailing rate.

Embark Investment Services Limited acts as the custodian for investments on the Willis Owen platform and is one of our strategic partners that provides our Willis Owen ISA, GIA, Junior ISA and SIPP.

Embark places cash with a number of banking partners for safekeeping and to provide the potential for you to earn interest on money in your platform cash account. By managing cash in this way, it aims to provide better protection and a higher overall level of interest than if all funds were placed with a single bank.

The rates of interest paid by banks will vary. Embark retains a portion of the interest earned to cover its costs in managing platform cash.

Current Interest Rate

The table below shows the current customer interest rate payable on cash balances along with the amount of interest retained by Embark. The customer interest rate shown is that after accounting for interest retained by Embark:

Date From Customer Interest Rate Interest retained by Embark
12th June 2024 2.6% 1.75% - 2.00%

Embark can change the rate of interest at any time and it reviews the position at least quarterly. Interest is calculated and accrued daily and is credited to your account on the first of each month. If you transfer out, accrued interest is applied at the point of transfer. We will inform you if and when the interest rate changes as soon as is practicable.

Interest retained

The table below shows the yearly equivalent rates of interest Embark expects to pay based on a range of possible yearly interest rates it may earn.

Interest Embark expects to earn Customer Interest Rate Interest retained by Embark
0-1% 0 – 0.46% 0 – 0.54%
1-2% 0.46% – 0.94% 0.54% – 1.06%
2-3% 0.94% – 1.46% 1.06% – 1.54%
3-4% 1.46% – 2.02% 1.54% – 1.98%
4-5% 2.02% – 2.61% 1.98% – 2.39%
5%+ 2.61%+ 2.39%+

Historic Interest Rates

To see details of historic customer interest rates, along with the amount of interest retained by Embark, click here.

The long-term benefits of investing

When you invest in a company, you are buying shares in that company, becoming an owner of that business, and – hopefully – sharing in its success and its profits over time.

However, it’s important to be aware that a company – and therefore its shareholders – may also experience periods of turbulence, where share prices fall at the mercy of the market, the competitive environment, or other external factors. Sometimes companies fail altogether. Hence the often used but rarely explained adage, ‘capital at risk’, which means that investors can lose money.

This is precisely why investing is designed to be a longstanding activity; it gives you time to maximise the growth opportunities of a company, while also giving you time to recover from those negative periods.

We’re only human

But it’s more than that. Taking a longer-term perspective should help you take out the emotions from your investment journey. You don’t have to worry about making a profit or loss in the next day or two, and potentially lose sleep over the outcome. Emotions can be dangerous when investing, as they may lead us to make instinctive, reactive decisions, not necessarily rational ones.

Making your life easier

Trying to predict the immediate movements of shares prices is hard work. Traders – both professional and amateurs – are those who buy and sell shares over the short term, trying to take advantage of rapid share price movements. They will often spend hours poring over charts, analysing their methods, formulas, and investment strategies to identify which stocks may or may not rally in the short term. For some, trading may work but we don’t believe it’s the best way to make money and can be quite a stressful and time-consuming approach.

You don’t need lots of money

As a Willis Owen customer, you can start investing with as little as £25 each month, and you can always top up your investments and build your portfolio over time. Even modest amounts can grow into something more meaningful, if you leave them long enough.

Keep an eye on costs

Taking this longer horizon with your investing could also help you minimise costs. Trading shares can be expensive, as each time you buy or sell a share you need to think about transaction costs and stamp duty, which can affect long-term returns. When you trade too frequently the fees generated will be profiting your stockbroker rather than you, so bear in mind whether such an active approach to trading is worth it.


Compounding is a very powerful concept, which is why we mention it here and in our Six reasons to start investing article. Simply put, you earn money on your reinvested money. With investing you have the potential (although not the guarantee) of generating greater returns than cash over the long term. The benefits of compounding can therefore be significant

For example, £1,000 invested, excluding charges, growing at 5% per annum will deliver £50 each year. Over 30 years that would be a £1,500 return if the money were not reinvested.

If that money were reinvested each year, the return would be £3,322*. That is more than twice the return on the same investment just from compounding.

Of course, there are many ways to make money but, in our view, taking a long-term approach is likely to be one of the simplest and most successful approaches.

*Returns excluding charges


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