British Investors Make Last Gasp Dive Into Investment Savings Accounts

ISAs see inflows for first time in seven months as UK retail market finishes year with £1.5 billion in sales

The Investment Association (TIA) released figures this Wednesday detailing British investor behavior in March of 2018. The London-based investment association noted a large increase in investment savings account (ISA) sales in the lead up to the end of the fiscal year in April.

ISAs enable British residents to invest up to 20,000 pounds ($27,188) per year, with any returns on investments made through the accounts being tax-free. From the first of March up until the 5th of April, the end of the fiscal year, British investors put 620 million pounds ($842,85 million) into ISAs – 23 million pounds ($31.27 million) more than last year. It was also the first time in seven months that there have been greater inflows than outflows into ISAs.

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TIA Chief Executive, Chris Cummings, stated: “ISAs offer a flexible way to save for many UK consumers.” He added that he saw the growth in ISAs as a positive for those selling retail investment products.

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Positive retail sale, decreasing funds

Beyond ISAs, net retail sales were equal to approximately 1.5 billion pounds – substantially less than the 4.6 billion pounds in March of 2017. Mixed assets were the biggest selling products, taking in 890 million pounds, with equity funds also seeing inflows of 554 million pounds.

Despite the positive level of net retail sales, funds under management in the UK decreased by 2 percent. This was largely attributable to investor concerns about a trade war between the US and some its trading partners, most notably China and the EU.

Retail investors split their funds largely between the global sector, a mixed investment with 40-85 percent of funds in shares and a mixed investment with 20-60 percent in shares. Volatility funds and the Asia-Pacific region (excluding Japan) also saw high levels of retail investment in March.

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